|

Am I Really Considering Trying This Again? Yes. Yes, I Am.

Y’all have my head absolutely spinning with your comments on yesterday’s post. But it’s not the bad kind of overwhelming head spinning that makes me want to bury my head in the sand. It’s the good kind of exciting head spinning that makes me want to spend hours and hours at my computer trying out every possibility y’all suggested. 😀 So I wanted to go over some of the recurring themes in your suggestions and comments.

First, let me say that I was totally and completely shocked at the response to my wanting to eliminate a huge walk-in closet in the master bedroom. I was sure I would get nothing but pushback on that idea, and I was blown away that the response was quite the opposite. While there were a few people who said they could never, ever get rid of their big walk-in closets, the vast majority of people said they could (or do, or plan to) live perfectly comfortably with a wall full of IKEA Pax wardrobes, or a standard non-walk-in, wide, reach-in closet with good organization.

So after reading all of your comments and contemplating how I want our bedroom to look and function, I’ve decided to do an entire wall of Pax wardrobes on the shared wall with the master bathroom.

The narrow section is 40 inches wide, and the area on the other side of the bathroom door is 140 inches wide. That’s 15 feet of floor-to-ceiling closet storage space. For comparison (because many of you referenced it), John & Sherry’s Pax wardrobe wall is just under 9 feet wide. So with my newfound love of IKEA cabinets, I’m so unbelievably excited about this idea. I’ll get a ton of storage without having to sacrifice so much square footage of space required by a large walk-in closet. And as I said yesterday, I absolutely love a whole wall of built-in cabinets. I think it’ll look amazing, and it will function very well.

About that laundry room…

Many of you shared the same thought about the laundry room placement — that I should move it so that it’s right against the back wall of the hallway bathroom. First, let me show you how I had it arranged, and then explain why. This is the placement that I had proposed. (Ignore the dining table in the nook. I’m just talking about the laundry room for now)…

Since so many of you suggested it, I did consider placing the laundry room against the back wall of the hallway bathroom. I played around with that idea for quite a long time, but I just couldn’t make it work. The reason I have a problem with it is because then I’m just left with a doorway directly from the family room into the master bedroom. That seems strange to me. Very strange. At least with the laundry room where I placed it, it creates a hallway that leads to the master bedroom, which gives a feeling of separation between the two areas. Without that hallway, it’s just a door on a wall leading from the family room to the master bedroom.

Does that not feel strange to anyone else? To me it’s as strange as having a guest bathroom directly off of a family room. Those things are generally tucked away and accessible via a hallway. It’s not really standard (at least to my knowledge) to find those “private” rooms located just right off of a family room and only separated by a wall with a doorway. It seems weird to me.

So I’m not really on board with moving the laundry room so that it’s right up against the back wall of the hallway bathroom unless I can find another way to create a bit of a separation between the family room and the master bedroom.

I did come across this picture where they created a little hallway feel just using built-in bookcases and cabinets. I love how this looks…

But I do need some sort of separation, whether it’s a hallway created by a laundry room (or even a laundry closet), or a “hallway” type of feel created by built-ins like in the photo above. I just simply cannot have a master bedroom right off of a family room only separated by a wall with a door in it.

So unless I can come up with another way to create that separation, I still really like the idea of putting the laundry room where I had it, and creating that little nook behind it. BUT…I do agree with most of you that the nook won’t be big enough for a dining table. That nook would be better suited for something like a reading area. I envision some comfy chairs surrounded by bookcases filled with books. Or I could even envision a game table in that area. The possibilities are endless. But whatever I use it for, it would look intentional, and not like an afterthought. I mean, that’s a good amount of space to be used for something amazing! (Never mind that weird window placement. I dragged it over there by the door and then forgot about it.)

With that area ruled out for a dining table, I don’t see that there’s any other space for a dining table in that room. If I create a passthrough from the kitchen to the family room like I had planned (which I still want to do), and put the dining table just on the other side of that passthrough, then it starts encroaching on the space available for the family room.

So what am I considering for the dining room? I can’t even believe I’m about to say this. But…the living room.

Yep, we’ve come full circle. I’m only just considering it right now. Nothing is set in stone, and I’ll talk to the architect to see if he has any better ideas.

