03/02/10 – Los Angeles – Small Single Family <2500 sqft

Part 2 – Completed Design ( video )

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  • Mid America Mom

    Comment: Good day Matthew!

    What an interesting project. Looking for a bed, bath, living, kitchen and dining space.


    KEEP that 45 on the garage? YIKES. Am I to assume the front door, garage door and the 45 wall that goes to the formal living now – the placement ,size, and dimension, stays?

    The wall from garage to the stair. Can I remove that or is it structural? It looks to not be solid in our JPG empty floorplan.

    Can I add windows, sliders, or french doors to the exterior walls?


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  • Matthew North

    Good Morning M.A.M.,

    This one is a challenge but I’m confident we will get some cool results.

    To answer your questions:

    –Yes, keep the 45 degree angle on the garage wall – let’s try to see if we can make it work with the new plan even though it is a horrible thing.
    –Keep the front door where it is – if you have a good reason, you can move the door from the garage to the house (maybe create a back entry space?)
    –You can remove the wall from the garage from the stair, but remember that the landing will be about four feet higher than the floor at the entry – this will require some design thought.
    –Try to do the plan without changing the windows if you can.

    I am trying to prove a point that our viewers can do better design work than the builder by rearranging what is already there with a little more design thought. We want to send a message to the industry that good design doesn’t need to cost more or require more “stuff”, just more thought. The challenge is tougher (but more rewarding) if we leave the exterior of the building as it is. See what you can do!

  • BradW


    The bedroom has been moved to the front of the house and an ensuite added. A mud/laundry room with separate entry and a two-piece washroom complement the more spacious entry. Note how changing the circulation frees up space for the new mud room and entry. The kitchen now has a more modern design with large island and walk in pantry. The dining room and living room traverse the back of the house to take advantage of the light and outdoor space.

  • Matthew North

    Brad W,

    Great design – wonder if there is a way to incorporate an entry from the garage direct to your new mud room. the bedroom location is ideal!

    You’ve blown the budget on the new powder room, but it makes great sense in the plan. One question for you is where is the TV going to go given your living room furniture orientation?

  • Matthew North

    Brad W,

    Your kitchen layout is also really efficient and I like how you’ve detailed the pantry – way better than the nasty corner one in the original house.

  • BradW


    I did not think we were allowed to change the garage entry into the house. The design purposely left the wall between the garage and mudroom empty so there are many options.

    As far as the TV location goes it was intended for the millwork shown between the bedroom and the living room. Of course, the furniture could be relocated to make use of the side wall.

  • Matthew North

    Brad W – you are correct that I had wanted the garage door location to remain as is, but since you have added a mudroom and have changed the previous bedroom window into an exterior door (which is clever I might add) I am wondering if that money would have been better allocated to relocating the garage door and trying to consolidate it to work with the new mudroom you have created – simultaneously cleaning up the collision of door swings at the entry. Thoughts?

  • Paul C

    Quick question, the stairs leading up, are they the ones closest to the kitchen or closet to the bathroom? I am guessing the kitchen.

  • Matthew North

    Paul C – Yes the stairs up are the ones closest to the kitchen – you can tell by the double slash line on the opposite run.

  • Margo


    This was an acute form of torture. Hallways everywhere!

  • Mid America Mom

    Good skating weather so I will post later but kitchen is on east and master on west with dining and living in back. Stayed tuned!

  • Tim Jones


    I put the kitchen on the garage end of the house figuring that the living and dining spaces should have the best access to light. I put a closet type pantry in to save space over a walk-in. I’m not sure how I feel about seeing the sink when you walk in, but I have always liked having the window above the sink – at least you can have a view when doing the dishes. I put a room divider between the dining and living rooms to give something for them to be centered on, with a credenza on the dining side and a full height bookcase on the living room side. Bookcases also built in beside the fireplace. I would have liked to put sliding doors next to the dining room for outside access as well as being able to center the table on those. I put a linen closet behind the door in the downstairs bath.

  • Tim Jones


    The coffee table and chair bugged me. That corner is probably the nicest space in the house, so put a chair and ottoman further into it. That necessitated a triangular coffee table. I like modern – so I threw a Noguchi in there.

  • Terri


    I liked Brad W’s layout, but I decided to try something else. I kept his side mudroom entry (why mess with an inspired idea?).
    The nook has been retained but instead at the front with comfortable seating–great for foodies who like to entertain. There’s a long shallow cupboard for cans and such (across from eating bar). Formal dining room is separated by woodwork, which is matched at end of living space.
    Extra bedroom and bathroom are separate, accessed via hall off entries.

  • Matthew North

    Margo – your modesty with respect to the kitchen and bathroom are refreshing. I like the living and dining spaces a lot. Your front bedroom may be a little too small to have a walk in closet – but overall I think you worked the hallways out really well!

  • Matthew North

    Tim Jones – really nice design – I like how you dealt with the entry and the location of the kitchen. Your living space is really well proportioned and I prefer the chair in the corner as well. The coffee table is a nice touch. I can imagine the screen between the living and dining room becoming a beautiful detail in the space.

  • Matthew North

    Terri – I like how you have dealt with the mudroom and door into the house from the garage – that makes a lot of sense. Is that a pocket door between the mudroom and the main entry?

