Baltimore Design Project

Today we present a Design Project submitted to us from Sam in Baltimore. Sam is looking to purchase a 960 sq. ft. apartment/loft, but has several issues that he hopes we can help him solve with a little redesign.

Baltimore Design Project – Demo
Baltimore Design Project – Existing
Baltimore Design Project – Full Symbol Library
Baltimore Design Project – PDF

Before you start your redesign, don’t forget Sam’s Critique/Wishlist:

1. Front entry is narrow.
2. Kitchen is too removed and inefficient.
3. The dining area is too narrow.
4. Living area if very large – would consider change if necessary.
5. Bedroom is too narrow.
6. Bathroom is big – would consider change if necessary.
7. Would also like a study or desk to work.

Good luck and remember you can either post your redesign in the comments section, or send them to We’ll be taking a look at all your great entries, as well as showing you what John and Matthew have done on tomorrow’s LIVE edition of Slow Home Studio (11am Mountain/10am Pacific/1pm Eastern)!

  • S.N.


    I think this option is easy to understand.
    few notes:
    _thre is a utility / storage / pantry near the kitchen.
    _there is a 1′ shelf in the kitchen to place recipe books, spices….
    _a table in the bedroom is a makeup table, and behind it there is a wardrobe or dresser.

    I did some renders because I am sitting in the office with nothing to do (waiting for some Italians to send me documents so I can continue to work on my project :( ).

    hope you like my option….


  • Paul C

    SN…very good plan and the renderings are a great addition. What is the software if you don’t mind me asking? Laundry is in the bathroom? I particularly like the study. I wonder if the shelving/millwork would work wrapped around the corner? Things/doors would have to be adjusted slightly.

    John and Matthew on the mac… very cool, nice touch.

  • Brad W


    Since SN did such a great job I decided to start there and make a couple of changes…

    1. I created a master ensuite with separate public entrance. The shower was enlarge at the expense of the linen closet.
    2. To accommodate the ensuite the master closet was moved to the interior side wall.
    3. A wall was added in the master between the bed and the closet. This give focus to the bed and some privacy for the closet space. This will be a controversial element.
    4. In the kitchen, I riffed Housebrand and extended the kitchen counter through to the entry.
    5. Also in the kitchen, I traded some utility space for a desk. I would locate a laundry in the utility space.
    6. The TV wall in the living space was marginally changed and a sideboard was added as a focal point in the dining room.

  • Brad W

    Another option would be to locate the study in the master bedroom at the window and restore the utility space to the kitchen. In looking at it now, I think that would be my preferred option – not only for a view but for some separation from the public living space.

  • Frank

    1. Nice work and I am interested in knowing the software program too!

    Brad W.
    1. I like your improvements and suggested relocation of the study to the bedroom.
    2. Nice touch with the kitchen counter. Makes for a great space to slide the groceries into the kitchen and/or drop the keys on the counter.
    3. A simple work desk at the window in the bedroom with storage in the closet would make for a great workspace.

  • Brad W


    Since I also mistakenly furnished the balcony with a laundry line here is another revision with the study in the master and the laundry where it belongs in the kitchen utility room.

  • Terri


    At first I thought I’d put the coat closet to the left of the entry door, but instead I’ve allowed for a bench at this location. The closet is directly opposite the entry door, incorporating the chase. The storage pantry in the kitchen could be reversed so that it becomes an extra closet space for the entry and a blank wall on kitchen side. It depends where storage is most useful. I was thinking vacuums, mop, etc. but it’s labelled “pantry.”

    The millwork of the desk and shelves would be the same material as the kitchen and dining buffet. The desk has a glass wall separating in from the kitchen. The boxed-in unit to the right of the sink is a wall oven.
    Note: The odd object in living room is an angled chair–this element has once again disappeared from the template.;)

  • Terri

    Sorry, I meant to mention that I didn’t redo the bathroom elements to save some money, though one sink has been removed.

  • S.N.

    Paul C
    Laundry can be in the bathroom or in the utility room near the kitchen. I know that in the USA / Canada you don’t like laundry to be placed in the bathroom, but in Europe it is normal. So to place it in the utility room can be a good option. It is not that i forgot about laundry , it is just that if you have a utility, you put it there, if not it is in the bathroom.

    brad W
    I like your variation on my plan. I am not sure about wall with TV in the bedroom, I understand why you put it there, but when you enter the room you run into that wall. Maybe a lower cabinet (a box around 1.6 m high with) or a desk in that place woul be better. I would like to draw it for you, but I have Mythbusters in 20 min, so sorry.

    “In the kitchen, I riffed Housebrand and extended the kitchen counter through to the entry”
    Great job, you know, good architects copy, bad imitate :)

    I think you are on a track, but you must resolve space between bedroom and bathroom.

