Part 2 – Gould Residence, Illinois

Part 2 – Gould Residence, Illinois (PDF)

  • Andrew

    John: Two thoughts: first, if only one car plus some storage is needed, the “mudroom” could be built into the back of the garage leaving the entry door where it is currently. Second, a sliding door from the kitchen to the back garden would be great as it eliminates the swing room.

    An over the top suggestion to make the living room / family room more connected would be to eliminate the two fireplaces and replace it with a double sided one at the front of the house. A bit more expensive of a change.

  • Ann

    I like the whole master bedroom arrangement but not sure about the main living space. The current study is such a nice shaped room I think its a shame to distort it with the mudroom. I advocate putting the mudroom in the back right hand corner of the dining room and having the entrance to the garage there.

    Like Andrew I would also put in a double sided fire between the current study and living space and have open access each side. I would then switch the study and living space as the study seems proportionatley too large to just have as a study.

    If costs allowed I would replace the whole kitchen back wall with sliding glass doors out onto the terrace and I would switch the kitchen and dining spaces.


  • John Brown

    Good point about using some of the garage space for the mudroom – as long as a second car wasn’t needed, and the owner confirmed with a realtor that the resale potential would not be too adversely affected. In a cold climate there would some cost of insulation etc but those would be worth it, I think, to get a really good sized mudroom and avoid the disruption to the family room that Ann commented on.

    I agree too about the advantage of removing those fireplaces. In my experience, however, I would bet money that with the age of the house those are real masonry fireplaces that start in the basement and go right through the roof. They can by really expensive to move because they require re-framing the floor, the roof, and patching the shingles.

    Really interesting idea about putting the mudroom in the current dining room. I would agree with you if we could remove the fireplaces, making one larger front living area that could also incorporate a dining table (probably next to the front entry millwork piece). That way we could expand the kitchen over to the garage wall, perhaps even adding a pantry behind the mudroom. In that case we could reorganize the kitchen to free up the area around the garden doors as you suggest. Although your idea of a dining room facing out into the garden is a lovely image, I think we would find that putting the kitchen and mudroom in the limited space of the current dining room space would be too tight.

    Thanks to you both for the thoughtful comments.

  • Louis Pereira

    A definite improvement already. I like the solution to the Ensuite as it affords minimal disturbance to the main bath and plumbing.

    I agree the kitchen should remain where it is, not just because of cost but also its size. If it’s anything like the size of our kitchen, it wouldn’t work as a Living Room, especially with kids.

    I’d like to point out again there is likely a grade change that happens somewhere, either between the garage and the main living space. If there are 3 risers from the back landing to the main floor, then the same should happen between the ‘study’ and the garage.

    Looking forward to part 3!

  • John Brown

    Thank you for raising the grade issue between the garage and the interior of the house. You are right to point that in a cold climate like Illinois building codes typically require that the basement foundation be raised up 12-16″ above grade to ensure that the joint between the concrete and the wood wall is not compromised by snow. As the garage is at grade there has to be a set of stairs (2-4 risers) in the garage. In warmer climates where basements are not typically constructed, the floor of the house is typically much closer to grade and the steps would not be necessary.