But several of you suggested it, and obviously, having been down that road and failed miserably in the past, my knee jerk reaction was, “Oh my gosh, NO! Not again!” But the more I thought about it, the more it made complete sense.

The area available for a table and chairs measures 12’10” x 10’5″, which is plenty of room for a round-to-oval expandable table. And if I need more room for a bigger crowd, I could turn the table and expand it into the “entryway” space. And it’s perfectly situated right by the kitchen. It’s also in an area that doesn’t create any problems for Matt getting through the house. I mean, it really is perfect.

But I’ve tried this before, right? And I failed miserably, right? So why would it be different this time?

I gave this so much thought yesterday, and it dawned on me that the reason it didn’t work last time had nothing to do with the function of the room. My failure wasn’t because I was trying to turn it into a dining room. The dining room aspect of the plan wasn’t the problem at all.

The problem was that that was when I was trying to decorate my home around a green and gold kitchen.

Literally NOTHING I did back then worked. How many different iterations did that room go through as a living room that didn’t work out? Many! It wasn’t just the dining room idea that failed. It was several living room ideas that failed as well.

I couldn’t even get any of my living room ideas to work until I changed the kitchen cabinets to teal, found my color palette (which took a lot of trial and error), and found the right rug (and the right rug size) to inspire me. That’s when all the pieces started falling together to create the current living room that feels so “me“.

But now I know myself much better. I know what colors I like, and what colors I don’t like. So turning this very “me” living room into a very “me” dining room at this point would be a breeze. I wouldn’t change anything about the fireplace, the curtains, the rug, or anything on the entryway wall. It would just be a matter of swapping out the chairs, sofa, and coffee table for a nice dining table and chairs. And voila! I’d have a dining room. It’s definitely the room that makes the most sense as a dining room.

I’m still just contemplating, and obviously, this can’t happen until we actually have a fully finished, fully furnished, and completely useable and comfortable family room. Until then, I’m still just dreaming and planning and considering and contemplating.

ETA: I wanted to address one more recurring suggestion, and that was to turn the music room into the dining room.

music-room-after

I can understand how that might make sense, and it’s obvious from the original floor plan that the builder intended this to be the dining room. But for us, this isn’t a possibility.

The music room is the most high traffic room in the entire house. It’s the main thoroughfare to get from the bedroom side of the house to any other area of the house. We pass through this room countless times every single day.

To interrupt that flow of traffic with a big dining table and lots of dining chairs would just be awful. I would personally hate it and find it to be a huge annoyance, but Matt (in his wheelchair) would find it virtually impossible to get through that maze. Just imagine him trying to wheel himself from the bedroom, into this room with a big table and chairs in the middle, around the table, and into the kitchen. That would almost be cruel.

So that’s just not even an idea I’d consider. When you’re trying to take an old house and redesign it for someone who’s in a wheelchair, things can be challenging, but I always have to keep in mind how he’ll get from one room to another. And I never want to create barriers for him.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

60 Comments

  1. When we remodeled our kitchen, we turned our formal living room into our dining room. I really, really like it. Our formal living room was used once a year, on Christmas morning. It was a ridiculous waste of space. Now it’s actually functional, and because it was a living room it’s a nice size. (We also have a fireplace in that room.)

    I would consider building some kind of a separation between your entry if you do go that route. Your couch currently serves that function, but that would be gone.

    1. To follow up on someone’s comments…Are you planning windows on the bed wall? The room may seem dark with only one light source. Nothing like some fresh air when sleeping and leaving the door open at night is not safe.

  2. I know it’s a Texas thing to have a formal living room (and elsewhere as well), but we’ve had a living room and family room in our last two houses and one room rarely gets used. Yup, the living room. Once you get a family room, this might be even more true. We recently bought a house with just one “living area,” and it’s fine. We have a large bedroom where someone can go to read, or an office where office things can happen. Don’t miss that second living space at all.

  3. Gosh, I’m completely stunned. Your living room is just so beautiful and so warm and inviting looking. If it was mine I wouldn’t bother one inch of it. You do have a lot of visitors from your church. I’m wondering where they would be gathering. I’m going to pass on saying anything about changing your living room into a formal dining room. I do think your laundry closet is in the perfect spot. Wouldn’t dream about moving it. Also the area behind it where you mentioned a game table sounds nice. I love your photo showing your closet space in your master bedroom. More space in the bedroom will be nice for Matt too. I know nothing is set in concrete yet, but whatever you choose to do will end up with me saying it is beautiful, and perfect.