    For all:
    Software I use is Autocad, for drawing and 3d model. renders are done in a really expensive software, that i have in my office. so the name is not important.
    Furniture models i got from manufacturers (B&B italia and Magis)
    BTW renders are horrible, everithing is done within 1 h and 30min, to show you my idea, proper yob would take more time

    thanks for the comments…. :)

  • Brad W


    SN – I agree about the bedroom wall but I thought I would try it. In this revision it has been removed…

  • Terri

    S.N., Thanks for the feedback on my plan. I allowed space between bathroom and bedroom so that the utility cupboard didn’t have to be in the bathroom and is also adjacent to the bedroom where the majority of dirty launder accumulates. I also didn’t want either the bedroom or bathroom entrances to be too public; with more private doors, a person can go from one to the other with ease and some privacy. I especially don’t like looking right into a bedroom upon entering an apartment.

  • Terri

    Brad W,
    I see you’ve stepped up your game with the precedent image! Nice going…now we all will have to start perusing the net for cool images. :)

    I do like that closet though.

  • Frank


    Brad W:
    Here is another option for improving the look of entry into the bedroom.

    A freestanding dresser casework unit could be installed in lieu of the wall in your first scheme (if space is permitting). The dresser could face the closet and the TV could be mounted on the other side. Maybe even add a mirror above the dresser or full length mirror on the end. You could also use it as headboard, reverse the bed and mount the TV on the west bedroom wall.

  • Jim G


    My plan is a little obsessive. I tried to find wall space for original art and also tried to line it up with furniture, without making the design suffer. I think art draws guests into your home and shows you are a unique individual.

  • Jim G


    Here are a couple of examples of art in a home-like setting.

  • Frances GF


    Hello Slow Homers,

    Here is my attempt at this week’s design problem. I used the centre column to orient the rooms.

    As Matthew mentioned the proportions of this unit are good. As a result, although not huge, this unit has plenty of space for each usage.

  • Mid America Mom


    Hello! Having browser issues so lets try this again.. I added pictures to the jpeg.

    For this slow home plan I decided to leave a few things the same.

    The bathroom is basically as is. I just enlarged that linen closet. The client seems OK with the bath, it does work, and saves money.

    The foyer is larger and sports a deeper closet. At the end is a frosted glass door to the bedroom, glass shelves on the wall to the living room, and a hall to the bath.

    At the end of the hall the client can place a table with art or mirror above or I was thinking that would be a nice place for a full length mirror.

    The bedroom is more spacious. Across from the bed we have wall of closets. Notice how it is divided in the middle with drywall. This allows for the placement of a wall for a small dresser and maybe TV above. The closet shares the wall with the living room which gives us a few things 1. Allows the room to be bigger. 2. More closet space which is always a plus 3. Great buffer for noise.

    The kitchen is in the same area as before. It is now a L with island design. The sink has not moved and a dishwasher has appeared to the left. The refrigerator is now boxed in. The 4 foot island has seating for 2 and has a built in microwave under the counter. The stove has moved to the outside. Moving to the right of the stove is a cabinet, pantry cabinet, and built in desk.

    The dining area is in between the desk and living area. I have built out the wall with 2*4 ‘s. It will be built on the shallow side and faced with drywall. With a different paint color and art/ shelves this wall will help ground the dining space.

    The living room as shown has a wall of built ins. The configuration would be decided with the client based on needs. It is assumed that the TV would be located here.

    May play a bit more! Look forward to the other submissions.

    Mid America Mom

  • Brad W

    Frank – thanks for the images…interesting ideas for something out of the ordinary…I like it.

    I am in the midst of Thanksgiving preparations and will not be able to attend the broadcast, however, I look forward to watching the discussion at a later time. One other thing and that is a big thank you to SN for taking the time to come up with an inspiring design and the very impressive renderings.

  • Frank

    Brad and SN:

    Here is another proposal that really is only minor revisions of your two plans. I flipped the furniture layout in the bedroom to improve the entry into the space. This way you enter the room instead of the closet. The only issue I have with this design is whether the guest entry door into the bathroom will cut thru the plumbing. Not sure if it runs horizontal in the wall or vertical between units.

    Also reduced the size of the laundry to add more space to the kitchen. One could also incorporate the washer and dryer into the cabinets and keep the entire kitchen area open. I have seen this done with smaller front loading ASKO washers and dryers and faced with wood cabinet fronts similar to the way it is done with dishwashers but I cannot find any photos.

  • Frank


    Don’t know why the images did not post but here is another attempt.

  • S.N.

    Brad W
    good work on your options.

    Frances GF
    OK, but you are missing additional door for guests to enter the bathroom from the hallway (see Brad W).

    Mid American Mom

    just a few suggestions:
    rearrange entrance to the bathroom; move the door to the front of that small corridor (near the entrance to the bedroom). That is because a small hallway is not necessary.

    I am not sure about kitchen, maybe it should be more defined. otherwise OK

  • Mid America Mom


    One last plan.

    Saw that everyone had a pantry or W/D next to the kitchen. I originally had a desk. I like it there so now it is a small study with a glass slider. Used the open cabs and coat closet idea. The kitchen sports a half wall where the stove is.

    Moved the bedroom closet flush with the flue. Larger bedroom can handle a bed and dresser. The bath has a stacked washer/dryer.

    Mid America Mom