Hello again! I hope your Thanksgiving was lovely and that you managed to do a better job than I did keeping your cool with all the Black Friday sales. Not much has changed here. We
have had lice again. And I still haven’t found a contractor who’ll tell me that I have plenty of money for our remodel. But I’ve made a decision. I’m going to move full steam ahead on the remodel. Why you might ask? Well I’ve decided to do something I’ve never done before: I’m going to be optimistic.
Those who know me, know that my natural inclination is to assume the worst about myself and when predicting what’s going to happen to me. (Though I’m very optimistic when it comes to my friends and loved ones oddly.) Suffice it to say, looking on the bright side is quite a departure for me.
Some might say my optimism in this particular situation is “deeeeluusssional”, and they’d probably be right, but I’m going to do it anyway. I figure the worse that can happen is that we’ll end up having spent a fortune on architectural plans that we can’t do anything with. That’s pretty bad but at the end of the day, we’ll still have a roof over our heads and a sh*t ton of money left in the bank. So is it really that bad? No seriously, I’m asking: is it bad?
Today, we met with the architect and spent 2 glorious, hours going over the renderings of the house we had done a few weeks ago, and talking through a lot of ideas.
In the remodel we are going to tackle the kitchen and the basement. We’re going to push the kitchen into an adjoining bathroom and bedroom, and add a master suite in the basement. In the end, we’ll have the same number of bedrooms and bathrooms.
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the kitchen because to me, that seemed like the trickier space; but also it’s a lot more fun imagining a new kitchen than a new basement. Bill, our architect, does not agree.
Apparently, the basement requires more thought than the kitchen. And when I say “thought” I’m not talking about the lovely, fun things we’re going to end up seeing every day. Nope, the basement talk is about sewers, drainage, windows, crawl spaces and elevations. Ugh.
I know these things are important but it’s not as much fun to think about. Thankfully, with my new-found optimism, talking about the unsexy stuff in the basement is exciting too. Here’s a rough sketch of what the basement looks like now.
Our basement is shaped basically like a rectangle with one end slightly wider than the other. (Hey geometry-peeps: is there a name for this shape?…Ha! who am I kidding? Those who are mathematically inclined are not following me.)
Bill brought some great, new ideas about how to configure the basement that will maximize the narrow space and how we can open it up to our backyard so it doesn’t feel like we’re sleeping in a basement — even though we will be.
All along, I’ve been imagining that we’d put the bathroom and laundry room in the wider part of the rectangle (along the wall on the right in the sketch above). But Bill thinks we should consider putting the bathroom and laundry area on the narrower side of the rectangle (to the left of the word basement) because there are more windows on the right side, giving us more light and floor space on the “bedroom” side of the master.
It’s definitely worth considering, but our main sewer line runs along the right side of the house. Putting the bathroom on the left, may require us to have to dig deeper than we already have to to make sure the sewer line slopes down enough before it connects to the main line. Gravity is involved. Apparently. If we’re being honest, I spaced out during this bit so I’m not entirely sure this is right. Long story short, the pooper may end up being on the right side despite Bill’s brilliance.
We spent about an hour and a half on the basement and then it seemed like Bill was done. I was worried he’d forgotten that the kitchen was part of the job too, but when I asked him he said “Oh yeah”, like it was no big deal. Or rather, likeBill was gently trying to remind us that the engineering and technical stuff in the basement are a priority since we all know it could consume our entire budget.
To that I say “Ha!” Bill doesn’t know about my new-found optimism and though I probably shouldn’t start thinking about the kitchen area, I can’t help myself. I’ve drawn up some very rough sketches of what we currently have and what I’m thinking of doing. (Note: nothing is to scale. At. All.)
First, here’s what we’re currently living with:
And now for what we’re contemplating…But before we get to that, it’s true confession time: I’m considering doing a semi-open concept to connect my dining room to the kitchen and new family room. *gasp* I know. I know. This is lunacy. I, am the founder of W.A.L.L.S. How can I entertain doing an open concept design?
Trust me when I say I’ve thought long and hard about this, and it’s probably the only way we can do all the things we want (add a powder room, improve flow and bring more natural light into the kitchen). Here’s what we’re contemplating. If you can come up with a better, walled in design, please share it with me!
The thicker lines (in red, blue and black) represent changes: red indicates where we’re closing in windows or doors, blue is the new sexy french door, and black are new walls. All of the windows and doors we’re closing in are literally rotting away so they need to be dealt with. I think closing them in will give me more furniture placement options. I’m hoping by opening the kitchen to the dining room, where we get a ton of light, plus the french door, the kitchen will be awash with natural light.
I drew these plans up before we sat down with Bill. Now, I don’t think we’ll be able to do a peninsula connecting the family room and kitchen and that’s fine with me.
The island is another matter. Bill all but laughed at us when we said we’d like an island. Hence, why it’s labeled “delusional” island now, and the old me would have been heart-broken about that. Bill is going to try to make it happen so I’m remaining optimistic.
Now, you’re all caught up on what’s been going on here. Bill said he’ll have rough sketches to us in a couple of weeks. I can hardly wait. When he does, I will of course, update you. So stay tuned…