    1. She’s previously mentioned that the family room, as she calls it, would be the gathering space for those larger groups (church, family, etc).

  4. I do support the idea of the living room being turned into a dining room. It is right off the kitchen for ease of serving and cleanup. And also, I feel like if people are watching you eat with your friends/ a big party, it’s not as big of an invasion of privacy as when I’m in my pajamas and watching a TV show by myself. You can always add a small 36 inch round table and a couple chairs in the FR somewhere for cards, meals in front of the tv, puzzles, etc.

  5. Your explanation of the little hallway makes perfect sense. If some deep cabinets would also give you the same feel as a hallway, then I recommend the hidden laundry in bottom cabinets: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QaTcDzt2M_o
    This wouldn’t create a weird box on that wall in the living room but would still create a little separation between your bedroom and the living area. I like the idea of the front room becoming a dining room and agree that you could make it work this time around with the new color in the kitchen. Plus you don’t really need two living areas but one giant one would be amazing.

  6. Good idea! our dining is immediately to the left of our entrance and formal living space straight ahead. Yours would be immediately to the right with formal sitting space straight ahead. I love have my dining room dressed for company and so does everyone who visits who alway comment. The only concern I ‘would’ have for losing the living room would be no room to “stop” people in. I like having a room that’s always tidy to invite them to sit down when it’s a surprise visit. our family room is always lived in and messy. But you already have that space in your beautiful music room 🙂 It will be easy peasy to switch the function over to dining in your current LR, and beautiful, convenient to the kitchen, eliminate the need to punch a pass thru from the kitchen to family and have more flexibility with family room furniture arranging. win win win. Plus you will already be able to furnish the family rm with your current LR furniture. So re: laundry room, I completely agree with you that having a small hall or vestibule upon entering a master bedroom is best. I dislike doors opening directly into private spaces off the most public spaces in a home. my only concern is Matt navigating the corner coming into the family room on his way to the bedroom. so maybe rotate the LR so they longest wall is against the bdrm wall to open up the turning radius a bit. or consider accessing the laundry from the bedroom side, afterall all the clothes begin and end up in that bedroom anyway. The other concern is TV noise so I wouldn’t mount a tv on the wall against the master. our guest rm at our daughter’s is lined up against the laundry wall in the exact position your drawing currently are and it is quite a racket when they do laundry. Does anyone rest or sleep during the day in the bedroom when you’d be doing laundry? our current bedroom shares a wall with the living room on which there is a fireplace with a tv mounted above it. the TV is really loud when it’s on and I’m in the bdrm so consider that too. A library/reading nook in the little corner sounds dreamy. Best wishes for your planning meetings and looking forward to following this next phase.

  7. Turning the current living room into the dining room is, imho, the perfect idea. As you said, the only thing you’d need to do is switch out the furniture, and the dining table could be rotated and expanded into the entryway area as needed for larger crowds. That way you wouldn’t have to tear out the cabinets in the current kitchen wall, other than maybe a pass-through to the living room in that wall. Much less work, and very functional. The wall of cabinets/closet in the master bedroom is also very functional. We built a big walk-in closet when we added onto our house, and it has now been turned into a storage room. And I love the idea of a reading nook or game table in the nook in the living room. Or it could be a desk area, as in the photo you showed. The nook gives interest to an otherwise square-ish living room area. Some great ideas there, we’re all looking forward to seeing what you decide.

  8. I love the idea of your wall of closets. We’re looking at an old house and trying to figure out where to put a closet in the master bedroom. After seeing your plans and inspiration pictures I could definitely get on board with that type of closet instead of a walk-in type.

  9. Just food for thought as you’re designing this space. You say that you walk/pass through the music room many times a day and need to keep it open. However, I believe that’s because your bedroom is currently located in what will become the guest bedroom. Once you move your bedroom to the back with the family room, how often will you be using that as a pass through area, as opposed to the family room (if you open up an entrance from the kitchen)? Just some questions to keep in mind as you’re designing and redesigning these spaces!

    1. The home gym and master bath, both of which Matt uses, are also near the guest room area. (Matt does not use the hall bathroom.) So he will still be moving through the music room often every day, as will Kristi.

