10/03/10 – Toronto – Large Single Family >2500 sqft

Plan Summary – Part 2 ( video )

MacLeod’s Landing – The Churchill

10/03/10 – Toronto – Large Single Family >2500 sqft (PDF)
10/03/10 – Toronto – Large Single Family >2500 sqft (PDF – Completed Design)

10/03/10 – Toronto – Large Single Family >2500 sqft (JPG)
10/03/10 – Toronto – Large Single Family >2500 sqft (Demo)
10/03/10 – Toronto – Large Single Family >2500 sqft (Full Symbol Library)

  • Lacey


    In a living space, I agree with John in that there should be readily available access to not only outdoor space, but the view of the outdoors as well. Having an informal living space for tea or reading or variosu other exercises would be a useful room.

    In regards to the dining room, I located mine just off of the ‘formal’ living space, as it would be more likely to be used on holidays, and large ‘get-together’s, such as birthdays and holidays.

    I blelieve that a strong connection to the outside world (both physical/natural as well as social) play a key part in defining the context and proposed uses of our site.
    Thank you!!!

  • MollyK

    Good morning,
    I found an article on cnn.com that addressed the difficulties facing “green building”. I’m posting it this morning and perhaps it will generate some conversation. Are there any appraisers on the website?

  • Sarah W


    I have two plans – they are the same except for the treatment of the den space (which I’ve relocated to the front of the house). In my first plan, I had the room completely closed in, accessible through french doors from the main entry area. My concern with that is for the living space that I placed next to it – there would only be good light coming from one side (the backyard). So in my second plan, I left the den relatively open, but placed a see-through bookcase between that space & the living space beyond. I thought that was better, as light could still come through the bookcase (so long as it wasn’t packed full, I guess!).


  • Sarah W

    I don’t know why there are 4 of them… I just posted the last 2!

  • MollyK


    This took so long…creating uniformity with regards to space was hard. Struggled with having some rooms with leftover space and others felt cramped. I wanted to (1) nix the den or (2) move the stairs, but I wasn’t allowed to do either (which I willingly accepted).

  • BradW


    I moved the kitchen to the other side of the house. There is a butler pantry closet and desk between the kitchen and garage. Access to the backyard is provide through a series of sliding doors.
    The living room is open to the kitchen, provides large comfortable sofas for comfort, a TV above the fireplace, space for a desk and library mill work flanking the fireplace.
    The dining room has been relocated to the front of the house with added space for servery mill work or cabinet.

  • Mid America Mom

    Can we move exterior doors and windows? Thanks,
    Mid America Mom

  • Matthew North

    Sarah W – thanks for posting your designs! I prefer the scheme with the closed in study as it makes sense in the overall spatial layout. I would suggest that you relocate your open “millwork/ bookcase” detail to sit between the formal dining area and the living area and then re-orient the furniture towards the bookcase. I think that would provide the separation but still allow light to come through.

  • Matthew North

    Molly K – I like your scheme a lot – good design does take some time! I would suggest one thing that would help the registration of your spaces. I would align the wall of your entry closet with the study wall and then remove the wing wall next to the sofa. It will help the problem of the left over space by the stairs. I will mark up a drawing and post if for you to see.

  • Matthew North

    Brad W – I really like your garage access/ butler’s pantry. I also like the formal dining room in the front of the house – I think that makes sense and will feel really different. I would go one step further and see if that formal dining room could be detailed so it could also be a study/ library – to get more day to day use – or perhaps have a “lounge” function – with a reading chair – I think there is a great opportunity to make this a really cool space.

  • MollyK

    Thanks for the tip…originally, I had switched the entry closet across the hall BUT switched it back again. You know the old saying “stick with your first answer, it’s probably right”…well, I think the same holds true for certain design elements. Look forward to your “re-redesign” of my plan!

  • Matthew North


    Molly K – Here are my thoughts on your proposed changes.

  • MollyK

    Matthew and BradW,
    I looked at BradW’s redesign and noticed the bump-out wall wrapped around the closet. Beyond that wall is an open space between the living area and breakfast/kitchen area…for some reason that “openness” doesn’t feel like wasted as does the area in my redesign. When I look at it I feel like the openness actually connects the two areas…there is a “flow” that I don’t feel with mine. What is that all about?

