Preliminary Floor Plans.

We spent a few hours at the architects reviewing preliminary floor plans today.  Here is what we have so far.

Main Floor

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The side of the house with the family room, dining room and kitchen will be facing the pond and field.  That whole area is open and will have a cascading ceiling.   The dining room higher than the kitchen, and the family room higher than the dining room.  Outside of the dining room will be a cover patio, where you can see the BBQ sketched in.

Upper Floor

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The upper floor has the bedrooms.  With a nice reading nook off of the master bedroom that is a few stairs up and separated from the main bedroom.

Lower Floor

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The lower floor will be a daylight basement, with a entrance to a small covered patio off of the rec room.

We have made a few modification to these plans at the architects today, but nothing major. Next step is to start working on the exterior and elevations.

Good Luck Dave

Well we have finished deciding what the inside of our home should contain and now the architect has the job of drawing out what it will look like.  The exterior of the home has proved to be a challenge.  Steve likes the more modern look of glass walls and flat sloped roofs.  I like the more traditional look of peaked roofs and while I do like windows I prefer not to live in a glass box.  As these two styles are so far off from each other the challenge becomes finding a compromise.  I also think the way I envision the inside of the house reflects the way I see the outside.  I can’t imagine the visual I have for the inside having the outside Steve likes.

We have spent hours searching through photos trying to find things we agree on and have each picked three that the other is ok with.  There are 5 in total.  We overlapped on one.  We are hoping that with that Dave will be able to come up with something preliminary before we go to Hawaii.

I have found this whole process a bit overwhelming.  As it is a custom home you have many decisions to make.  We have not even gotten to the finishes which I am trying to get Steve to start thinking about now.  He said at the beginning I could pick whatever I wanted but he did not mean that.  I am sure that Dave will give suggestions based on his experience and that will further confuse the issue.  I could have everything set in my mind then he will have a suggestion and gives us the reason why which usually makes sense and then our plans are out the window.

The square footage is quite large on the home.  Originally Steve had said the guest room would be in my craft cabin.  I did not think this was the best solution because when the people who visit most frequently his parents come they want to see the kids.  I thought it would be nice to have it be in the house not isolated.  In the end he agreed.  There will still be a little living space in the craft cabin.  (Although we have not started that yet)  So now we have 5 bedrooms.  Our room, the girls each have a room, au pair room, and guest room.  I have considered having the girls share a room but I remember sharing with my sister and it was such a hassle.  I also think then they can have their rooms as their private space to go when they need quiet time.  I think Zoe is starting to be like me and is much happier when she gets some down time.

We have also decided to get small walk-in closets for the girls rooms.  Zoe really wanted one and I think it will be better as we don’t want dressers in the room.  Also I hate the folding doors and would rather have pocket doors so this works.  They will be small but you will be able to step into them.

Our Architect Dave asked us to think about long term in the house when we designed it.  This came up when we had 5 bedrooms because at some point that will be too many.  But once the girls move out we could sell and move somewhere so I didn’t see the problem.  I suggested we put less built ins in the rooms so that they can be re purposed as we don’t need them.  Such as the Au Pair room.  At some point the kids will be too old and Zoe could move to that room if she wanted more privacy, it could be an extra guest room, office, or hobby room if one of the girls needs it.  Maybe we will fill it with horse related items. 🙂

Steve and I have been together almost 25 years now and have been through good and bad times but I think this may be one of the hardest things we have done together.  I am sure it will make us closer and stronger in the end but right now I think we both want to strangle the other sometimes.  I know he often looks at me like I am totally nuts when I say something and I do the same to him.  And hey if it makes us need space I will just go live in my craft cabin for a bit lol

Programming Process

Ok this is not programming in the way the computer geeks out there will think.  We are in the programming phase of our home building.  This entails sitting for hours and hours with the Architect and going over in detail what we want in every room and where we want it located in relation to the other rooms.  It took over an hour and a half to talk about the entry from the garage.  What I would call the mudroom but the Architect calls the postern.

I lost my fight for the separate dining room for our big dining table and butlers pantry.  In the end I was convinced for the amount of time we would use the room it was not worth allocating the space.  So it will be open plan with kitchen/dining/great room.  Our big table will be out in the open.  We were going to have an eating nook built into the kitchen but with some seating at the island and the huge dining table I thought it was a bit redundant.

