1700 sqft 3 Bedroom Bungalow, Wisconsin

1700 sqft 3 Bedroom Bungalow, Wisconsin | 1700 sqft 3 Bedroom Bungalow, Wisconsin

  • James Scott

    My first plan.

    Being cheap, I went with what I thought are the simplest changes. I moved the wall down to add space to the bath and switch the door to face the closet. The bedroom door was moved out to accommodate the new entrance to the bathroom.


  • James Scott

    I kind of jumped the start since I posted prior to your review of the plan. I had seen the issue with the doors and the sight line into the master bath and such.

    Bu to me the biggest problem with this plan is that it tries to be more than it realistically can. Dump the breakfast area and really open up that space between the living room to the back of the house. So many opportunities.

    I wonder if it is worth comparing different options to see if the owners may be encouraged to look further than just the master bath. Maybe the budget can handle a more comprehensive renovation now instead of in stages.

  • Paul C

    My vote for single worst thing, the inward nature of the overall design. Unless someone actually witnessed the homeowners driving into the garage, it would be difficult to know if any one lived there.

  • Terri

    Wow! Another clautophobic space. Are there really a lot of these “cookie cutter” plans being built? This space is so closed in that one expects the owners do not want to ever know their neighbours.

    The single worst design element is the very limited access to the back garden. You have to go through the rabbit warren of hallways to get there off the nook, or intrude on the master bedroom (if there are patio doors there). I would guess that people living here would either have to be okay with being trapped inside most of the time or would sell and buy some freedom!

  • James Scott

    Hi John,

    As mentioned the home in this edition is probably shoulder to shoulder with its neighbours. On a 40′ or smaller lot with anywhere between a dozen, 200, or more other similarly built houses in the same subdivision.

    We know that maximizing house density is nothing new, but with housing booms, the baby boomer generation, and other factors the density issue can be pushed beyond insanity. Just look at the 920 sqft condo in Alberta, small, unusable, yet quite expensive.

    It would be interesting to see what results we would get from the same lot or building footprint from this exercise in a densely populated region in urban areas of Germany, England, Mexico or Japan.

    What concessions are made, or what efficiencies are incorporated that we just don’t utilize in North America? One example, a separate laundry room may be realistic here, but in Germany and England (from my experience) the washer and dryer are placed into the bathroom or the kitchen in many homes. Another…skylights, which seem to be a trend that has come and gone, or are incorporated only in more expensive projects.

    I would like to read your ideas on this. As our demographic ages, and other pressures challenge our assumptions of what housing is and will be, can we make the adjustments early on so as to avoid mistakes such as shown above?

    I hope I haven’t side-tracked this exercise too far.

    Thank you.

  • Volker

    This is such an interesting site and finally I decided to do my very first sketch.

    I believe the worst thing about this layout is the numbers of corners, small bends and rather small living and dining area. There is way to much space wasted for corridors.
    Looking back 40-50 years the modern architecture tried to design light & flexible rooms, simple layouts, trying to let the border between interior and outside vanish. Frey, Koenigs, Eames and so on did some outstanding work.

    I agree with James, it is interesting to look abroad and see how things are done there and what we can learn from them.I tried to straighten up the layout: You get into the house, the rear of the kitchen working as a focus and destination as soon as you get to the dining area the room opens up becomes a big space… living, cooking, dining..studying. (Since I do not know anything about the outside, neighbors it would be possible to actually flip the layout too). The Living room facing the west side, so it will be a nice place at the end of the day and the kitchen will get morning light. The bedrooms are all in the rear, facing south. As mentioned by James, the laundry went to the main bathroom to save space, keep things simple. I left the columns were they are, although they seem a little odd to me, perhaps they need to stay there and this way, they do divide the main “living” space.

    Thank you.


  • Louis Pereira

    Would it be fair to suggest that the Master retreat in general, reflects a profound change in today’s society – characterized by our love of luxury and sensuous pleasure over the once family-centered home?

    This kind of appeal, in my opinion, is imbued in the Wisconsin bungalow, with its bloated vinyl water-jet Tub and Walk-in Closet, reducing the Kitchen and Breakfast room to a meager token living space. Sure it could have been laid out a lot better, but when it appears so desperate to include ‘features’ like this that you compromise remaining critical living areas is inexcusable. That’s what I find to be the worst thing about this house.

