Part 2 – Coleman Residence, Oregon

Part 2 – Coleman Residence, Oregon (PDF)

  • James Scott

    I find the plan nice and open, as are many of the proposals seen yesterday. Highway6′s application of a closed wc seems appropriate since the owner has to travel through the bathroom to get the master closet. If guests or companions were present it could be aukward.

    On another note I know you have told us the orientation of the front and back of the home, but old brownstones and other such row houses I’ve been in tend to have the bump-out feature at the front and the small terrace at the back. The terrace usually overlooks an alley and maybe a shed or garage.

  • Louis Pereira

    John – Nice plan!…

    I had a number of options, each with slight variations in the Master Bedroom only. However, i did decide to leave the MB in its current location. I noted in the client brief that Mr. Coleman ‘may get engaged’, so that influenced my approach somewhat. I also thought it was important to have the 5 pc. Ensuite accessed from both bedrooms.

    As for the Guest Bedroom, I sought to change the door location to the Balcony so that you can create a separate Dressing Room – I also noted that the client’s son likes to play guitar – perhaps the Balcony would be a great spot to do that.


  • Jim Argeropoulos

    I like option 1. Nice work. Sure feels like there is a lot more space.

  • CL

    If the client expects to live in the house by himself 95% of the time, John’s option works well… it’s simple and efficient. However, if it becomes a busier household, I like Louis’ option 1.

  • Paul C

    Very nice options, which is your favorite? My preference would be opt 2. In particular, I like the bed facing the windows and the transitional space upon entering the bedroom. The bed wall would be ideal for a large piece of art and or shallow depth drop-off shelf. It also seems that, at least in plan, there is a little more privacy to the shower area. One comment regarding the bathroom, the elements (shower, vanities) and hall in the bath appear to be a little narrower than the “typical”. A open style vanity (example attached) may be a way to offset the reduced width?

    I like how your version minimizes the amount of retrofit. Shower and wc are roughly in the same place and the closet reframing is minimal. Presumably, this approach would leave more of the modest budget for higher quality finishes, yes?


  • Doug Roberts

    Louis — I like your approach a lot. Putting the toilet in the middle and having a separate sink/vanity/shower/bath on each side makes a lot of sense in a shared bathroom. My only concerns are as follows:
    1) if an occupant of the master bedroom wanted to have a bath, or if an occupant of the guest bedroom wanted to have a shower, then each would have to do so in full view of the occupants of the other bedroom. This could be solved by putting lockable pocket doors at each end of the bathroom as well as on either side of the toilet, but then occupants of the other bedroom would be denied access to the toilet for the duration of the shower or bath. Maybe the best solution would be for the bathroom to feature a combined tub and shower on each side so that there would never be a need for the occupants of either bedroom to venture beyond the shared toilet.
    2) is there a good solution to the problem of an occupant of one bedroom locking the pocket door on the other side of the toilet for privacy and then forgetting to unlock it again when they are finished?

    With respect to the master bedroom configuration, I like having the bed face the windows with a fireplace and flat screen TV between the windows as in your Option 2, but prefer the larger entry/dressing area as in your Option 3 so that the head of the bed does not feel like it is in the dressing area.

  • Terri

    Louis–excellent plan to get rid of that redundant hallway door to the bathroom and have access from each bedroom. I also prefer the closet spaces that are not confined at the “dead” end of a room. This bathroom plan offers lots of future possibilites regarding who uses guest bedroom. Option 2′s MB appeals to me most. Also, I noticed the shelving at the head of the guest bed–is that to show a wallbed unit? I liked John’s chair near the patio door, could one fit in your plan?

    BTW, where do we find those “clent notes” that have been referred to? I’m missing something. And the scale you have on your drawing…where did that come from too?

  • Volker

    Those are interesting plans that you came up with.

    John – it seems to me that you actually just changed the layout of the walk-in closet and kicked out the fancy 80′s tub to get a regular sized tub and a door in there. That is a possibility to keep the costs as low as possible. Although I have to admit I do wonder why does a person living most of the time alone in his place use a by-pass through the bathroom to get to his closet? Just give me a hind what is he storing in that closet? To me it seems rather big for a single person. If he’d find the right lady and both would start to use that space it might get difficult to access the closet at any time. Why isn’t it possible to have just regular closets/cabinets in the master bedroom – what else is this place used for but for sleeping and un-/dressing? As you mentioned yesterday when introducing the new project, the corridor is rather efficient and could work as an access to the closet too.

