Archives for February 2016

I think we have the winner! {our remodel floor plan}

I think we have the winner! {our remodel floor plan}House Beautiful

At long last, we have a floor plan that I really believe is THE winner! Finally, right? If we get our contractor’s thumbs up, we will call it official. I so appreciate all of your great ideas and for following along with this renovation!

Over the past few months as I’ve been getting to know this house, I’ve shared inspiration for various ways we could reimagine our kitchen and rework the interior space we have to work with. We explored every idea, from leaving the kitchen layout as is and just doing a cosmetic update, to moving the kitchen layout to the dining room and creating a banquette in the current kitchen.

Each idea had its merits, but as is true for most “budget” remodels, each one is going to have its downsides, too. So the question is which downsides can we live with and which merits really speak to us?

Our starting point has always been to work within the footprint of the house, with a goal of doing only what will enhance the livability for our family as well as make the most of what this home has to offer. It is a great little house and we want to take advantage of each affordable opportunity to enhance what it already has going for it.

For those of you who enjoy thinking through the detailed puzzle of a home remodel or are going to embark on a similar journey soon, this post and the part two tomorrow is for you! If details like floor plans and thinking through what walls or doors to remove just overwhelms you, feel free to just enjoy the pretty inspiration photos. :)

In this post:

Before and proposed floor plan sketches of our main floor

Before photos of our kitchen

Inspiration photos (not necessarily our style or exact ideas, but just a few fun visuals for similar layouts)

Part two tomorrow: more explanation of the changes, more house photos, and a closer look at where doors, stairs and walls could be opened up

I think we have the winner! {our remodel floor plan}

Current floor plan (above)

I think we have the winner! {our remodel floor plan}

Proposed remodel floor plan (above)

Above you’ll find our new proposed floor plan for the kitchen and dining area. (Note: The island shape, size, and placement are TBD. This floor plan also does not yet include another bathroom. We would like to add one on this floor eventually and you guys had some great ideas for locations, so we will tackle where it should go in a future plan).

This floor plan includes some important changes to door ways and to the staircase, so stay tuned for PART TWO tomorrow for explanations and photos of the rest of the proposed changes!)

If you want to follow along more easily as you go through the rest of the post, you might want to scroll back up to the before and after plans to start to make more sense of the changes and each of the following photos!

Interestingly, the new plan above was formed from the original idea we had the very first day we looked at the house, which was to move the sink to the back wall of the current kitchen. Moving the sink to the far wall seemed to be the obvious choice, but we didn’t know the house well enough at that point to see how we could overcome some of the floor plan roadblocks.

I think we have the winner! {our remodel floor plan}
The two main reasons we felt moving the sink to that side of the kitchen wouldn’t work were 1) we thought the window was too low for a counter (we’ve confirmed it isn’t too low at all, it was just an optical illusion) 2) once we realized the window wasn’t actually too low, we didn’t like that in order to have a view of the backyard, the sink would be squished to one side of the kitchen and off center in the space.

I think we have the winner! {our remodel floor plan}

our summer plans include painting that little shed…

After considering lots of ideas and layouts (including our last plan of moving the sink to under the dining room window and reorienting the kitchen to that space, a plan we thought might be our winner for a number of reasons!) we finally decided that perhaps most effective way to solve the floor plan woes (and give our kitchen sink a view out the back) was to go back to our original idea and solve the window dilemma. Phew!

I think we have the winner! {our remodel floor plan}

So here’s what we have decided! We could offer the sink the best placement and view to the backyard and Puget Sound beyond by adding a window in the vicinity where the microwave was located (see before photo, above).

If we removed the entire wall and doorway on the left, which is where the current stove is, between the kitchen and dining room, it would give the sink and entire kitchen more breathing room and also expand the space visually into the dining room.

I think we have the winner! {our remodel floor plan}

With this entire wall gone, we will be able to see the window in the dining room and beyond into the living room!

I think we have the winner! {our remodel floor plan}

We would locate a new stove where the sink is currently located (see above), centering it on the long counter (we may need to remove the window that is currently there, TBD!).

I think we have the winner! {our remodel floor plan}

Our new counter would wrap around under the windows at the regular counter height (not on a lower level as they are now) offering lots of work space under the windows between the stove and the sink (see layout inspiration, below).

I think we have the winner! {our remodel floor plan}

Corner kitchen inspiration with wrap around windows, Wettling Architects

I think we have the winner! {our remodel floor plan}

A new fridge could be located in the same spot as the current fridge.

Along with this new kitchen layout, we realized we would be able to open up quite a few unnecessary interior doorways and walls, allowing the entire main floor to flow better. Each space would feel more open and light-filled, but still charming and cozy.