      1. Maybe. But I imagine the natural progression of these things is gym to sweat, bathroom to clean up, bedroom to dress. This puts you back to the family room area. Also, if you’re hanging out in the family room, the master bath is more easily accessible through the master bedroom than going all the way around and through 2 rooms and a hallway. Speaking from experience, once an large addition is added on, you often find traffic flow patterns change a lot and it’s worth thinking about when planning.

  10. I didn’t read all yesterdays comments so forgive me if this was mentioned already. What if you backed the laundry onto the hall bath wall and did a L shaped banquet with the small part of the L creating the hall to the bedroom. The banquet nook could have built in bookshelves around. And as a bonus they usually take up way less space than a table and chairs.

    1. Or just flip the laundry and the cabinets, with the laundry against the hall bath and doubled-up cabinets or bookcases making the hall way on the FR side…the door to the MBR would need to move down some, how functional would it be to have storage on the “hallway” side and storage on the FR-facing side!

  11. 100% I’m on team keep the hallway. I completely agree with you. One of the best things we inadvertently did was build in a little hallway between our family room and bedroom and I am super thankful that it’s there and you can’t see the bedroom door directly off of the family room. I love the idea of a reading nook area there; could you do four chairs facing each other there and still have room for the larger seating area? Four chairs facing each other with a coffee table or ottoman in the middle is one of my most favorite furniture arrangements but you really have to have the right space for it. Even two chairs together there though would be nice!

    Re the living room to dining room idea – I’ll admit when I got to that paragraph I audibly said “nooooo” just now because I love the current iteration (and I remember allllll the past ones 😀 :D). However, if you have the back family room, it does make sense. soooo maybe? 🙂

  12. I assumed that you placed the laundry where you did to create a more private entrance to the primary bedroom. I have a friend whose has double doors from the living room into the primary bedroom looking directly at their bed. It felt uncomfortable. I’m guessing you have cabinetry along the back of the hall bathroom to line up with the cabinetry in the bedroom. I love the look of built in cabinetry/bookshelves in the photo you posted. This will move the door into the bedroom and the laundry over some from the first drawing. Will there be enough room for a game table or conversation area? I’m wondering if you’d considered using half of your pantry for your washer/dryer and just having a wall to create the hallway to the bedroom which would leave more space for a game table. I think converting the current living room into a dining room is a good idea. I’ve seen many homes with a dining room right off the entryway and most people really don’t need two living room type areas.

  13. my master bedroom is right off the living room (the only downstairs bedroom, and the reason we bought the house – I don’t want to have to move when I’m old because I can’t reach my upstairs bedroom and bathroom!) but the door is directly between the dining room and family room, and has pop out columns on each side of the bedroom doorway that help define it. It’s not the worst thing in the world!

  14. YES! The wall of IKEA closet organizers is exactly my wish – reach in closets…perfect. I also like your idea about the dining room. We are eliminating ours, as ours is NEVER used. In FL we eat outside a lot, and when not, we have an island with seating and a large round “kitchen table” – the dining room is never used. But you have a different lifestyle, with more company and groups now…it IS so nice to have that bigger table and area…and so close to the kitchen! That gives you a much bigger family room as well, and you can plan a lot for it. You also have that sweet music room area for a quick drop in visit. It really is the best of all worlds for your lifestyle, and planning for the best for Matt as well. I think you are on to something! I’m excited to see what you decide. Enjoy the process.

  15. Lots of great ideas! But yes, I’d wait for the new area to be built and then figure out how to arrange. For the record, the four two-story Colonials on my block in suburban Chicago, the 1st floor half bath is right off the family room. From front door you walk into a foyer that has a big closet in front winding staircase to the left as well as the family room entrance to the left and then another door actually lays down to the basement and there’s a door right there by the family room entrance which is the half bath. The other model of home has the doorway to the bathroom from the family room entrance which that neighbor has set that room to be a dining room. Then to the right is a formal living room dining room as one room minus the one neighbor who said theirs up as just a giant family room. On the other side the Builders of this house decided that there would be a galley kitchen which is the bane of my existence. At one point in time I thought of moving everything from the kitchen into either the dining room side or the family room side but then I didn’t know what to do with the middle of the room which I guess with your inspiration could have been just a really nice Butler’s pantry or an office or something like that but at the time I didn’t think of it. Can’t wait to see what happens with yours. You’re still my inspiration

  16. I hate to see you cut up that beautiful family room with a washer and dryer. Even the new ones are not super quiet. Could you put them in the storage off the studio? Love the idea of the dining room put where the living room is.

