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Old 05-28-2014, 05:38 AM
 
Location: Northern IL
241 posts, read 226,788 times
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Agreed, our open plan does not allow for immediate view into the kitchen.
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Old 05-28-2014, 05:40 AM
 
Location: Northern IL
241 posts, read 226,788 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GLS View Post
Stairs???
The rest of the house is a ranch, but yes there will be a finished basement. If nothing else than for a place to go when the tornadoes come. Maybe 20 years down the road we will put in one of those stair crawler things.

As a side note the garage will not have a step up to the house for easier entry.

Last edited by jack_pine; 05-28-2014 at 05:50 AM..
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Old 05-28-2014, 07:29 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,682 posts, read 49,449,101 times
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Our home is mostly 'open'. We have thirteen large 6 foot wide bay windows; with small opening window spaced between the large windows. [big, little, big, little, ... ]

We have windows on the North side of our home, on the East side, and on the South side. So that in most of our home, you have peripheral vision of the outdoors in those 3 directions.

Our home is located in dense forest, and overlooks a creek that flows into the river.

To the North we have a herd of pigs that free-range in the forest. The creek / swamp to our East has a beaver lodge. We commonly see fox, eagle, hawks, and other wild life from inside our home.



The only part of our home that is walled-off is our restroom.

We like this arrangement.
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Old 05-28-2014, 08:12 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,575 posts, read 39,952,759 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Densi52 View Post
It was important to me that the kitchen not be visible from the front door but otherwise I enjoy our open floor plan. ...
Kitchen is slightly masked from frt door, but opens quickly to Dining and living space and deck and vaulted Prow. Our 13' x 5' 'island' (continent) is a gathering place, and plenty spacious for games / ping pong and rolling out LOTS of dough (pizza / bread / cookies... group cooking). During design phase I wanted to have a River view from Kitchen sink (in Island) (cuz I am so slow at washing dishes). After digging the daylight basement, and setting forms..I set up a 13' ladder to see if I had the view I expected... WRONG... I had to get out the dozer and move a whole wing of the house and add a 'river-view' window (6'x 10'). I am grateful for that PAINFUL choice everyday I enjoy watching a barge steam by. (Or a train go through a tunnel viewed from the same window). Venting a sink in an island was no simple task to get to code (no wall for 13 ft).

Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoByFour View Post
... we don't have a TV ...you should go with what you're comfortable with.
No TV in our house... that helps (no wall space for one anyway)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jack_pine View Post
... the garage will not have a step up to the house for easier entry.
This is against UBC (fumes travel along floor). I poured an outside covered walkway from Garage to front door (fairly close). and kept the garage slab as close to House floor as possible (6") I don't allow anything with GAS (ick) in my garage. My veggie cars don't have latent fumes. My lawnmower / weed eater... are not allowed in Garage. I do have a double story garage... ~ 900SF / floor) Cars parked on top of each other (daylight basement). It is very small compared to my shop.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Submariner View Post
...So that in most of our home, you have peripheral vision of the outdoors in those 3 directions.

Our home is located in National Park / Scenic area overlooks a HUGE river. .... We commonly see fox, eagle, hawks, and other wild life (bear cougar, bobcats) from inside our home.

We like this arrangement.
The only part of our home that is walled-off is our restroom. Yeah... I got a lot of pressure to finally add the sheetrock to the bathroom as the kids were getting older...

With 'open' plan you do need to be creative to display artwork and find space for bookshelves. We added lots of alcoves for both. Free hanging art is fun too (especially in the dark of night when you are roaming around the house)

I like FULL ADA accessible living spaces with large garages on either main floor or daylight basement. One will eventually be my caregiver, or my own granny flat.

Last edited by StealthRabbit; 05-28-2014 at 08:24 AM..
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Old 05-28-2014, 08:17 AM
 
Location: Savannah GA/Lk Hopatcong NJ
13,106 posts, read 24,889,480 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jack_pine View Post
We are planning a house in WI right now and it will be totally open. Two bedrooms on one side, master on the other and one huge room in between. We don't like the chopped up feel a separate small rooms.

I know it's not for everyone but we can't wait.