  • Molly K


    Left all walls and windows in their original form but hated the door leading from the garage into the foyer. Would rather try to put it on the same wall as the mudroom. Also I think my hallway leading to the kitchen may be slightly out of scale (a bit wide).

  • Molly K

    I just saw Terri’s solution to the door from the garage. That’s exactly what I wanted to do–thank goodness somebody else did!!!

  • Frances Grant-Feriancek



    I love your plan, mudroom and laundry!! I went for wide open spaces perhaps too much.

  • Mid America Mom


    *The garage entry moved to a mudroom. Mudroom has a large closet and place to sit for shoes.

    *FRONT Entry has a closet, hallway table for flowers/keys etc and a focal. The wall with the stair is now a bookcase. Additionally the bookcase wraps around the corner toward the kitchen.

    *You will notice a break in the bookcase near the kitchen. This is where the pantry is. The kitchen has a breakfast bar there.

    *The wall between the dining and living is supposed to be a half wall. I wanted to angle the chairs for a conversation area here.

    *The second bath has a sliding door. I wanted to put a small sink against the west wall in this space (I planned for 4 width) but was not sure there would be enough clearance.. so I put an angled one instead (Matthew/John let me know if I can).

    Not sure if I will play more with this plan.

  • Matthew North

    Molly K – I think your hallway proportion is correct – it needs to be wider than a standard corridor as it is the main access to the living portion of the house – the proportion of your laundry room is also good and your plan makes a good argument to include this feature. Nice work.

  • Matthew North

    Frances – I think you are the only one who placed the kitchen along the north wall – interesting! I like how that makes sense of your dining space.

  • Matthew North

    Mid America Mom – I can tell that you have put a lot of thought into this plan – I can visualize all the added millwork features – I like the idea of the bookshelves wrapping around the wall from the entry to the kitchen – I can imagine that would be a really elegant feature. Your powder room is tight – I wonder if there would have been a way for you to create a segmented bathroom where there is a sink and toilet in one part and the tub/ shower in the other part – that way it could act as both a powder room for guests and the bath for the bedroom. That may solve your space crunch that was the result of adding the additional powder room.

  • Terri

    Actually, that isn’t a pocket door between garage and hall, it’s to show that there’s a bit of a dropped wall from the ceiling (I don’t remember the architectural term–oops!)

    I like your plan a lot. Matthew had said that the garage door could be moved if a mud room was incorporated. Your plan is the perfect candidate. I also like your laundry. I thought later that it’d be nice to have incorporated a laundry of some kind for the downstairs bedroom, at least.

  • Matt KB



  • Sarah


    Argh, this one was hard! I’m not satisfied, so I think I’m going to keep playing with it, but here’s my first attempt. I just realized I forgot a pantry. I decided that this family hosts dinner parties, so I gave them a huge table (it also miraculously fills that huge space I left..). =)

  • Paul C


    The biggest challenge I found was addressing the distance between the front door and the main living area which for me needed to be at the rear. It was then deciding which rooms or spaces would be best suited along the route. Along with the south exposure, I was also hesitant to place what could be considered one of a home’s most private spaces (a bedroom) adjacent to one of its most public spaces, that being the front yard/entry area and therefore the bedroom was also placed at the rear. Glass walls around the stairs bring the stairwell into the kitchen/living/dining area in an attempt to improve the overall proportion. I would have liked to been able to take some square footage from the bedroom and study and place it into the living though. Maybe the next version.

  • Dominique


    I was under the impression that we had to keep the living room, as well as the great room. I see that many people have decide to just include one of the two which makes sense to me….

  • Wayne


    Here’s my new plan. I’ve added a bathroom because there is just too much space for the number of rooms. If I had my way I would have added an additional bedroom or study.

  • Dominique


    I was confused… I have redesigned my floor plan – I took away one of the living rooms and added a pantry and study.

  • Mid America Mom


    Decided to change it up.

    I tried to get a two way accessible bath in this one. The Master closet I thought would have clothes behind their own doors. That is a small linen closet near the tub.

    Entry from garage stayed where is (thinking builder may not want to change entry doors) so we have a closet toward the back. I ran with a bookcase fronting the stair and wrapping around but this time it turns into cabinet for the dining space (maybe glass fronted up above or just lower ones with a nice countertop and maybe shelves above). The dining table I tried to make 6 feet for either 4 or 6 people.

    The flex room- originally wanted a covered porch. But thought maybe that was too much for a builder SO changed it to a flex space with a frosted door from the entry (as light is South or WEST here). Planned with the window to be operational.

    I have always liked two way fireplaces and thought try it out here.

    *I am done playing- looking forward to seeing what John has*

  • Mid America Mom


    OK- worked the bath on my first plan. Sliding door from living area.

  • Laura K


    Floor Plan

  • Jodi J


    - tried to take advantage of the natural light
    - location of bedroom designed so as to avoid side-yard window
    - built-in cabinet in dining room for china, etc
    - sink it kitchen to look out window

  • Jodi J

    - I forgot to mention that I did leave the garage passage door in it’s original location, as per Matt’s direction, however I did reverse the swing of the door.

  • Corey


    I tried to to give the most lived in rooms (living and kitchen) access to the light and located the bedroom in the front to give it a ‘view’ that is more than just the side yard. I extended the kitchen counter to allow a study desk in front of the left over window.

  • Vickie


    They are chefs, they wanted a big kitchen!