    1. She could sound proof the laundry with sound deadening insulation. And its easy not to do laundry when hosting guests or sleeping

  17. I didn’t leave a comment yesterday, because that would have been my suggestion: turn the current living room into a dining room when the family has become your de facto living room. I was afraid of starting exactly that train of thought, but it is fabulous to read that you have discovered the source for the problems back then and can now envision a different, working, beautiful solution with this room. I had always asked myself what the function of this room would be when you have the big family room done and thought it would be some formal reception kinda room. That would be fine if all other needs are covered. But with you actually finding that you want a dining room for catering to your friends (such a wonderful development!!!), this area right next to the kitchen is just perfect.
    I do get your wish of some sort of separation between the master bedroom to be and the family room, but I thought the most important reason would be to have a door there for Matt so that he doesn’t have to go through countless rooms in order to get to bed. To me though, the positioning of the laundry room in the middle of that living area is the thing that feels a bit odd now, esp regarding humidity. Is there any way the laundry room could be moved towards the room opposite the half bath next to your studio or is that too far away?
    and btw, I love the idea of having that wall of wardrobe and storage in your bed room. I imagine it will be much easier for Matt as well to get to stuff rather than having to navigate the closet? I’m excited for you to improve on your thoughts and plans and getting started 😉 Have a great – hopefully relaxing – weekend.

  18. Love the idea of moving the dining room into the current living room – it’s a great use of that space for your needs! Ditto to the suggestion to have some sort of separator between the DR and the entry (credenza?)
    And totally agree that having a mini hall way to the Primary bedroom is the way to go. I think the only further suggestion would be to arrange it such that there is not a direct line of sight into your bedroom from a public space (as it’s drawn now, I would def end up in a situation where I could be getting dressed @ the PAX’s and if the door opened it’d be a show 😀
    Maybe something along these lines – it’d get the laundry room to the external wall, & provide a small vestibule for the bedroom https://imgur.com/a/5tYJhnf

  19. Kristi, I so agree with keeping the small hallway to your bedroom. Since you have the option to create the hallway, it will keep your BR properly private -especially important since all guests will be going fairly straight into the beautiful new gathering room. It would bug you to no end to have your (possibly unmade!) bed *right there*. And of course yes to making the formal LR into your DR. In another era, entertaining was different. While it’s nice to have a room which has staying pretty as its day-to-day job, most of us don’t really use a formal LR today.

  20. Just to add my two cents: Will your dryer be on a slab? If so, it is best to have it vent directly to the outside from an outside wall. I’ve had a dryer that had an underground vent, and I ended up replacing my heating element on my dryer every few years, which was frustrating, Running a vent line under concrete just doesn’t work usually and causes your dryer to get too hot, which causes your heating element to go out often. Something to think about.

        1. The contractor recommended concrete slab on grade. I was a little shocked. I was just assuming it would be pier and beam. But actually both of the contractors I met with suggested slab.

  21. I think the breakfast nook would make a better dining room. Its close to the kitchen and family room. Plus people will not feel cramped in just the family room, when they can mingle between the living room and family room. I am not sure how many you plan to serve at the table, but the counter top on the kitchen could serve a buffet (where your planning a door) and the other extended counter top could serve as an eating area with stools for more seating. Matt could sit at the head of the table and still have room to move around. I personally like my house to flow from one living area, through the game room, to the other living area. No one feels cramped that way. Also I have 2 full kitchens on each end of the house, to help with cleanup and preparing meals. That way there aren’t too many cooks in the kitchen ! And for those thinking it, I don’t have/hire help. I love having get-togethers and family times and doing it all myself.

  22. It sounds like a good idea for the dining room/living room swap as long as you don’t mind walking in the front door to the dining room. What if you moved the laundry room to be back to back (as suggested by many) with the hall bathroom and move the entry door to your bedroom to the back outside wall instead of the inside wall as you have it in the picture?

