We are currently living in a lovely lakeside cabin on the shores of Lake Michigan. We love the woodwork and the cozy cabin feeling that is present in the home, but there are certain elements of the design that do not suit our needs.
Let me start with what is currently not working well for us, then I'll tell you what we'd like to have and hopefully you can help us!
Currently, we do not like the location of the master suite. It is upstairs and is in the open loft..which affords no privacy and only one small closet. There is a bedroom on the main floor, but it doesn't accommodate a king sized bed and has one small closet. Currently, we are inconveniently split between using the closets up and down for our clothes.
We do not like the way the front door opens up into the dining/living room space.
We do not like the entry from the garage to house...no closet space for personal belongings.
We do not like the size/layout of the kitchen and could use more room for the dining room. On occasion (holidays) we entertain large groups of people (20 ish) and we would like to accommodate (if only on a temporary basis) dining and socializing in a more comfortable way when we have guests. We are not opposed to temporarily expanding into a nearby space.
We do not like the size/layout of laundry room.
We do not like the traffic NOISE! We are situated very close to a road which is very busy during summer months. The noise of motorcycles and vehicles is very disturbing when traffic is high over the summer weekends...we do not like the disruption of engine noises infiltrating the house. We do not have air conditioning, so quite often our windows are open to enjoy the breezes from the lake when the weather is favorable. (May through September)
We do not like carpet in high traffic areas because of wear and tear and pets. (Kitchen, dining, living room, bathrooms).
Lighting stinks because of open ceilings and no wires across the log ceilings.
THESE ARE OUR GOALS:
Keep the cozy feeling and integrity of the log cabin style. Enjoy the views of the lake in front and woods in back. Enjoy the outdoor spaces. Open our home to guests. Grow old here. We like the open loft living room/dining room area and kitchen, but realize we may have to give it up to accommodate the changes we seek.
Currently, we are a family of 3 (soon to be empty nesters). Right now we have 2 bedrooms and 3 baths (1 full and 2 half baths). We would like to have 3 bedrooms that could possibly offer some view of the lake, and if possible benefit from the lake breezes/sounds.
We would like the master suite to be on the main level. It should accommodate a king-sized bed. This room should have a great view of the lake and have access to a master bath. The other 2 bedrooms will be guest rooms and should be designed to accommodate anywhere from 1 person to a few at a time for possible extended visits. (The view from these rooms is less important but it would be nice to see the lake if they can.)
Possibly add an additional 1/2 bathroom on main level for guests?
We hope to rework our dining area/kitchen to have more storage for kitchen equipment, food and better flow. (Also, we currently have a pot rack which stores many of our pots/pans -which we utilize and like and hope to include in the future kitchen design, if possible...it's the pot lids that need a better system.)
The 2 car attached garage works well located off of kitchen for easy in and out of groceries.
We would like the laundry room to accommodate more storage for cleaning supplies, pet supplies and a folding area. Also a built in cabinet space with a walk through door for kitty litter. We would also like this area to include a "work sink" to accommodate messy cleaning jobs...like dog washing. Detailed drawings of the cabinets would be appreciated.
We want to take full advantage of the lake view in the living room which should include space for a baby grand piano and comfortable sitting around the fireplace.
We want better lighting in every room.
Other goals include:
Adding a Music Studio-We are musicians, the studio needs to be designed to be sound-friendly and soundproof so that when one is practicing the rest of the household is undisturbed. It should be main level rehearsal space that includes room to house an upright piano, a table or cabinet for recording equipment, a desk and possibly our filing system of sheet music-2 filing cabinets and a bookshelf. There should be room for a sofa, possibly built in storage for a baritone, 2 alto and 1 soprano saxophones, 3 guitars, and sound gear which includes speakers, soundboard, stands, microphones, chords. Details of cabinets would be appreciated. This musical equipment comes and goes on a regular basis. Also, there should be some open space for various instruments/players to occupy as the need arises.
We would like a "listening" room which would need to include accessible storage of our collection of music (cd's, albums, tapes) and stereo equipment which will be wired into living room. This should include comfortable furniture. This might be able to be a part of the music studio?
Take advantage of wooded view at back of house.
Adding an entry area or mud room at a main entrance for guest's winter clothes and boots/hats, gloves, scarves.
Adding a space for our own personal items, boots, shoes and coats at OUR main entrance which is most regularly used by us. Currently, we enter into the house from the garage into a small hall off of kitchen.
An outdoor shower for washing off sandy feet and bodies.
An outdoor seasonal storage place for towels and deck chair cushion management in the summer only.
The Hot tub is currently located outside on lake side of deck. We are hoping to find a way to offer some in/out protection during winter month usage.
We are in dire need of an increase in storage areas for:
Master bedroom closet to hold both of our belongings!
Gear and items that we use seasonally or occasionally: camping/hiking gear, ski gear, bikes, summer furniture and outdoor cushions, tools, gardening supplies.
Landscaping ideas welcome... Road side area more private and soundproof; more trees, shrubs and flowers without blocking too much view. Also, ideas for placement and sizes of furniture would be very welcome.
Here is a link to ideas that we find inspiring from houzz.com
Please take into consideration that we live in an area of dunes. It is an environmentally sensitive area and all plans will need to be approved by our Department of Environmental Quality.
We are restricted by certain DEQ (Department of Environmental Quality) rules and regulations that are in place to protect the dunes in Ottawa County, Michigan. Our home currently sits on the approved footprint.
Part of that approved footprint space is outdoor front porch, which we currently do not use very much. It's possible the design could expand onto the porch area toward the road. Also, it's quite possible to utilize our current garage space for remodel, keeping our current footprint.
We are not opposed to adding on a new space, for instance a new garage with living space above. However, if the design needs more space than the allotted footprint it should be directed toward the road into our existing driveway. Another possible consideration is cantilevering over our current footprint. However we would not want to impede our next door neighbor's view (to the south of us). Also, the height of the roof should avoid impeding the uphill neighbor's view, if at all possible.
We need your help determining the regulations and restrictions that apply to our property. We are not sure what would require a variance and would need your help to determine the procedure necessary to pursue this.
The fireplace is on a load-bearing wall.
We have boiler heat-so there are no vents in current construction.
The weather gets wet, windy, snowy and wild out here in the fall/winter months. We have nice breezes off of the lake and are very comfortable without a/c most of the summer because the airflow works in our favor. (We usually only suffer a week or two in the summer months when the wind stops blowing and it gets very humid in which case we use individual fans. ) So please keep this in mind if adding space.
We are empty-nesters, so our house needs to accommodate our active lives right now, but change as our needs change without redesigning the space. (Hence, main level master suite, laundry and bath are important considerations).
We are not opposed to rethinking our use of current spaces to achieve our goals, so any suggestions you have are welcome.
Any landscaping ideas need to consider special dune habitat restrictions and plants must be deer-resistant.
We are looking for a design that keeps the integrity of the log cabin, remains affordable, and is SOLID against the elements. We are kind of eclectic, so we are not opposed to updated design ideas that tie into the rustic edges of our current design. Also, energy efficient design will be looked upon favorably. We also favor smart/efficient use of space. Bigger is not always better.