Also we will have a walk in pantry. I cook a lot and want to be able to see guests as I cook.
Sounds perfect. Love open floor plans. Having grown up in a city where most of the apts were pre WWII, I hate all those closed off rooms.
House now was built in 70's so no open floor plan, all though we did take down wall seperating kitchen and dining room. What an improvement.

Retirement...open floor plan with the split bedrooms....want the master away from the guest bedrooms
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Old 05-28-2014, 08:35 AM
 
Location: Northern IL
241 posts, read 226,788 times
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My neighbors in WI just furnished a house with garage floor same level as house. I will ask him this weekend how he got it past the code guy.
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Old 05-28-2014, 08:40 AM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,929,938 times
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I like fairly open living areas. And - IMO - the way to separate them from other parts of the house that you want more "closed off" is one you hardly ever see these days - a hallway. We put a long one through the middle of the house. Also - although our living area is separate from our cooking/dining area - it's not totally closed off visually or otherwise. Also - the kitchen is open to the dining area - and has a view of the back yard. My husband and I don't entertain a lot. But - when we do - we're often both in the kitchen - and don't want to be cut off from our guests. Also - although we never have the kind of gatherings where the guys go off to watch the game - and the women gather in the kitchen - our floor plan would allow us to do that if we wanted to (we also have a dining area and a seating area outside on the porch if people want to split into more than 2 groups).

I don't know about anyone else - but my husband and I have never seen the need for separate living rooms/family rooms - or separate "breakfast nooks"/formal dining areas in terms of how we use space 99% of the time. Building is expensive these days - and devoting a lot of square feet to areas that one hardly ever (or never) uses doesn't make a lot of sense. Peoples' lifestyles of course vary. But - before putting something in a house - ask yourself how often you're going to use it. Also - if there's something you do a lot - like - for example - various crafts - reading in peace and quiet - whatever - devote a proper space to it. Don't be hemmed in by convention.

Note that since this is Florida - basements aren't practical (water table is much too high). And building "slab on grade" isn't either (in terms of flood protection). If the need arises in the future - we can put in ramps where we have steps into the house (the garage and the front and rear entrances). Also - if someone wanted to do a floor plan like this on a smaller scale - he/she could simply eliminate the whole bedroom 2/3 side of the house. Maybe that will be our next house . Robyn

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Old 05-28-2014, 08:43 AM
 
Location: Central Massachusetts
4,800 posts, read 4,847,776 times
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I figure I will chime in on this. OP you have a great question and thread started here. There are a few items on my short lists of must have.

First the idea of open floor plan is awesome. You can do so much with it. Also as you get older the freedom of movement as many have said is great. Second the kitchen needs to have a window that is very important. As one mentioned a basement not necessarily a full basement but at least some place to go in tornados stocked with some supplies.

Hardwood floors are key and going on with that for me is heated floors. Yes you guys down south say I wont need it but I believe that I will. I like it especially in the bedroom where stepping out of bed in a cool winter you dont feel a cold floor under foot.

Since I am moving south I want an enclosed porch area for outdoor activity year round. As for land just enough to let a dog out and a few colorful plants out front. Keep it simple and I will be happy as a lark.
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Old 05-28-2014, 08:48 AM
 
Location: Des Moines Metro
5,055 posts, read 6,018,122 times
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When I was in my 20s, I disliked open floor plans. Now that I'm older and have had occasions to get around on a cane or with a walker, I've come to appreciate them. Also, if they are arranged well, they are faster to clean, no hauling supplies from room to room.

As for the rowdy men watching sports -- that's what sports bars are for!

Seriously, if it became a problem, how about making a man cave with a big screen TV in the basement or other area?
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Old 05-28-2014, 08:53 AM
 
20,131 posts, read 11,162,288 times
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I consider the kitchen to be "private space;" I don't want to open my kitchen to everyone who I happen to let through the front door. I have seen homes that were completely open from living room to kitchen to family room.

I think having the kitchen open to the family room is fine, because the family room is also "private space." If I were entertaining friends, it would be in the family room, not in the living room.

I think the open concept is a way for builders to pay less in construction costs and charge more for concept.

As far as getting around when older...that's an argument for wider doors and halls and larger bathrooms.
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