  • BradW


    Busy at the moment but look for a revision late today or earlier tomorrow…

  • Sarah W


    Okay, I’m totally procrastinating on all of my other work that needs to be done right now, but here’s my revised plan with Matthew’s suggestions. I also tweaked the kitchen and informal living space a wee bit. Now I have to get to work! =)

  • Matthew North

    M.A.M. – Try to work the plan out first without changing the exterior doors and windows.

  • Matthew North

    Sarah W – your plan looks good – thanks for reworking – I am going to use it as our discussion item on Friday. Now get back to work. (Just kidding)

  • Matthew North

    Brad W – I will watch out for your second edition!

  • Laura K


    Revised floorplan

  • Corey


    Here’s my floorplan. Struggled a bit with the openness of the centre of the house. The informal dining is pretty awkward as well I think.

  • Terri


    I’m also supposed to be doing some (paying) work…but I liked a suggestion that Matthew gave Brad regarding a combo dining/den idea. I like that open front space and think it’d be great to make it more multi-purpose, so I’ve inserted an upholstered window bench that is dining chair height. The table is wider than normal, making room for bigger, upholstered chairs, suitable for formal dining OR working at that table OR possibly meetings? I had to move the window (sorry!) to centre this table. There are french glass doors that separate this space from the hall and also the dining part from the den/storage area (I’ve indicated credenza there).
    I also liked Matthew’s suggestion to Sarah regarding the bookcase separator, so I’ve inserted one between this den/dining and the formal living room. I imagine it being open above 8 ft.,anchored on both ends by a wall. The wall of the den that faces hall has an obscure glass insert indicated.
    Because I like bench seating for dining so much, I’ve inserted another one in the kitchen eating area (as a late edition, so the table is the wrong shape). I like the idea of having a quieter place to eat, away from the central walking area of the hall/stairs and doors to outside. Speaking of…I’ve retained a slider in the living room and a single french for the eating area.
    Guess that covers it…phew!

  • Margo


    This one was quite a challenge. In order to justify having two living and dining, I felt that they had to be far enough away from one another to serve their functions.

  • Matthew North


    Lacey – Here are my thoughts on your proposed changes.

  • Matt KB


    here is my thoughts

  • MollyK

    I found some wonderful things in your redesign. Loved the 3-sided fireplace…I’ve seen those in photos taken inside lavish homes. Never thought to use one here…your placement is fantastic. I like your banquette. I think the floorplan has several possible locations for one, but my brain got so fried trying to decide where to put it I just gave up.

  • Terri

    Thanks for your comments. I have a history of inserting banquettes into dining spaces (M.A.M. is not alone!). I have a friend who entertains a lot and has a wonderful huge corner banquette with surrounding windows. It’s so relaxing to sit there and visit. I’d like to modify my own dining area similarly, but…maybe some day. As for the 3-sided fireplace…I’ve used them a fair bit too, but no plans for one of those. My husband is a mason and he’s already built a granite “monsterpiece” which divides our living/kitchen areas…it’ll never be changed. As he says, “Rocks are forever.”

  • Wayne


    Here is my floor plan.

  • Vickie


    I was tempted to put the formal living room where the kitchen is currently, although I wanted to take advantage of the possible entry into kitchen from garage – for groceries.
    I didn’t close off the formal living room because of the sliding doors. I assumed we couldn’t move them.

  • Jodi J


    a few notes on my approach:
    - kept laundry, powder room and staircases in location as is, but did modify a few elements, specifically: changed the powder room door to a pocket door (to avoid impeding on floor space), reversed the swing on the garage passage door and pulled the laundry door back into the hallway (in an effort to help with the useable floor space in the laundry room)
    - relocated the entry closet to the niche created by the staircase
    changed the double front door to single with sidelight
    - allows for a central, straight circulation axis from front of house to back
    - “formal rooms” on left side of plan, informal “open concept” spaces on right
    - tucked living room at the front to take advantage of front window and dining at back for same reason (rear yard), alos provides access to potential exterior dining space
    - study between living and dining uses sideyard window
    - glass double pocket doors link study to formal living space, doubling size of the study/library and allowing for more light to flood in when living space is not being used
    - large walk-in pantry in behind kitchen for extra storage
    - staircase is now closed off on hall side, and slightly opened on kitchen side

  • Matthew North

    Terri – I love the hand drawn plans – thanks for posting! i also think that you have done a great thing by having a formal dining room at the front of the house and then a built in banquette in the kitchen. To me that solves one of the “big house” problems of having often two dining spaces that are either too close together or too similar in feel. I can imagine the banquette being detailed as an extension of the kitchen millwork.