  • Lisa

    Hasn’t anyone heard of sliding doors? The designer sure hasn’t.
    My opinion of the worst thing is the garage entry. If someone takes the car to work everyday, they go through the laundry room all the time!! Let the dirty clothes have some privacy. The garage entry should be nearer to the front entry.

  • CL

    I agree with Louis. I also think that we could put a little less focus on cars when designing a house on a narrow lot (the front must look like many of the sub-developments that I have seen ie. large garage with small porch attached).

  • Grace

    The worst thing for me is the size of the garage relative to the house; it’s wider than the living/dining room for pete’s sake. I like having a garage entry into a laundry/mud room (great when there are kids in the family), but I dislike the one here because of the chunk it takes out of the third bedroom. The half bath is unnecessary and, because of its location, won’t be used much.

  • Ken Tsai

    For me the worst thing is that this house plan is likely part of an entire development of similarly built houses which turn their backs to the street and to any opportunity of forming a real sense of community or neighbourhood. In my opinion communities thrive where there are “eyes on the street” and people know (or at the very least recognize) who their neighbours are. It’s difficult to cultivate this when everyone is hermetically sealed in their car/garage/house. What a terrible waste of space and resources!

  • Brad W

    1. The decision to divide the house down the center – living space to the left as you enter and bedroom space to the right. All the remaining sins flow from there.
    2. Notice how the kitchen, bathrooms and laundry are scattered through the house. The plumbing infrastructure is expensive and I’ll bet will create difficulties when finishing the basement.
    3. Intrusize master bedroom/bath.

    The problem and the frustration is to make this right really requires completely redoing the entire interior. So instead of renovating this disaster just put an internet connection and a flat screen in the bathroom because I’ll be in the tub crying in my beer ’cause I was dumb enough to buy this place.

  • sandra mckenzie

    I agree about the garage – I hate that the North American design default is the two-car garage with living quarters attached. I also like Volker’s solution to the kitchen/dining room/living room layout. The master bed/bath is ridiculous, especially given the postage-stamp size second bedroom. How about reprioritizing this space so that both bedrooms are humanely-sized to accommodate people, rather than a magazine layout. I don’t see room in the second bedroom even for a closet, much less for a kid’s hobbies, or sleepovers.

  • Tina

    What would happen if the master bath didn’t have a super-size tub overlooking the best view? Other possibilities open up once that ‘feature’ is removed. Huge master bedrooms are a waste of space if there is ample closet space, and this house does seems to have a closet large enough for 2. The powder room is also a waste. A house this size doesn’t need more than 2 baths.

  • Jim Argeropoulos

    If I lived in the house the thing that would probably bother me the most is the doors that overlap. I could overlap a lot of other things, but those kind of details would irritate me to no end.
    I like that the bedrooms are isolated from the rest of the living space, but the routes into the bedrooms are a bit odd.
    Last week John talked about bedroom doors that open into a closet. Because of that I immediately notice the North bedroom closet.
    I thought the half bath with windows onto the portch was intersting. Since that is the only view into the house, I wonder if anyone is ever going to look in at an inopportune time.
    I am not opposed to small bedrooms. In fact I kind of like them because the encourage the family to hang out together in the common areas. In my book bedrooms are for sleeping and changing.
    John, I’d love it if you could do an in detail session with entries. Both the exterior space and the interior.

  • Tony

    I think one of the worst things is the powder room right by the front door with a window to the front porch. If that window is open there is no privacy if someone is standing at the front door. what a crazy design! i also hate the laundry room garage entry and the car exhaust coming right into the living room. you would get smacked in the head if you were doing laundry and someone came in through the garage door.

  • Tony

    john, the plans this week are particularly badly designed. where do you find these?

  • Brian

    I am struggling to come up with one thing, can I just say the whole house is wrong. I have been in houses similar to this one and they are truly off putting, I don’t know how people can even live in them, they are just plain dreary. I know I want to leave as quickly as possible and I am just visiting, Imagine the owners.

  • Doug

    In my opinion the worst part of this design is the living room dining room area. If you put a dinning suite in this space it would leave the living room too small to be of much utility. Even if you did, demising the space from the living area to the dinning area would be very awkward. You would have a couch/chair backing onto the dinning room table. If you dont put dinning furniture in this space the room is difficult as a living room. As John mentioned the living room is cut off from light. The angled corners, the windows on the east wall and the access to the room prohibits the placement of furniture. In the end the placement of furniture would leave the room with a very awkward layout. Most of the living in a home is done in the living room and kitchen / nook. That is why I think poor design in these rooms is a greater error.