Our master bedroom ended up being smaller than we were thinking.  We are taking the tv out of it and going to have a separate sitting area for reading and watching tv.  I think this will make our room less cluttered and more cozy and restful.  Our bathroom was interesting too.  Steve wants a walk through shower.  He doesn’t want to feel like he is on display when he is in the shower.  Right now the kids like to hang out in the bathroom and one of Ainsley’s favourite things is to watch you in the shower.  She always says “I want to watch you” lol.  I am hoping when we move they spend less time in our area and we will have a lock on our bathroom door.  I don’t want to feel like I am showering in a dark cave.  He said there could be frosted windows to the outside in the shower but I also don’t want to put a show on for anyone.  Although it is very private.

Well this is a long post so I will post more as we go along.  I will also try to get some pictures up of the current buildings on the property.  I have not seen inside the house because we are not able to get in it is locked and dead bolted.  We can unlock it but not get the deadbolt open.  I did peek in some windows.

So far I have discovered that what I went in thinking I wanted is not really what I wanted.  The David (the Architect) keeps asking us questions and showing us pictures of other homes they have done that cause us to change our minds.  One house they did nicknamed the Hobbit House because of the round door is amazing.  I loved the kitchen but it was made for the lady of the house who is an avid cook and does dinner parties with plated meals.  It is way more kitchen then I would ever need.  I do hope to cook more once we move in and I have an amazing kitchen.

The kitchen was something I had not thought of except you see the pictures of the huge kitchens with the island and all the bells and whistles and think wow.  Well David chatted with us about function and asked how I cooked. When Steve finally stopped laughing about my cooking.  I told him that my cooking was very chaotic and I was not an organized cook.  He then told us about how the kitchen should be arranged.  The prep area with a sink likely on the island, the clean up area with a sink and where the dishwasher is located also where the dishes are stored, and the hot area where the cooking is done.  These areas are all separate and can have people using them at the same time even without having a huge kitchen.  Maybe the dishes get stored in a floor to ceiling cupboard so those of us that can not reach past the second shelf in our upper cupboards have an easier time and the kids are also able to then help with clean up.  I am planning on getting two ovens in there.  One of which will be under the cook top which in our home now is a storage area for garbage bags and other such things.  David has given us lots of ideas for storage of appliances and has convinced me to get the thing that your mixer sits on and pops up to counter level so you don’t have to lift it.  So perhaps I will use my kitchen aide mixer more.  Or as I have offered to one friend perhaps my friends that can cook will come teach me in exchange for a night or two in my craft cabin.  I also had someone ask if they could come cook in my kitchen and I said anytime as long as I got to eat the food.

We also are now going to have a three level house with a walk out basement.  Which was not really something I was looking for.  Again David suggested that maybe the playroom be downstairs because as the kids got older they would have a place to hang out that was out of the way.  In the end we agreed and it worked out because we may put the media room, exercise room (maybe we will use it 🙂 ) and au pair room downstairs.  This means our au pair would have the playroom area as a tv room/hang out space when she was not working when the kids are in bed and would be able to come and go from the house through the basement.

Our laundry room was a bit up in the air.  Upper level by bedrooms which I have now.  I find I do the laundry put in the the basket back in the room and then it sits there until it is worn then it starts again.  When my laundry was on the lower level I folded the laundry while watching tv took it up and put it away.  In the end we decided to put the laundry in the postern/mudroom on the main floor.  This will also mean the au pair will go up one level to the laundry room and it will be extra exercise for me to take my stuff up and down the stairs.  I may be sorry about this decision but oh well.

Design process begins

We spent the day from 9:30-5 with the Architect talking about how we wanted to use our new house and what function we wanted.  We spent 2 hours discussing entryways.  We also discussed great room, dining, and kitchen spaces.

This part I think is easier for Steve because he can visualize the space and size of rooms.  I need to be in the space to be able to tell how big it is.  We now have to figure out how many feet of storage we want in our mudroom area.  While I can see in my mind what I want I cannot figure out how much space it requires.  This will be Steves job.

We go back on Friday to talk more this time for 4 hours.  There will likely be a couple more full days of talks before they have a rough sketch of a floor plan.

Steve and I have been able to agree on most things and compromise.  He did not really say much about the kitchen and let me run with it and I will leave the den/library to him.  I do think the den/library should be close to our room so that it will be a quiet space for him to escape to and work in.  We did disagree about a bathroom that would be accessed from outside and not connected to the inside of the house.  Steve was for it so the girls wouldn’t have to come in and take their shoes off to use bathroom I was against because there are other things I would much rather have.

After all of this part the hard part is going to be the reality phase where we figure out if the house we have now created is in our budget.  We had discussed the budget with the architect so they are aware of what our ball park is.

I am sure Steve will be sharing his thoughts.  So far this process while a bit long does have merit.  It is helpful to have someone give suggestions and say why they think that may or may not work for you.  Ultimately we do decide but we would be foolish not to listen to people who have experience and at least consider what they say.