  23. This all makes perfect sense. I too hate entry into a private space off of a living space. So many houses near our last home (built in 2007) had a primary bedroom accessed directly from the living room, and it seemed odd to me. As much as it also seems odd to have a small-ish room bumping into the family room. I see your need for a “hallway” leading to the bedroom. I was one who suggested the living room turned dining after taking in all the pros/cons of your living needs.I do have a couple of suggestions, one of which we did as a requirement for our HOA. They have a weird rule that any wall longer than 16 feet must have a window or door to break up the visual appearance on the exterior. Our back wall was over 20 ft., so we added a 2ft.x 6 ft. window high on the primary bdrm. wall where we planned to put our bed. We actually loved it when we saw it, and so does anyone who sees it. It does not bother us with the light, as it is over our heads, and accents the headboard as well. My other suggestion is also a window — on the wall of the proposed family room, when facing the room from the kitchen, to the right wall. this wall with a window would have the carport visible in it. I would assume there will either be a patio space there, or a garden type planting, and it would be nice to have a flood of light for the room coming from that direction. I love light-filled spaces, and would have a mostly glass house if I could, but that may not be how you feel. However, I think you might need a couple more windows somewhere, or maybe a full view door on the wall opposite the carport.

  24. At first thought it feels odd to enter into the dining room. But then I remembered the music room doors will be open and that will give a glimpse into a seating area. I like it! As for the laundry room. Perhaps you could put it on the shared bathroom wall and then create a pony wall with columns to separate on the other side. (Mimicking the living room to music room entry.) This would leave a more open feel in the family room but, give you your sense of an entry way to the master bedroom. Perhaps the nook this would make would be large enough for a small game/puzzle table and some chairs for a small area to just sit and play a board game or write a note etc.
    Sheila F.

  25. I would not have a dedicated DR. I would use the breakfast room for you & Matt and Mom. Say, up to 4 people. You’re not having diners flooding your house 24/7. Buy one of the long, folding extendable tables that looks like a credenza until you have guests over. Pull it out as far as you need to. Have chairs that match that fold and store them in a different room or the garage until they’re needed.
    I saw one on Amazon to give you the idea: CWKISS Extendable Console Table, 20 to 118.50in Folding Dining Table, Multipurpose Collapsible Drop Leaf Extension, Versatile Space Saving Desk Furniture, Accent Table Small Tea Table (White Oak)
    Not sure I like this particular table. My Aunt & Uncle had one in their 12′ wide mobile home 40+ years ago and I was thrilled we visited them. There was plenty of room for the whole famn damily including my 6’8″ 300 lb uncle! I know there are much nicer tables than this one out there but I’m so house poor right now, Amazon is the only website my bank account allows me to look at! LOL
    This will give you lots more room for Matt to maneuver his chair around in and legs and stuff to vacuum around/under. I have 4 cats and seriously thought about hanging my furniture from the ceiling!
    Your LR is beautiful and after everything you did to get there and make it perfect, I cannot watch you turn it into a DR! Don’t make me drive to Waco and stage a sit-in in the middle of your LR! LOL
    Also, having a game table in the FR would also give you extra dining space when you really have a crowd! Chairs and sofas can be moved back to the walls to make space for the credenza style folding table.

  26. Krisit – if you’ve decided that the nook isn’t going to be for dining, have you considered running the laundry room all the way across? I could easily live without a master walk in closet, but I would really miss my large laundry room where I can have a drying rack, sink, ironing board, steamer etc. Just a thought!

  27. I concur with the laundry/hallway situation. Yes, there are some homes that have a personal bedroom open right into a public space but I would try to avoid that if possible. The privacy factor may be large at times for Matt, and the hallway will accomplish this. Now that you don’t have a closet on that wall, you may want to insulate for sound. It’s a very cheap upgrade and one that’s a hassle to do after the fact.
    Living room turned into dining room makes a lot of sense. It will be spacious for large gatherings and you’ll love it. I’d honestly try your living room furniture in the new family room before furnishing the family room. What you have currently is great; you may just need additional seating. The beauty of one large living space rather than two is that you only have to furnish one room.

