-----In 2004 we bought a falling-down house and 30 acres. This blog documents our progress-----

Saturday, January 14, 2006

some more ideas from our architect

Yesterday we got an email from Eric commenting on our recent blog post about the floorplan. Here's what he said, with our initial reactions:

"I've gone through your blog. Everything you say sounds fine. I've had a couple of ideas for the upstairs bath and the mud room.

One issue with the bath is to make sure that room is still a nice balanced shape. I've put together a little idea which I have attached. The main bath and chair area would be 2.6 x 3.1m with the basin and shower sitting outside of that".

idea for bath

We really really like this. We measured out the size of the main bathroom area (ie: without the shower, sink) and it is pretty big, about two thirds the size of our conservatory here. It seems big enough to feel spacious but not so large that if feels cavernous. I especially like the idea of having the changing ceiling levels.

"With the mud room, I'm concerned that lots of the storage (and usefulness) would be lost. The idea that I sketched up addresses some of that. It includes the WC but keeps the bench space and even adds some shelves for shoes, bags etc. We mainly lose floor space which is mainly an issue if you have a few people in there at once".

idea for mudroom

Dave really likes this but for some reason that I can't yet pinpoint, I feel uncomfortable with it. I don't know if it's because the basin is in the open, because of the sliding door, or because there seem acres of bench space - maybe I'd feel better if some was replaced with a giant cupboard? I agree though it's an improvement on our previous idea, it's just that unlike the bathroom it doesn't yet feel right to me "gut feel". I need to sleep on it, that usually helps clarify things!

The ideas around the kitchen all sound fine. Deleting the WC can allow the kitchen pantry to increase. I'd be tempted to leave the wall where the WC door was blank for a nice piece of furniture rather than a built in bar. Perhaps the bar could be in the furniture? It would be a good place for furniture as it id directly opposite the the entry. Indeed, the kitchen is quite large. I'd love to spend some time seeing what more we could do with it -- like seats, desks etc.

I like the idea of leaving the hall wall blank... and perhaps this could be a good place for our prized sideboard? That would be well suited to double as a bar, if Dave wants (albeit he'd have to be very careful not to leave ringmarks!)

It will be great to think more about the kitchen layout specifically. I think our fears about it being so large are partly just because we can't properly envision it yet. I'd like to do the same for the entrance hall area too, at least the bit that is under the stairs.

"The balcony upstairs would definitely be fun. It might create some difficulties with the roof. It's worth looking into, though, and see what it would look like.

If you are anything like us, you'll use you outdoor BBQ a lot. At this time of year, we cook outside about five nights a week. By winter, we're all dying for baked food, but it's amazing what you can do on a BBQ. It's fine to delete the sink from the screened area and concentrate on the verandah.

The next step for me is really to draw it up more accurately (probably on CAD) and also do some larger scale detailed sketches of the areas like the bath, mud room, kitchen etc. Once I've done all that, I'll build a model to see what it really looks like. (It might sound odd putting it on CAD before the study model, but computer drawings are so easy to change, I like to start using them in the design stage.)"

Yippee, models! I'm looking forward to one day being able to "fly through" a mockup of the house like you see on those TV shows.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

I want an eNook

I think this eNook is a great concept... basically, it's a narrow cupboard with storage nooks including charging plugs for all the electronic detritus of modern life. It hangs on a wall doubling as a bulletin board, only folding out when you need. I can imagine this kind of thing could be great in the kitchen or entrance hall.
enook from anthro

As is typical, it's only available in the US (so far) but I figure it would be easy enough to do a DIY version with a bit of creativity.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

should we have a metal roof?

Last night we watched an episode of Grand Designs which featured a house in Devon with a copper roof. The house itself I didn't much like but they showed samples of how the copper would age over time. After a few months it would go a lovely mottled browny red, and after a few years it would start to take on a green patina. I can imagine it being gorgeous.

Which raised the question - should we consider having a metal roof other than the traditional 'colourbond' sheets? Copper is probably way too expensive for us but there might be other options... for example, this is an example of a house with metal shingles.
house with metal roof shingles

Besides the look, there are also apparently other benefits. According to this article, they last longer and are more fire resistant.