Monday, February 17, 2014

Our House Design Sketches on Graph Paper

It is nearly time to decide where the electric should go in the the kitchen, which is forcing me to make decisions about where the appliances will go.  After I looked up some standard dimensions for stoves and sinks, and also typical counter widths and heights, I made some kitchen layout sketches on my trusty graph paper.  The kitchen is rectangular, with one tall wall and two windows.  With these things in consideration, I brushed up on my one-point perspective drawing skills and made the above sketch of my most recent version of the future kitchen.  It's not drawn to scale exactly, but it has really helped me visualize the space.  I'm even considering using chalk to draw the appliances and counters on the floor and then pretend to cook with this arrangement.  

One of the very first things I did when we bought the house was to measure all the walls and make a schematic of the floor plan.  Since then, we have traced the original drawing several times while we brainstormed different floor plans, but we try not to mark up the original when we can remember.  After all the work we have done, the floor plan is different now.  We decided to remove the bathroom from the center of the house, where it opened into the living room next to the fireplace, and move it to the small laundry room on the left (north) side of the house.  Removing the bathtub really opened up the entry to the kitchen.  We also removed the wall between the kitchen and dining room, and the wall between the dining room and living room, and replaced it with two posts and a horizontal beam as a room divider.  The stairs we built are in the same location, but we removed the walls from around them and made them exposed to the room.  The main entry to the house is the new door we added to the dining room wall on the west side of the house next to the bottom of the stairs.  

The second floor is two rooms over the living room and downstairs bedroom.  Now that I have all the drywall off the walls, and the closet next to the chimney removed, we can see what it's like if this were one large space with only the chimney in the middle as divider.  We like it.  The light is wonderful when you can see all the windows.  We are considering leaving it open, since our plan is to have one room as the spare bedroom and use the other as the office.  We could essentially make this one large room with two different uses, and this open space may compensate for the close feeling of the low ceiling.  

We also use the graph paper and tracings of the floor plan to figure out where lights, switches, and outlets should go.  Since we have almost all of the old electric wires removed now, Brandon has been planning new routes for the wires through almost the entire house.  This seems to be one of our most complicated tasks.  

I took this picture on Sunday as we worked on stabilizing the floor upstairs by adding long boards to the living room ceiling.  When the termites ate the girder under the house, and the wall above it, which we replaced with the posts and beam, this added an extra fun bounce to the upstairs office floor.  By adding these new boards we have been able to reduce the bounce substantially.  The floors in this house are always going to be a bit wonky though.  I'm really pleased with the fact that the old and busted up ceiling fan, and the crumbly plaster that it was hanging from, is finally gone from the living room ceiling.  We have no working lights now, but I feel like we are so much closer to getting these rooms put back together just because it's gone.  


Anonymous said...

A fun tip about counter height. Make it slightly taller than the average counter. My mom's counters are four inches taller than normal, since everyone in the family is taller than the average bear. Since you and Brandon aren't short you and your backs will enjoy it. :)

MA said...

Great idea. You could add skinny drawers for cutting boards and cookie sheets etc.

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