  28. You are going to have to move the doorway to the bedroom further down the wall if you are going to have that wonderful full length of wardrobes. So it does suggest that the laundry needs to move too along too, which means it make sense to move it towards the bathroom wall. A sky light tube and decent extractor fan would solve all those issues which cause people to want it on an external wall. Totally get the need for bedroom privacy though. She says, while lying in bed looking out our door into our lounge room! Since one wall of our bedroom is French doors and glass panels, to enjoy the sea view via our internal front verandah, entire front wall of French doors and glass panels, and external front verandah, and overlooks our front entry, privacy isn’t a thing we worry about much. We just close the curtains when we hear someone arriving. BTW I also live with a full wall (top to bottom) of wardrobes. We love them. Although it is a little challenging to use the top cupboards, since our ceilings are 12’ and I am only a tad taller than you. Luckily I married a 6’6” bloke and we own a step ladder! Go for it K! I’ve gathered my courage to read all about the transition of the front room into a dining room, take #12? Ha ha!

  29. I’m trying to picture entering a home through a dining room. We ended up turning ours into a second living room. We already have a kitchen table that works 99% of the time. It’s great when two people want to watch different things or when family visits and the kids go watch a movie and the grownups talk in the other room. I have a double drop-leaf dining table that is the size of a console table folded, but seats 4-6 when it’s open. I also have vintage folding dining chairs I can pull out if needed. I HAVE the capacity to host but it’s not in my space all the time.

    If this were me, I think I’d move the pantry over into the new space so it’s still by the back door and the kitchen. Then I’d expand the breakfast area into a larger dining space that can flex with a “murphy’ table or a dropleaf to accommodate more people when it’s needed. Two separate eating areas seems less functional than two separate social areas, at least for my own lifestyle. For parties, it would still give three major social zones spaced around the kitchen (which is always a popular hangout). You could seat a lot of guests in one place very close to the food instead of splitting them up in two rooms. This could also help reinforce the feeling of a hallway to the new master bedroom by creating a vestibule into the family room.

    It’s really fun hearing your design thoughts on this whole process. I wish I had the space and funds to add on to my house but I can’t easily move walls here since it’s 130 years old. It’s fascinating seeing you move things all around in your home to fit your needs. I can’t wait to see the finished addition!

  30. I know you mentioned not wanting to extend the square footage of the addition more than what you are currently considering; but wondered if you had thought about extending the addition out a few more feet on the right side (extending it to the right). Based on your current plans, you have a square area on the right between the planned family room, the carport and the wheelchair ramp. You could leave the carport and wheelchair ramp as is and build out a nook in that square space which should allow plenty of room for a dining table and even a buffet if desired. Given the small footprint of the nook and that it would share the back wall with the rest of the addition, I would think that the cost would not be extremely higher. Also, complete subject change, but as you plan out the laundry area, you have a few options. Given that your new washer and dryer are stackable (I know as I’ve been considering purchasing the same ones), you could make more of a laundry closet which would give your reading nook a bit more space. If you want additional storage in the laundry area, (whether the W/D are stacked or not) keep IKEA in mind for that as well. Their various cabinets are used extensively in laundry rooms and laundry cabinets.

  31. Walk in closets are something that we are supposed to believe to be luxurious and something we need. But do we really?
    I was going to suggest the living room for the dining room yesterday, but thought she’ll never do it😉. It makes sense. Unless you and Matt like to be in different rooms doing different things how many places do you need to sit.? A game/snack/puzzle table would be great for that corner in the family room.

  32. Is the breakfast room large enough for a dinning room? It is close to the kitchen. What if you put the closets along the wall between the bedroom and the family room? Seems like your company would like eating in the family room even if the table and chairs took up space in that room. I’m just thinking out loud.

  33. You build a house for you and your house is just for you and Matt so what is weird about a door from your main living area to the bedroom? You could have lovely double doors to (pocket ?) create a moment. But having said that I really like the idea of the front room going back to be a dining room. In the end only you know how you want to live in the space. Have fun!

  34. I thought about the “livingroom to dining room” on your last post, but didn’t mention it because I thought “she would NEVER do that again!!!” 😂😂😂
    But it just might work – can’t wait to see what you come up with!

  35. I understand that the closet near the studio entry that houses the hot water tank is too small for a laundry room, but what about the nearby bathroom? Is it large enough to accommodate stacked machines (unless that’s awkward for a person your height), a utility sink and an adjacent counter? That would give you space to clean up during/after art projects, though obviously you’d also be heading to the guest bath now and then.