  • Matthew North

    Laura K – thanks for posting your plan! If you have time, I would like to see if you could come up with another solution that moves the table out of the work area of the kitchen. I think your main living space is one of the best we’ve seen today.

  • Matthew North


    Wayne – Here are my thoughts on your proposed changes.

  • Mid America Mom


    Yikes! Not much time today to work on this. Tried a Den/ guest bath and closet in front. Tried flipping the closet in the entry and thinking I should revert it back. A double galley kitchen with 4 foot space is in back. I had a built in under the counter microwave toward the window. The living and dining room has a pocket door, see through fireplace, and built in adjustable glass shelving.

    For this first try I ignored the other postings and John’s redesign. I have been dying to know what everyone else did! I look forward to seeing it all and maybe trying my hand on another later tonight :)

    Mid America Mom

  • Mid America Mom

    LOL- John. My initial sketch on paper was almost the same design. I had a see through fireplace between the living and dining areas. The eating was next to the kitchen however (and I had the same G formation even- the slow home design elements are starting to take root in my design process).

  • Matthew North


    Mid America Mom – Here are my thoughts on your proposed changes.

  • Matthew North


    Jodi J – Here are my thoughts on your proposed changes.

  • dominique


    as always, its a challenge with these large houses. I found i was struggling to create a smooth relationship between the different rooms.


  • dominique


    a smaller file…

  • BradW


    Revised to add a conversation area, fireplace flanked by book shelves and round dining/study table.
    Compared with other designs I have provided fewer larger rooms. These rooms are formally detailed with traditional library casework and substantial base and cornice trims.

  • BradW

    I think people struggle with large homes including the builders because they try to incorporate too many rooms. Fewer rooms with the proper proportion and volume provide the required luxury. Think about how you feel walking down a narrow hallway verses a wider one. Or in rooms with vaulted or high ceilings verses standard height rooms. This is the luxury a larger home provides. It does not come from having redundant living spaces.

  • Mid America Mom

    Thank You Matthew.

    **Lets hear it for the 2/3 sided fireplace!** Thank you MollyK for your post. That living/dining scheme does work well. Did I hear banquette? I was soooo tempted in my plan to make the den a big booth. Problem is they are not for everyone. So what to do?

    Maybe it is from too much apartment therapy website infusion? I look at a plan and see furniture solutions. Table benches are good. Some dining sets offer them. When we were deciding on a furniture layout for current apartment’s rectangular combination living and dining space I found giving the footage to eating difficult. So for two “sides” of our round table we use ottomans. The ottomans usually are against walls. I originally looked at leather but those were more than I wanted to spend and the color was not ideal. I had a great find at a large TX Maxx store. These were made for the bathroom and I got two for less cost than one leather piece. Blond wicker sides (which worked BETTER for the space), 4 wood feet, with removable cushioned lid. Size is 30″ wide by 15″ length and 17″ high. Love the storage.

    Something to ponder- I wonder how this apartment they profiled recently would do on a slow home test (see the floorplan at the end of the post): http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/la/house-tours/sara-and-michaels-bohemian-rhapsody-house-tour-110930

    Mid America Mom

  • Mid America Mom


    HI another plan. I really like built in outdoor space. Covered porches aka lanai , 3 season room, or sunrooms.

    This one I decided to put a 3 season room at the front of the plan, encouraging time to the neighborhood to help build a sense of community. To bring more outdoors, in, I went with bifold glass exterior doors ( http://www.lanaidoors.com/ ). The side window was enlarged slightly and moved in the living/dining space. I thought this would be frosted glass. A large window to the porch side.

    This gave me a chance to do an airlock as well. I felt the need to put the closet away from the front and have that open to the living room.

    The door to the porch from the house would be a slider type I am thinking. The second interior entrance door to the home would be glass. The den pocket would be glass as well.

    You could flip the Den with the porch if you wanted but then the airlock would not be there…

    Mid America Mom

  • Murray


    My variation, late as it is.

    I wanted direct access to the kitchen from the garage. This also allows easy access to the powder room.

    I put a set of patio doors off the kitchen/dining area.

    I included a pass-through from the kitchen to assist when meals are taken in the formal dining area.

    I didn’t move the stairs, but I did turn the lower steps.