I’ve had a few distractions from this blog lately, one of which is, WE’VE FINALLY BROKEN GROUND!
Here it is! This is facing the front of the house. Just a hole in the ground at this point. It’s one of those things, like a baby’s first tooth, that only the parents of said baby are really interested in. But I had to pass it along. We’re actually beginning to build the house we’ve been planning for so long! It’s just such a relief. We’ve been living in this apartment for 4 months, with no tangible signs of progress. And now, here it is! This thing might actually happen.
The other distraction in my life lately is SketchUp. This program has been on my radar for a few years, seemed like it would be good, but I never actually investigated it. With these house plans, I knew that a 3D model would be extremely useful, so I watched the first tutorial and quickly became obsessed with it. It’s so easy to use!
Starting with the master bath (because I had to make a decision about the tub and toilet locations) I’ve been slowly inputing the house, room by room. And it’s so useful and rewarding to be able to see the room. Stand in the middle and turn around in a circle, looking at all angles. The next area of the house that had a decision pending was the front door surround. So I went to work, inputing what we knew, and was able to quickly (well, ok, it took me a full day) come to some decisions.
Our builder and I were questioning whether it would be a problem that the windows don’t line up with the top of the door or transom, and the SketchUp version allowed me to see that it wouldn’t be if we treated the front door assemblage as one unit with trim taken all the way to the ceiling. And I also used the program to design a toilet enclosure (below). Anyway, more SketchUp to come, I’m sure, but for now let’s move on to my previous discussion of the floor plan.
In a previous post, we discussed the master suite and the foyer. To continue on our tour, if you turn right inside the front door you enter the library. This room represents one of the main components of my build-only-what-you-will-use design of the house. My plans for this room are to use it as a combination library/office/dining room. There will be bookshelves on the two long walls and a dining table in the center that will be used as a desk for most of the year, with some lateral file drawers and closed office storage behind it.
On the rare holiday occasions when we want a formal dining room, we’ll add the leaves to the table, bring in some chairs, and voila, it’s a dining room. There will be a chandelier that works well for either library or dining, and I’ll add an outlet in the middle of the floor for some desk lamps. My thoughts about decor in the library are all over the place at the moment, but I have already purchased a beautiful Milo Baughman Burl Wood table from Lewis Trimble, which does sort of set the tone for the space. Can’t wait to see it in there!
The Butler’s Pantry
Directly off of the library is the butler’s pantry, which I’ll use as a bar area, but also to store china, glasses, pitchers, etc. The design plan for that space is still evolving, but these are some strong contenders.
The Family Foyer
From the butler’s pantry we can head back through the family foyer, the back hall, and into the kitchen. It’s a longer distance than I would have preferred, but we’ll only be using the library as a dining room a few times a year. The breakfast room has plenty of space for meals the rest of the year.
Back to the family foyer. Since our kids are grown we’re beyond the stage of cubbies, and I really wanted our everyday entrance to the house to be graceful. We detached the garage to allow for windows all around the house. From the garage you proceed through a screened breezeway, and into the family foyer, which has full height windows looking onto the back patio/pool area. My plan is to put a cushioned bench in front of the windows, with a dresser I inherited from my grandparents opposite it.
The Powder Room
Turning the corner next to the dresser is a short hallway with our coat closet, that leads back to the powder room. The powder room was purposely placed near the back entrance for use by swimmers. I’ll have some water-friendly flooring in this whole back area. In fact, one of the possibilities I’m considering for flooring is a front of house/back of house plan, with white oak hardwood in the front, and maybe either a large scale travertine or polished aggregate in the back, through the hallways, kitchen, breakfast room, and family room. I need to do a price comparison of the materials.
I guess I’ll break off here, and talk about the back of the house in the next post. Have a great weekend!