minutia press.
New house?

We've been quietly looking around for a place to move. We really like our house, especially the kitchen and den, but are looking for a little more room in the basement and yard. With 3 kids and a dog, it would be nice to have a little more room to play and run around. And I'd like a place for an air hockey table in the basement.

It turns out there are house plans online that you can look at in some detail and they buy. The price is way below what you'd pay an architect to do something from scratch, and the sites have search capabilities to help find plans that fit your parameters.

So I've been looking at plans online, and there are some amazing things out there. One had a pool on the main floor with a slide from the second floor into the pool. My favorite house so far is this one.

The rooms upstairs are a good size and a standard shape. Each has a bathroom, which is a luxury thing but could work well. The main floor has a nice plan too, with a "hearth room" (called a "keeping" room in the plan) that seems to be so popular these days.

What do you think of this house? What would you change?


The fact that your house would have a salon is cool enough for me. Then you can invite your guests "to the veranda for a spot of tea before we retire to the salon for a rousing round of charades. tut tut, old boy." They need to find a better name for the attic though. After seing "Upper Grand Salon" and "Keeping Room", "Attic" seems out of place.

In all (or at least "more") seriousness though, it seems like a cool design. Where are you thinking of building?

Posted by: Chris Hill Festival at June 21, 2004 10:13 PM

If I'm looking at the plans right, it seems the master bedroom is located on the ground floor?

The only experience I've had with that is a friend of the family whose parents sleep in a bedroom on the ground floor; the kids are on the younger side and are more comfortable sleeping on the couch in the living room, i.e. on the same floor as the parents, rather than upstairs in their own bedrooms.

Other than that I think you should hold "Clue"-themed dinner parties. "It was Colonel Mustard in the keeping room with the revolver!" :)

Posted by: Amy at June 21, 2004 10:43 PM

What is my obsession with floor plans?

First of all, I love the entryway with the big spiral staircase. Definitely one of the best features.

Secondly, it's HUGE! I mean wow. I don't think I would have a clue what to do with all that space, even if I did have three kids. Although perhaps if I *did* have three kids I would change my mind.

Third, do you really need to have MORE BATHROOMS THAN PEOPLE? (I'm counting the two half baths downstairs). If I could redesign it, I would make the upstairs have two big shared baths. I've seen interesting designs where a bathroom (meant for two people) is sectioned into three rooms: sink #1, toilet+shower, sink #2. That way you compromise -- you still get privacy, but without the excessiveness of having a full bathroom for every bedroom. If you did that, then you could make the bedrooms and/or closets bigger. Ahem. I mean "State Rooms".

I need to go to bed before I start poring over all the floor plans on this site, just for the fun of it. I think something is wrong with me.

Posted by: light at June 22, 2004 2:31 AM

Holy cow! That's quite a house! I agree about the bathrooms, design it so there are two toilets in the master area. Put two heads in the master shower, maybe even outfit it with a bench and steam. If the kids take dance or martial arts lessons, put a large section of wood floor in the basement, mirror one wall and put up a ballet barre. I would have loved that when I was a kid. You could change those individual upstairs bathrooms into Jack & Jill with one shower/tub and two toilets/sinks each. Having the kitchen open to a family room or "keeping" is wonderful. The stairs are very dramatic, as is the elevation. The second staircase is great, too. Keeps the kids off the main stair. I love the fact that the library is accessible from the master. It's hard to read, but is that a coffee bar in the master bath area? Very impressive. All you need is a guy from Starbucks to stand there and make your daily carmel machiado while handing you the morning paper!

Posted by: Dana Shear at June 22, 2004 1:23 PM

I am also a big fan of floor plans. When my dad was transferred to Houston when I was 12, he brought home lots of floor plans and photos of houses they were considering. I would pore over them and figure out what would go where late into the night. I even brought them to school to show my friends, who thought I was a total geek. (Houston was a complete change for my family--in the Northeast, or at least in northwest New Jersey, people don't build houses so much as move into older ones. In the South, there is almost no such thing as a home older than 25 years. So the houses in Houston are generally immaculate, but there's not a lot of history to speak of.)

My parents' bedroom is also downstairs, while the three kids' rooms are upstairs. But we also had intercoms so we could buzz them if we were sick or needed something. (Don't laugh--I used this feature up until last Christmas, when I needed my mom to bring me Pepto-Bismol.)

All in all, this one seems very good. I think the upstairs rooms are great because they're all roughly the same size (kids get weird about things like that). I also really like the idea of a morning/breakfast room. It will be a beautiful home to entertain in.

Now you've got me thinking about what I want for my house! Guess playing The Sims will have to suffice :)

Posted by: Rachel at June 22, 2004 1:39 PM