Windsor Bungalow Design Project Briefing

Today John and Matthew interview David from Windsor, Ontario. David and his wife own a bungalow that they’d like to see become a Slow Home!

John and Matthew will present their redesign of David’s bungalow, as well as all the great plans submitted by viewers during a special LIVE Online Workshop, Saturday, November 27th @ 11am Mountain (10am Pacific/1pm Eastern)

If you’d like to try your hand at a redesign use the materials provided below and post them in the comments section.

Design Materials

Windsor Redesign – Existing
Windsor Redesign – Demo
Windsor Redesign – PDF
Windsor Redesign – Full Symbol Library

  • Frank


    John, Matthew, and David:

    Not much action on the site today.

    Here is my rough sketch and quick fireplace model. My scheme moves the kitchen as shown and creates an open stairwell surrounded by built in television cabinet, fireplace and storage or second oven for the baker in the family.
    I am not sure if removing this wall will become a structural issue since we are not provided with structural schematics for the roof. Assumed full span trusses or a beam may be need to span the opening.

    I replaced the window on the back wall with a larger opening with a door out to an new deck. I replaced the existing rear door with a full height window to bring more light into the living space and provide a visual connection to the rear yard from the living, dining, and kitchen bar area. If you intend to remodel later I would develop a master plan and forgo this deck option until you know what your plans are.

    In my scheme I don’t like how the entry opens right into the dining room so I would consider two options: 1. Leave existing entry wall as is and shifting the dining table NW. 2. Add a new entry out front by enclosing the porch (maybe enlarging it) and creating a vestibule. I added a new deck on the front and added two out swinging french doors (could also be a nice wood slider if you choose) to connect with the southwest sun outside and allow for some outdoor dining. If you are close to the street it could be screened from the roadway with some landscaping or obscure glass like John’s deck.

    I moved the study guest room and opted to move the en suite bath to the old study room. I chose this option for two reasons. First, if you are going to add out the back I thought I would open the new study up and did not want to limit you by having to tear out the new bath at some future date. Second reason was to streamline the plumbing by using back to back toilet and shower.

    Other minor revisions of the closet and bedroom entries were made in the Master Suite and Study areas to configure the space better. Reconfigured the guest bath. Added wide full width fridge and freezer in the hall closet space adjacent to the kitchen to maximize counter space. Triangle seems to work okay. Optional second oven for the baker in the family. Built in closet and window seat or buffet storage in entry dining space (could also split the unit and have both). Murphy type bed with desk for the study guest room (see photo and this link . ). The firm has lots of space saving furniture and you do not even have to clear the desk. I am sure HouseBrand has access to similar furniture manufacturers or custom made built in casework.

    Not sure if I will be able to attend live session tomorrow with guests in town for the Thanksgiving Holiday. Sorry for the quick sketches but wanted to throw out some ideas. Hope you find some ideas useful for discussion purposes.

  • Frank



    Here are some visuals to stimulate some design discussion on finishes and details. In a small compact space details count more than in large spaces.

    Because the entry is open to the living space, I envision a nice cabinet/closet in the entry area. I also envision a window seat similar to the photo.

    In the kitchen, the cabinets will need nice end cap and door details because they face the living area and windows.

    In the master bath, I envision using mirrors that can rotate to enlarge the space and reflect light from the corner windows into the space.

  • Brad W


    I must admit this one was tough. The main problem with this house is the front entry. I added a small front vestibule and changed the front windows to unify the exterior facade. The vestibule moves the entry into the center of the living space improving flow. It also frees up space for a dining room. I added an additional window in the kitchen and a sliding glass door with steps to a grade level stone terrace off the master. The third bedroom was simply converted into a ladies dressing room. The vanity in the existing bathroom was upgraded. Finally, some millwork and a fireplace was added to the living room.

    Architecturally, the vestibule addition is the key to improving this bungalow.

  • Brad W

    Frank, nice work!

  • Frances GF

    I don’t have a completed plan this week, but I have to agree with Brad the front entry is a problem. The first thing I wanted to do was move the door to the far left even though this was not part of the demolition plan.

    By the way did anyone else hear “Matthew North of House Brand” on CBC radio this past week?

  • Frank


    Thanks Brad. It still needs some work. I like your entry vestibule. It would work in my solution too.

    Brad and Frances:

    I agree with both of you dealing with the entry is definitely the key to solving this puzzle and I am curious to see how John and Matthew will solve this issue. Brad’s solution is a nice one in that it addresses the things I struggled with. I like that it leaves the kitchen where it is. I think having a master plan for final build out is important too. No sense moving things twice.

    Another possible entry location is to add the vestibule on the northwest side along the driveway. It could enter at either window opening and would go a long way toward addressing circulation in the space. Depending on David (and his wife) future plans it could be built as a nice glass vestibule if a new garage gets built along side the house. The old garage would then make a nice study/office/library, music room, guest house, art studio or hobby space (wood shop, etc).

  • David

    Good Morning

    Thank you everyone for the design work completed. Patti and I are excited about the designs that we have seen so far but have a few questions. Not quite sure what is meant by a master plan for final build out, we have no problems moving the door if needed but it is already to the far left of the front of house. The space between the side of house and driveway to lot line is approx 14′.

  • Frank


    David and Patti:

    A Master Plan for final build out is a plan of your entire lot that shows where you want to be when you are all done. It would include your plans for future additions and phases. It would include hardscape (patios, walkways, retaining walls, etc.) landscape, plant locations, decks, etc.

    It would allow you to phase your work on the home over many years without having to something twice.

    Here are some alternative kitchen cabinet designs in case you like things a little simpler and a closet door design.

  • Frank

    David and Patti:

    Fourteen feet is a little tight to add a side entry and still have room for the car to pass. I am not sure what your zoning setback requirements are but likely 5 feet from side yard at a minimum.

    A master plan would also show what zoning setbacks are and allowable building area. I am sure John and Matthew can explain these zoning issues better than I can.

  • David

    I like what Frank did with the front bedroom, I could see opening that up to the bathroom and incorporating Brad’s idea of a ladies dressing room as well. We could remove wall or move wall and closets giving more room in master and include closet space in dressing area. We had also considered what Brad plan showed of moving front porch across front of house moving entry to front window area and moving dining table to far left as well.

  • Terri


    This offer might be just under the wire…I hope.

    I extended the back for a better dining area, including a slider to a deck, which I would have made bigger except my drawing space was limited.

  • Terri

    I didn’t mention the can cupboard along stairwall in kitchen…something I’m rather fond of, I guess!

  • David


    I like Terri’s plan idea but the dining area is going to hinder use of the garage. The garage sit back 31′ from that corner of the house and is 24′ wide and overlaps that side of house by 12′.