Part 1 – 2100 sqft house, Washington

2100 sqft house, Washington (PDF)
2100 sqft house, Washington (JPEG)
2100 sqft house, Washington – Upper floor (JPEG)

  • James Scott

    Good morning John,

    Could you add the upper floor plan as well?

  • Jim Argeropoulos

    The super size master bath and then the tiny bed rooms. The second floor “great room” should have given up some of it’s greatness for the bedrooms.

  • Adam G

    I can only assume that there’s something really nice to look at to the north, since the house’s focus seems to be there.

    The south-facing garage eats a lot of light. That, and it leads right through to the nook, which suggests that the nook is going to become a catch-all room.

    I do like the porch at the front entry.

    I enjoy fireplaces, but I can’t help thinking that the one in the Great Room was tacked on. [what kind of name is Great Room anyway? Should we be expecting Greater and Greatest Rooms as well?]. Particularly given that the heating system in the garage is (presumably) covering the whole house, judging by the flue elements on the upper level. I’m hoping that floating column in the Great Room serves some kind of structural purpose. Mind you, it could be a great place for some coathooks. ;)

    Upper level: it’s nice to see the linen closet close to the top of the stairs, but I hope nobody ever leaves that door open.

    Master Bed: again, I like the balcony, as I did the porch beneath it. I trust it’s not being looked into from a house opposite. The master bath eats far too much space. The bathroom seems almost as large as the master bed, and most of it’s just floor. Why are the shower and bath crammed together like sardines in a tin? There was enough floorspace for some seperation. Though I notice that the Throne is respectfully sealed away in its own roomy chamber.

    The extra room is a waste. That space could have been used to make the bedrooms bigger, add an extra ensuite bathroom, or what-have-you.

    It’s a pity that the third bedroom door opens right onto the closet.

  • James Scott

    The only spaces to get any real light are the two bedrooms facing south. The rest of the home will remain relatively in the shadows.

    The yard area between the garage(s) and the houses will be surrounded by 2 story walls on three sides, making the space very cavernous.

    The access to the back yard from the nook will be a pain since I’m assuming there will be a table and chairs in the middle of that space.

    1) lack of natural light
    2) small and closed in yard
    3) poor access to yard

    On a side note I’m guessing that this is a project where the houses are the same, maybe reversed. If that is the case we have a row of homes with roads on both the front and the back. If the access to the house and the house itself are more important than the availability to the outdoors, than construct these as townhouses, reducing the use of materials, land and increasing density. Maybe forget the yard altogether and create terraces over the garages. This could possibly eliminate the need for mowers and other mechanical yard tools. I’m sure the developer could have come up with ways during the planning process to reduce the environmental impact during construction and during the life cycle of this complex.

  • John Brown

    Sorry for the confusion. The upper floor plan is now posted.

  • James Scott

    John – Thanks for posting the upper floor plan.

    The aspects of the plan I do like the most are the extra “away” spaces of the study and the loft. I can see both being furnished with chairs, sofas, desks or the like and being very quiet, and quite comfortable spaces to just hang out and relax. Maybe the study would contain the TV and maybe the loft has the family computer. I really feel these extra spaces provide many opportunities.

    See, it’s not all bad.

  • John Brown

    Adam G,
    We can only hope that there is something “great” to look at to the north of this house. A better bet, as you probably know, is that this plan is being deployed over a wide range of lots – large – small, interior – corner, busy street – quiet street, north facing – south facing – east facing – west facing.

  • John Brown

    I appreciate your comment about the side yards for this house. Your are quite right in thinking that this house would benefit by being adapted to a townhouse layout with the side yard dimension incorporated into the house. Or the two sideyard spaces could be consolidated onto the one side in order to make a larger and more functional side garden.

  • Adam G

    @ John: darn it, you’re shattering my fragile hopes and dreams. ;)

    On a different note, and going back to that fireplace: it didn’t strike me until I’d looked at the upper plan again, but that’s a pretty big chunk of the room taken up by something that doesn’t have a chimney breast. It’s at an odd angle too; putting it on the south internal wall (looking north) would make it easier to fit in with the room.

  • John Brown

    Adam G,
    It might be that the flue is not drawn into the master closet (actually a fairly typical cookie cutter housing trick) or that it is a direct vent gas unit that vents directly out the side wall. In either case you are absolutely correct about its disproportionate size.

  • Jim H


    Things I found to be awkward about the current layout:

    The fireplace is forced in to the space. Appears to have been an after thought.
    There are two doors at the front of the house.
    There is no real entrance experience.
    The location of the man door into the garage.
    Lack of natural light….fenistration sizes and locations.

    Attached is a quick study of the first floor, without reworking the stairs and exterior wall locations.

  • leo

    The front and rear entries to this house are pretty bad, especially the rear; that’s pretty self evident to anyone who has followed this site.

    I think that the whole first floor does not flow well. The great room has little connection with the kitchen/nook. There is access to the side yard from the nook so there is an assumption that there is something worthwhile in the side yard, yet the only wall the great room has facing that area is taken up with that weird fireplace.

    My biggest concern is the basic philosophy behind the design. There is a monstrous master bedroom/ensuite and really relatively small living spaces. There is something wrong when the master bedroom is bigger than the Great Room. It really means that that room is the only nice one in the whole house. It looks like the house was designed around a master suite more suitable for a house twice as large, and everything else was an afterthought.

    The upstairs loft would be a problematic use of space if the first floor was more open and usable, but given the bad feng shui there, I don’t think that the public space there is necessarily a bad idea.

  • leo

    Jim H

    Your redesign makes a bad situation much better. I think what has to happen now is that a closet needs to be placed in the garage to store coats and shoes etc.

  • Jim H


    Totally agree with you about there being a lack of philosophy and discipline. I can not imagine what the exterior elevations look like.

  • Terri

    1) Lack of natural light. This house would be very dreary to live in, especially in the winter. Seattle gets a lot of rain in winter, which sucks light levels when the sun is low in the sky and made even worse when the rooms face north. And with the front great room’s light exposure hindered by the front porch, it won’t be great at all. (The fireplace will be the only way to add cheer, so it should have been honoured by placing in along the west wall.) Further, the kitchen has tiny windows on only one side, and the upstairs bath has no window or skylight or anything.

    2) The garage entering into the nook, which is actually a dining room. Obviously no one thought about people needing a place for shoes, etc. and fitting a table into the same zone.

    3)The absurd master ensuite with its huge window and floor area but tiny shower crammed in beside a tub. Also the ensuite is way across the bedroom from the closet, creating quite a highway in the room.

    The one thing I like is the placement of the laundry, close to the source of the chore and the stairs.

  • Paul C

    Three worst things for me:
    1.Poor entrys
    2.Corner fireplace and how it affects furnishing of the front room
    3.Size of ensuite

  • MichaelG

    This is a design with no overall concept. The master suite confirms it. the ensuite is 3 times larger than the family bath. If this place is designed for a couple, then fine, but in that case why the 2 extra bedrooms AND study?? Why not a deck over the garage for entertaining? Not intelligent, seems like its just trying to check all the boxes…
    Very poor flow on the ground floor. The garage opening straight into the dinning room? Closing off the the kitchen and dinning room from the living room? This is a small house, on a small footprint with very few windows. Enclosing rooms, separating them into individual spaces rather than any attempt at openness makes a bad situation worse. Jim H’s simple modification makes a huge difference.