If you want to see the ideas we have for opening up the rest of the house and the photos to show how it will all flow together, stay tuned for tomorrows post, PART TWO of our new plan!

I think we have the winner! {our remodel floor plan}

Atlanta Homes Magazine / Interior Design – Susan B. Welty, Susan B. Welty Interiors
Architecture – Scott Newton

Looking at inspiration photos really helps me to start to reimagine our new kitchen and floor plan layout. I hope it helps you visualize, too! I can’t wait to start pulling together specific kitchen elements and designing this space.

Thank you for following along (and not falling dead away from trying to keep up with my house tour and the twists and turns in our plans!). I appreciate all your enthusiasm and great ideas!

Click HERE to see Part Two of our remodel plans!

Related Posts:

7 Tips for Planning A Kitchen Remodel

6 Ways to Make Your Kitchen Feel Bigger (my guide on eBay)

Before and after floor plans of our last kitchen remodel (flashback!)

The Most Important Thing You Need Before Remodeling

The Most Important Thing You Need Before Remodelingvia BHG and Simple Details Blog

As we are in the midst of renovating our side yard and planning our future interior remodel, I’ve been reminded of one thing you need that will always lead success with a remodel. If you don’t have this one thing, you probably aren’t ready to start renovating.

You have to have FLEXIBILITY if you want a successful outcome to home remodeling projects.

It’s really nice when projects come together just as you expected (that’s definitely a good goal), but being prepared in advance for a few unexpected experiences definitely makes the whole process less stressful and more successful.

Being flexible means you’ll be less stressed.

Last week I was told our concrete would be poured. It wasn’t. That’s not the contractor’s fault. It was the weather’s fault. If we had a big party planned for next week, we would’ve been totally stressed by the delay and the mess.

We have been inconvenienced by not having a fence around our yard, by having contractors outside of our window (and inside when we’ve done interior work in the past!), we had rats in our garage, we have stuff laying around outside that won’t be cleaned up until the projects are done. Remodeling projects often come with chaos, mistakes, messes, delays and rescheduling of contractors, so the ability to go with the flow will give you a greater sense of control.

The Most Important Thing You Need Before Remodeling

Being flexible offers you opportunities to make better decisions. 

As our project got underway, it became clear that the existing porch we had originally planned to keep wouldn’t look as great or flow as well into our new patio or steps. If we left it as it was, we’d be somewhat disappointed in the finished project. We really wanted our porch to be attractive next to our new concrete and of course, next to the dream Dutch door. : ) That future visual sealed the deal for us, ha! Being flexible allowed us to make the right choice for this project.

The Most Important Thing You Need Before Remodeling

Being flexible allows you to correct mistakes and not perpetuate more problems.

We wished we had made the decision to redo the entire porch when the rest of the concrete was removed, but our budget conscious side had originally resisted doing more than seemed necessary. And darn, that delayed decision and lack of careful planning cost us more money. Being a little flexible with your design plan and budget helps you to swallow your pride to correct the mistake. Flexibility allows you to be confident in your new decisions so you’ll avoid additional problems that you may eventually regret.

Being flexible helps you to navigate the decisions without a breakdown.

Unexpected things happen when you remodel. Decisions need to made. Sometimes you realize as you go that you want or need to do a bit more (or less) than you originally planned on, you and your spouse might disagree on decisions, or your contractor might find a problem he didn’t expect. Flexibility will definitely help you to navigate the unexpected and maintain your sanity.

The Most Important Thing You Need Before Remodeling

You save money when you are flexible with expectations and creative with solutions.

Being flexible means you can save money along the way, too, and still end up with a great project! Sometimes you save in the long run because you are able to group projects together to save on labor costs. But flexibility doesn’t always mean you have to do more or spend more money to get the results you want. Flexibility while maintaining a budget means you will be creative with solutions and complete projects at a pace and timeline that makes sense for your family.

The Most Important Thing You Need Before Remodeling

Wanting to finish the side porch now means we need to be flexible. We stay on budget by being totally fine with choosing not-as-expensive concrete surfaces as opposed to insisting on finishing with beautiful stone work. It means we will save additional projects in this space for a future time. It means we had to limit this project to the side porch this year, and not go on to the back patio or the front porch until we were ready to tackle another project. It meant we had to start our renovation outside instead of inside.

When you have a big vision and want to do ALL THE THINGS now, it’s hard to be patient and content on a budget! Flexibility means we will be able to do the best we can with what we have right now and be grateful for what we are able to do (rather than be impatient about what we can’t do or be tempted to overspend).

Renovating a house inside or out can be a stressful (and expensive) experience, but the more flexible you can be, the better the end result for your project, your family, your budget and your sanity.

The Most Important Thing You Need Before Remodeling