We have purchased a "Stone Tudor" style house, built in 1932. The interior of the house contains lots of dark wood paneling, knotty pine wainscoting, dark hallways and rooms, and an outdated kitchen.
We love the character and size of our house but would like new designs that improve the layout of the 1st and 2nd floors. We would like a more open floor plan on the 1st floor that unifies the kitchen / dining area with the rest of the floor plan. We would like a 2nd floor plan that includes a master bedroom / bathroom.
We will pass the winning plan to a builder to complete the project in 2 phases*: Phase I: 1st Floor. Phase II: 2nd Floor.
Layout and kitchen design are the main concern.
We hope you can help us!
Pictures of the house:
- To review home on google earth, bing maps etc, the address of the home is: 600 Hilton Ave. Catonsville, MD 21228
- improve "flow." Today the house has poor flow (both floors' hallways are a problem)
- add light to the 1st floor and/or bring light into the dark spaces near the center of the 1st floor.
- move laundry to the 2nd floor
- bigger bathrooms - they are both too small, 1st floor especially
- upstairs, a bathroom to service the master bedroom only, PLUS an additional (new) bathroom to service 2nd floor bedrooms
- the usable space at the 2nd floor rear is limited where the roof slope reduces the height. Upstairs we would be willing to add a shed dormer or extend the existing bathroom dormer to increase usable space.
- we would like to build a screened in porch / deck off the back of the house that integrates with the interior of the house.
- we do not need a formal dining room, but we would like space for a large informal daily use table.
We prefer a large open eat-in kitchen with an island or a galley style kitchen.
4-burner stove with vented hood
A main sink and a prep sink
Side-by-side refrigerator or French door refrigerator
Coffee maker/Espresso maker
Would like counter level cabinetry to hide the coffee maker/vitamix
large cabinet spaces including a pantry
The cabinets should be white or off-white color. Center island should be a contrasting color, painted wood or darker finish.
Kitchen must NOT have a peninsula.or granite counter tops.
What we do NOT like about the current layout:
- 1st floor hallway is long and dark, therefore people naturally avoid it and walk through the living room.
- Today the front door is the entrance when bringing in groceries, etc. There is no informal, daily entrance. We would be willing to extend the driveway to such an entrance at the back or side.
- when you walk down the stairs from the 2nd to 1st floor, you face a wall at the bottom
- there is not a lot of storage (however: good flow is more important to us than storage)
- the 1st floor is dark, and the porch on the south side of the house with the most light seems disconnected and isolated from the center of the 1st floor.
- the backdoor entry / stairway is limited functionally.
- the pitch of the 2nd floor roof line currently reduces usable space at the back of the 2nd floor bedrooms
- Cannot remove fireplaces or move the staircase.
- Load bearing walls: Most walls on the 1st floor are load/weight bearing. If the plan removes walls, please account for supports (beams, columns)
The front living room (with the fireplace) is 12 inches lower than the rest of the house. There are steps down, please see pictures
There are some cement beams in the kitchen, den, and 1st floor bedroom that sit lower than the main ceiling. We would prefer not to remove these because of the large expense. See the drawings / sketches for locations.
Here are links to pictures of rooms we like from houzz:
1) Deliverable: plans must be submitted in the Imperial/U.S system - feet, inches
- full kitchen plans with cabinet sizes / locations and appliances.
2) Budget: We are willing to spend for benefit. When we look at submissions we will ask ourselves, "how does this design balance expense vs. benefit?"
We want a 1st Floor Layout Plan that
a) costs little: This plan option would keep many things in the same general locations, with small improvements to the space (e.g., corrects problems such as bathroom too small, bad hallway, bad laundry location, no storage). Removing walls in this plan is ok, but moving the location of the kitchen / bathrooms would be high cost and should be in plan b.
b) costs more: This plan option would fully optimize the space and fix ALL "flow" problems - in other words, a big benefit for the construction expense
3) Resale value
Please recommend 1 of the 2 options that follow:
a) KEEP 1st floor bedroom? (we are worried about resale value)
b) REMOVE 1st floor bedroom? (to steal space for other areas). If the plan recommends removing the bedroom, then please convert the 1st floor bathroom to a half bath (i.e., no tub/shower)
- prefer to keep radiators in existing locations to avoid the cost of moving. Would be willing to change some radiators to lower profile radiators or towel heaters if design requires.