    Louis – I do like your clean layouts, maximizing the space. I agree on leaving the masterbedroom in the rear of the house because I like the idea of morning sun waking me up in my bed. To me the closets seems to be sufficient and nicely placed. Having a fireplace and some lounging chairs in a bedroom is a nice idea (hopefully he finds somewone to share that space and view). But isn’t the walk-in closet (opt3) way too big for a single person? Placing it in the middle of the house it seems to me a rather dark place. Shouldn’t we try to get as much room facing windows, trying to avoid using electric light, save energy and so on? I understand you idea behind the bathroom layout but isn’t it too complex for a household of a single person? Again he will be forced to use artificial light at anytime in his part of the bathroom – while the window already in place is not needed or appreciated. If he meets the right lady to live with him, using the masterbedroom will work wonderful with all its space but the bathroom might get tricky…
    What is such a huge walk-in closet at the guests room needed for? John’s idea of placing some lounging chair there would make it possible to sit there all over the year – outside during the summer and inside when it gets too cold.

  • Doug Roberts

    Volker — Good point about the importance of daylighting. I would suggest adding a couple of Solatubes to Louis’ plan — one in the middle of the master bedroom dressing area and another in the windowless side of the shared bathroom.

  • Brad W


    A plan which controls costs (something I have argued for..).
    I do have three criticisms:
    3. Master bedroom in the front of the house.
    2. Clear view of the toilet from the bed in the master bedroom.
    1. The location of the master closet. It will become very tiresome walking thru the bathroom to get to the closet. Also, you have put a private closet into the public domain. I am very surprised by this choice.

  • Brad W

    Louis – why don’t you post your options on day 1? Clearly, posting your design ideas (which are creative and well recieved) hijacks the discussion away from what John has proposed.

  • Louis Pereira

    Thanks to everyone for their feedback!

    In the interest of time, i’ll try and respond in point form to some of the comments.

    - Very good points indeed and trust me, all of them were considered while reluctantly calling it quits at 2:30 a.m. this morning. ;)

    Many of those issues could be resolved as suggested – i.e. additional pocket doors at each end, combined tub/shwr, open vanity. As for the size and amount of closets, i suppose we need to consider future. Perhaps the client may sell it as quickly as bought it!?!

    Concerning the aisle width, i had a difficult time judging the scale so i had to reference the Slow Home ‘symbol library’, including the drawing scale from past projects, which appear on PDF project files – usually page 2-3(Terri) As for the client notes, they’re always included with the Part 1 – PDF document (again pages 2-3 after the floor plan)


    Brad W – Time my friend…time. In fact, John encourages posting our work on the day of the Part 2 exercise, otherwise why would he include all the furniture, drawing scale etc. as part of today’s PDF?…

  • James Scott

    Hey Louis,

    Would you consider sliding doors between each suite and the bathrooms as well? Some days I need a quick shower and others a bath to soothe the aches.

    Great options, you’re really helping me see the potential in each project. And thanks to John and his team for putting this site together, what a treat this has been. I’m so eager for the next project.

  • Louis Pereira

    James – (re: sliding doors), absolutely. i believe it was Doug who suggested that option as well.

    I too am astounded at John’s efforts and dedication to the SlowHome movement and ‘Design School’, on top of everything else he’s involved with. He should be commended, as he often is, for his determination in promoting good residential design – something that the architectural community to some, regrettably overlooks.

  • Grace

    Sharing space does have issues! As has already been pointed out, how do you move into your closet when someone else is using the bathroom; how do you take a shower or bath when the adjacent room is occupied by someone else; is the large walk-in closet an adjunct to the master bedroom and, if so, how is it accessed when guests are over and, if not, why devote so much space to it? If having one bathroom is the goal, we fail if we have a bathroom that is, except for the single toilet, actually two bathrooms disguised as one. We might as well add another toilet and give each bedroom its own bathroom. The closets would be most convenient if they are easily accessed by those who will use them.

  • Highway6

    Seems the Day 2 posters get all the critiques.
    If anyone would like to venture back in time with me to Day 1 and offer up some critiques for mine as well as the others, it would be much appreciated.

    New to the site, and liking what I see -

  • Brad W

    Louis – fair enough – BTW, I do like the MB in opt 2 although I find the bathroom too complex for the relatively small space, maybe trying too hard – innovative though.

  • Brad W

    Plan C

    Exterior changes, two ensuites.

    Enough space to accommodate Louis’s opt 2 MB design as an alternative.