    1. It’s also too small to hold the washer and dryer. And sadly, I’m too short to have them stacked. I measured, and while I think I could reach the controls on the dryer, I wouldn’t be able to see the settings without using a step stool.

  36. This is so exciting – so many possibilities!
    Could the wheelchair ramp go directly into the family room? (Or maybe that’s not an option because of the grade required?)
    For making an “entryway”, to give some separation to your new dining room (currently living room), could you put in a couple of pony walls (re-create the much-missed pony walls from your music room)?
    For having your washer/dryer back onto the hall bath, could you sit your laundry room in the wall so it is sitting half in the master bedroom, half in the family room, so it basically interrupts the wall (but is all enclosed in cabinets/behind doors etc) and then have all of your Ikea PAX wardrobes continue on the same wall in the bedroom, and have a wall of cabinets/TV etc continue on the same wall in the family room (so you have a full wall of cabinets on both sides of the same wall), with the door to your bedroom at the top (by the outside wall)? This means there are 2 cabinet depths separating your bedroom from the family room and there isn’t a laundry room bump-out anywhere, as it’s just integrated into the double set of cabinets (bonus: you can add a hatch to access the back of the W/D easily for maintenance, instead of pulling them out). Also, if your bedroom door is at the top, even if you leave your bedroom door open and someone saw inside, you’ve got the double-doors leading outside at that side, so I guess visitors won’t see your bed in that spot, maybe just a chair and table or something?

  37. Just a thought, but the breakfast room could be a very logical place for a dining room. With the view of the kitchen it would not be a formal space, but most of us no longer entertain in that manner. Personally, I would not care to have my house’s main entrance in the dining area. I have always liked the idea of a more formal living room, and a relaxing family room.

  38. If it was my decision, I’d for sure use the addition space for the living room and use the front room for dining. Like you, I also think it would be weird to have my bedroom open directly into the living area, and would absolutely put some sort of hallway there.

  39. Love your idea of changing the Living Room to the Dining Room at the front of the house. I’m in Australia so things may be done a bit differently here but going with this layout will allow dining inside in cold weather and dining outside in warm weather and this way you don’t end up with two dining areas (inside and outside) right next to one another which sometimes can look a little odd. With regards to your laundry room, I love that it creates a separation for the master bedroom entrance however could you make it slightly narrower and run the full length to where the deck would be, then possibly put a door to the deck from the laundry room. In good weather we would often hang our washing outside, so easy access if you do this where you are. Also another thing that is quite trendy (and useful) is a dog wash station in the laundry room (and sometimes the dog bed as well). Something like this would be fabulous if it is something you would use as part of your normal routines. https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/89368373844390521/ or this https://www.facebook.com/488355921193617/photos/a.1241400065889195/3623657924330052/?type=3

  40. I think it makes a lot of sense to turn your living room into your dining room. Having enough room for Matt to get around in is important.
    One of our children had a diving accident 25 years ago, and has used a power wheelchair ever since. Making our ranch house work for him was a priority before he came home three months later.

    I don’t remember if Matt uses a power chair, and I don’t remember if turning radius issues are different for manual and power wheelchairs.
    The time to look into it is now. My son could turn around in his bedroom, the family room or the kitchen. Our rarely used dining room he can access through the kitchen, and pull up to the end of the table there or through the living room, and pull up to that side. He has to back up out of the dining room from either position. And we have to move furniture in preparation, if he goes through the LR. Doable, but not ideal.

    He no longer lives with us, but he and his wife, who also uses a power chair, join us for dinner on occasion. Their house has a very open floor plan–no hallways, unless you count the very wide (8-9 feet?) foyer between the garage and the office.

  41. Kristi
    I love your blog and have followed you since you lived in the small condo. I have a request…when I open your blog I can’t find the most recent post without wading through other posts. I usually end up scrolling down to find something that looks recent and then using the ‘previous’ and ‘next’ buttons to get caught up. Am I missing something? Is there a link I’m not seeing? Keep up the good work and I’ll keep checking in
    Ellen

    1. On the home page, at the very top, there’s a button that says “See the most recent blog posts”. In the section under that (the four pictures with labels), the last one says, “the latest blog posts”. If you click on either one of those buttons, they take you to the same page where all of my posts are listed in chronological order, from the newest to the oldest.