Part 2 – Lin Lee Residence, Utah

Part 2 – Lin Lee Residence, Utah (PDF)

  • John Brown

    This is the completed concept design for the Lin Lee residence.


  • Brad W


    Your solution is well done. Certainly, you have made Grace happy by saving her main floor laundry! I do have a couple of comments:

    1. The video for today’s exercise is not loading.
    2. The location of the main sink in the kitchen is too close to the corner making it awkward to work there.
    3. The work triangle in the kitchen is fairly large and it appears quite narrow.
    4. Is the vaulted ceiling retained above the study?

  • Murray

    Hello John and/or webmaster

    In case you are not aware – there seems to be an problem with the video portion (10:30 Nova Scotia time)

    It looks like it is trying to load for a number of seconds, and then the final screen shows up saying that one has just watched the segment along with links to previous videos.

  • Brad W


    Is the fridge location adjacent to the pantry? That would improve the work triangle so I must retract my previous comment #3. I am trying to like the kitchen design but I am surprised by your inclusion of a pantry and by your unusual placement of the sink, fridge and stove.

    Also, if the front door could open wider it would create a more spacious feeling entry space.

  • John Brown

    We are working on the video. Sorry for the hiccup. Thanks for pointing it out.

  • John Brown

    The video is now fixed. Thanks for your patience.

  • James Scott

    Nice plan John, quite simple and makes the main floor seem very livable.

    If I recall from yesterday the front room was open to the upper floor. How was that dealt with?

  • Paul C

    Nice layout. I would suggest a few minor things.

    1. Confirm the stairs are as they are for they seem to be shy a few risers. I wonder if in the original plan, a winder was maybe missing at the top of the basement stairs. If the winders are to be replaced that’s fine but likely it would push the starting of the basement stairs a little into the family room.
    2. Take maybe 6” from the dining and add it into the kitchen isle.
    3. Include a hearth at the fireplace as that may affect how the furniture is to be placed
    4. Replace the swing door to the laundry with a pocket door.

    All in all very minor suggested changes to a very good plan.

  • Doug Roberts

    John — I like that you reversed the front entry door swing, as having it open towards the home office will naturally direct guests entering the home into the main part of the front entry space, instead of towards the home office. I considered doing the same thing but there are no 45 degree angle door swings in the symbol library and I decided not to bother trying to draw one by hand.

    I also like that you placed the family room furniture against the interior wall and added another set of patio doors to direct more of the focus towards the deck and garden, although doing so does mean no room for a door between the family room and the home office as I had on my plan. I guess I was looking to give Joni a more direct route to the coffee pot when she was working at home ;)

    Like Brad I am not completely sold on your kitchen design. The design brief indicated that the clients felt their existing kitchen was too small and cramped, and your kitchen, although different, does not appear to be any larger or less cramped. Having an “L” shaped kitchen with just one entrance/exit would mean more need for people to squeeze past each other when 2 or more people are in the kitchen at the same time. I think a well designed kitchen should facilitate meal preparation and clean up as team efforts, not as solo exercises. Also, as long as you have a decent amount of cupboard space I fail to see the need for a separate pantry room unless you are designing a bomb shelter and plan to maintain a 6-month supply of non-perishable foods.

  • Doug Roberts

    John — what would you think of this modification to your kitchen design to make it larger and less cramped?


  • Paul C

    I like that change Doug.

  • Brad W

    Doug – I agree with Paul C – good change to the kitchen.

  • Bonnie D

    Hi Folks, I like John’s overall concept design which managed to resolve keeping the half bath and the laundry on the main floor, while also getting the back and front entry features in. The formal dining room space ended up getting split between providing the extra/improved features and moving the kitchen over. Good point by Doug that the kitchen in John’s design didn’t get bigger in comparison to what the original plan has. I agree with both Paul C and Brad W, Doug’s adjustment to John’s design good, it is a simple solution to make the kitchen larger and more open and easy to get around.

    One comment about extending the millwork all the way across the East wall, visually I think this could be a bit overwhelming if it is all cabinets. This area could use some detailing or a display feature to make the millwork visually interesting.

  • Terri

    I like the revised plan with Doug’s improved kitchen layout. However, I do think the issue of the two-storey ceiling in the study and part of the family room must be addressed. This is a huge obstacle, in my opinion, to the plan working in real life. If Joni does bring a client to her office, it will be less than satisfactory. Sound will travel into the office from two floors of this family home, and vice versa.

    Yesterday I tried to NOT put a study in this corner for this very reason, and I finally gave up after a couple of hours. So, how will the vaulted ceiling being addressed, anyway?

  • Doug Roberts

    Bonnie — I agree with your comment about the long run of cabinetry/millwork on the east wall. One possibility would be to:
    1) have the sink and cooktop switch places (I prefer to have the cooktop against a wall instead of on an island, especially if the island also has a breakfast bar, as in this case);
    2) make the east-facing window larger and move it to the middle of the east wall, so that it is to the right of, not behind, the cooktop and creates a visual break in the middle of the east wall; and
    3) use a different but complimentary design and finish on the right-hand portion of the cabinetry/millwork, to reflect the transition from kitchen to dining room.

  • Doug Roberts

    Of course, if I was Louis I would have attached images showing examples of the type of kitchen-to-dining area millwork/cabinetry transition that I was talking about, but alas, I am not he.

  • John Brown

    Great conversation. Sorry I haven’t been able to get into it sooner. I like the revision to the kitchen. I know that my kitchen was not substantially larger than the existing one but I thought that it was much more effective and functional. With that said, the millwork extension being proposed certainly adds more storage I am not if there is that much more actual kitchen work space. I think that you would have to be careful not to make it feel like the dining table was in the kitchen.

    In terms of the two storey front living room, all I will say for now is that we are going to be looking at the redesign of the upper floor next week and an extension into that space MAY be in the cards.

  • Brad W


    Here is a furnished and slightly revised version of my plan from yesterday. Sorry Grace and Bonnie no main floor laundry – traded for a larger kitchen. Besides, a basement laundry can be quite nice adjacent to the home theatre, bar and work out area.:) Having said that, I do like that John was able to incorporate a bathroom and laundry. When paired with Doug’s kitchen revision this would probably be my choice. I like my smaller study which frees up some additional width for the living room. Also, the front door can be opened wider giving more room at the entry.

    John has a point about the dining room feeling like it is in the kitchen but I think as Doug has pointed out there are plenty of design options to solve that problem.

  • John Brown

    I like your front entry. It further isolates the 45 degree angle from impacting the front entry. The issue of the size of the study would ultimately depend on how the client intends to use it. I like your version if a “pocket study” is what they need.

  • Frances Grant-Feriancek

    I would suggest a kids homework desk/computer area at the end of the long run of kitchen cabinets. A change of materials would visually seperate it from the kitchen cabinets.
    Sorry John, I perfer Doug’s more open kitchen.

  • MichaelG

    Brad, the way you’ve modified your bathroom with the smaller basin, the opposite wall can hold a washer dryer, hidden from guests by cabinet doors. If they’re both front loading, there will be a lot of space above for shelving and storage. For those set on an main floor laundry, that could be a good compromise.
    I also really like your study. Where I’m sitting now is quite similar, and I like the slightly cozy feel. A desk facing a window, and a wall of books behind me is perfect.

  • John Brown

    I like your suggestion of the computer desk at the end of the millwork. That would be nice way to transition between the kitchen and the living space.