Changing the Floorplan at Sunrise Farm

I’m going cross-eyed from changing the floorplan at Sunrise Farm. I’ve spent weeks weighing my options, but ultimately there’s always a compromise of some sort. Being the perfectionist that I am, I struggle with identifying what I’m willing to give up on.

We’re about 1.5 weeks into the demo phase of our remodel, but we still have a couple details we’re not quite set on. I’m hoping you’ll chime in after today’s post, because I need to make decisions ASAP!

Below it the original floorplan at Sunrise Farm.

Changing the Floorplan at Sunrise Farm

Problems with the Original Floorplan

Right away, you notice several issues. I’ve outlined them below. The hope is that changing the floorplan would address if not all then at least most of these.

  1. The galley kitchen feels cramped and closed off.
  2. The laundry+mudroom has a lot of wasted space.
  3. Ideally, the water heater should be in the garage, rather than the laundry+mudroom.
  4. The door from the garage to the laundry+mudroom is directly under the garage door motor rail.
  5. Master bathroom has a lot of wasted space, and feels cramped and closed off.
  6. The sunroom can only be accessed through a door in the furthest corner in the kitchen.
  7. The sunroom has limited wall space due to windows and two exterior doors.
  8. The washer and dryer are not centered on the laundry room window.
  9. There are far too many doors between the sunroom, kitchen and laundry+mudroom.
  10. Front door opens directly into the living room.

Option 1: Extending the Kitchen into the Sunroom

The first option I considered was opening up the kitchen into the sunroom, and combining the two spaces into one massive kitchen. I became obsessed with the idea of having a row of windows lining the entire back wall of the kitchen. For a while, I refused to consider anything else. Can you even imagine? You’re washing the dishes at the sink, and you can see your entire homestead from the windows?

The issue with this scenario, however, is that all of the current windows in the sunroom would need to be replaced with shorter windows in order to accommodate counter height. The windows in the sunroom are fairly new, so not only would that not be the smartest use of our finances, but a kitchen of such size doesn’t exactly fit the overall square footage of the house.

Also, when you consider the size of the adjoining laundry+mudroom and the cabinets that all these spaces would require, I don’t even want to imagine the cost.

Option 2: Opening up the Kitchen, and Moving the Dining Room into the Sunroom

Moving onto the next floorplan option: knocking down the wall between the kitchen and sunroom, and relocating the dining room into the sunroom. Now, I loved this idea for several reasons:

  1. We could fit a massive 10-foot dining table into the sunroom. It’d be perfect for entertaining, and would allow us to enjoy every single meal in a sun-drenched room.
  2. This layout would also allow us to shift the living room into the original dining space, which has less doors and doorways than the original living room. As a result, furniture layout could be more straightforward.
  3. This scenario would also resolve the issue of the front doors opening directly into the living room, because we could convert the living room into an entryway/library/office of sorts. The possibilities seemed endless, yet I couldn’t quite nail down a layout I actually liked for that front room.

Besides the lack of clarity on that front room, there were several other issues with this option. We had set our minds on raising the ceiling in the living and dining space, and this option threw a wrench in our plans. It didn’t make sense to have a vaulted ceiling over an entryway, as such a space is typically more intimate.

Another issue with changing the floorplan to have the dining room in the sunroom is that the 10-foot table felt too large for everyday dining. Imagine having breakfast with just 4 people at a table that could easily fit 14. I wanted the sunroom to feel more inviting, cozy – and this scenario didn’t exactly align with that.

One of the biggest stumbling blocks for me with this layout is that moving the dining room into the sunroom wouldn’t leave enough space for there to be seating at the kitchen island. More than that, the dining table would have to be pushed up close against the wall of windows in the sunroom, with a bench on one side and chairs on the other. That’s the only way we could fit a dining table and a kitchen island, albeit one without seating.

Option 3: Opening up the Kitchen, and Keeping the Rest of the Spaces the Same

Ultimately, I decided to open up the kitchen but keep the rest of the spaces in their original locations. One corner of the sunroom could function as a family hang-out space, and the other as a homeschool space. Our original intention for the sunroom was to be able to spend as much time there as possible, so what better way to use the space?!

Below you can see my proposed floorplan. Besides the living/dining/kitchen/sunroom changes, you can also see I’ve completely rearranged the master bathroom and added so much functionality to the laundry+mudroom.

I can’t wait to share more details in the next phases of our remodel! Hopefully these renderings get you excited to continue following along!

Changing the Floorplan at Sunrise Farm

Below is a 3-D rendering of the original versus the proposed floorplan. Note also that the design details aren’t fully worked out; the furniture, layout, and various finishes are merely placeholders. One can only stare at floor plans for so long before you need some fake furniture to see how it’ll really look.

Changing the Floorplan at Sunrise Farm Changing the Floorplan at Sunrise Farm

So, does the proposed floorplan solve all of our problems? Let’s see!

  1. The galley kitchen feels cramped and closed off.
  2. The laundry+mudroom has a lot of wasted space.
  3. Ideally, the water heater should be in the garage, rather than the laundry+mudroom.
  4. The door from the garage to the laundry+mudroom is directly under the garage door motor rail.
  5. Master bathroom has a lot of wasted space, and feels cramped and closed off.
  6. The sunroom can only be accessed through a door in the furthest corner in the kitchen.
  7. The sunroom has limited wall space due to windows and two exterior doors.
  8. The washer and dryer are not centered on the laundry room window.
  9. There are far too many doors between the sunroom, kitchen and laundry+mudroom. 
  10. Front door opens directly into the living room.

As you can see, my proposed floorplan addresses all of our design issues except one. The living room is going to be very hard to lay out, that’s for sure. But the good thing is that we’ll be buying all-new living room furniture (since we used ours to furnish one of our rentals), so we won’t have to work around any existing pieces. I’ve mocked up a couple living room layouts, and I can’t wait to debate those with you. Stay tuned!

Now, tell me your thoughts, comments, questions and concerns! I’m genuinely interested in what you have to say! We’re taking this project on in phases, but like I said, phase one is well under way, so speak now or forever hold your peace.

Looking for more inspiration? Check out the following:

Posted in SUNRISE FARM.

3 Comments

  1. You honestly can’t go wrong with option 2 and 3, if you like to host dinners often option 2, if your family find yourselves constantly in the kitchen with no TV then option 3 is also great. I love kitchens opened up to the living room concept I was wondering if you would consider doing something like that which would probably require moving the kitchen completely or living room completely. Imagine living room where the dining is and after knocking or pushing the sunroom wall back you can turn the kitchen to face the dining room which is now the living room with island and all and create a breakfast nook or dining to the right by the windows.

  2. Opening up the kitchen to the sunroom means removing part of your exterior wall to the home? I’m curious about that process and looking forward to hearing more! IMO, you can’t have a too big mudroom/laundry and you could even do a cabinet for a pantry if you find there’s still extra space. Two of my kids are teenagers and it’s a amazing how much less space you have with bigger jackets, backpacks, and shoes!

  3. Your ideas for the kitchen look very nice. I like the idea of using the space more in terms of every day use. It looks like you still have room to add a table in the den if you want to have a larger group seated. Or add a table between the LR/DR.
    I don’t see any access from the back yard into the mud room. I would definitely want that.
    In the LR, I wonder if putting the door in place of one of the windows would make a difference. They could all be made to look similar to maintain symmetry. It would give you a wall by the door for a small chest and mirror to give it an entry feeling.

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