    I borrowed space from the existing bath for the guest room closet and added a second bath in the nook space. The door to the terrace is relocated.

    I also borrowed hall space to provide access to the master bath. The window in the master bath has been relocated.

    Probably too costly for a small budget but better resale having two ensuites. Does this fit the Slow Home concept?


  • Volker

    I am really curious to learn, so I am wondering is it really “a must have” in America to have two bathrooms in such a rather small house? Assuming that there is an additional WC on the ground floor I can not really understand the reason for so much space wasted. I have to admit here in Germany – and as far as i know pretty much all over Europe – we would just have a nice sized bathroom upstairs and keep the rest of the space for better use (referring to the layout of those Danish-based architects cabin presented here couple days ago).

  • Brad W

    Highway 6

    I really liked your bathroom. Very slick. It does cut into the bedroom space.

    I did not understand the point of the sitting area in the hall.

    A lot of space is wasted by the angled bed.

    The closets are unusual. Maybe hard to fit doors and the space in the corner is always a problem.

  • James Scott

    It’s exiting the dialogue that is taking place for this project. Everyone seems to be taking a big interest in this one.

    One more thought, a few of you proposed moving the door to the terrace. Why not just replace the original opening with a door sized window instead of filling it in? The more light the merrier.

  • Gen

    I think the opinions are so divergent because bath and bedroom are our most private space. As a very private person, I prefered Brad’s option C with the 2 baths and was extremely surprised at John’s design with the private closet off a common bath. I was also surprised at the number of designs with a sitting area with TV/fireplace in the bedroom. I presume the client already has a nice sitting area on the main floor and because he lives alone would not need to retreat to bedroom.

  • anna

    just a thought, would it perhaps be a good idea to put in some more windows on the south side? there is certainly plenty of south facing wall available.

    my thinking is that oregon is a fairly cold place so any additional (and free!) heat you can get from that lovely southern sun would be a good thing. not to mention the extra light.

    of course, you would have to use double (or even triple) glazed windows with curtains that you could close when the sun goes down to keep that heat in, which does add to the cost. though i would think that this would be offset in the long term by reduced heating costs and the less measurable (but not less important) benefit of increased light.

    anyway, just a thought.

  • Jim Argeropoulos

    I very much appreciate the frequent presenters of designs. John’s teaching is excellent, but the addition of other contributors has really extended the chances to learn.

    My thanks to all the regular contributors! I am having a blast learning more about design and increasing my awareness.

  • John Brown

    To Everyone Who Has Been Participating

    I want to echo Jim’s comment about the value of the regular contributions that are being made about the exercises. When we conceived of the Slow Home Design School we saw it as an opportunity to not only talk about good design but start a two way (multi-way) conversation about design.

    In a traditional architecture studio, the best learning always happens between students after the lesson (usually late at night). It is great that the same kind of thing is developing here.

    It is fortunate that this kind of conversation is starting at this particular moment as I have been called away from active participation in the daily discussion because of the unexpected passing of my father. I want to thank the “regulars” for keeping things “business as usual” on the site when they are, for me, anything but.

    I very much look forward to returning to our growing conversation next week.


  • Jim Argeropoulos

    Sorry to hear about your father! Take all the time you need. We’ll be here when you get back. Family comes first.
    Maybe Louis or Paul could be talked into hosting a session or two for you while you are away. ;)

  • Louis Pereira

    John – My genuine and deepest condolences.

  • John Brown


    I have taken care of all of the daily exercises. It is just the discussion session that I will be missing.

  • Terri

    I am impressed with all the plans presented here, and especially to Brad W and Louis for doing more than one! (I’m sorry if I’ve missed someone else, there are so many this time!) I gave up using Paint–this time–I found it too cumbersome and was taking too much time.

    And thanks, Louis, I hadn’t opened the PDF, only the JPEG.

    John, I’m sure we are all very sorry to hear that you have experienced an unexpected loss of your father. Take care.

  • Grace

    I’m very sorry, John.

  • James Scott

    Hey Terri, don’t give up on using Paint. It’s taking me a while as well, but I see hope for all of us. Maybe Louis can shed some light on his ability to whip off a few of these at once while those such as myself are still fumbling with cut & paste.

    John, our thoughts are with you and your family.

  • Paul C

    Please accept my condolences, very sorry to hear of your loss.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    Paul Cameron

  • Highway6

    Thanks everyone for the feedback.
    I concur on the angled wall – that room could work just as well with the bed on the baywindow side.