Before and after: Revitalizing former best-selling plans

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Even the hottest-selling plans from a few years ago need updating to match the current trends in residential design. Professional Builder’s House Review team demonstrates how to revitalize past bestsellers.

Even the hottest-selling plans from a few years ago need updating to match the c

Even the hottest-selling plans from a few years ago need updating to match the current trends in residential design. Professiona

January 30, 2013

We’ve all collected a few “best-selling” plans over the years — designs that just seem to have lasting appeal. But even the most popular plans eventually need an overhaul. While some of these designs might merely need a facelift to update the exteriors, most could also benefit from an interior makeover.

For example, since kitchens have become the focal point of most homes, many older designs require this area to be completely re-worked, incorporating bar seating and a view toward the family room. In many cases, the formal dining room can be replaced with a single, spacious dining area that’s also open to the family room.

Traffic patterns may need some improvement. By creating logical paths from one area to another, there’s no longer the need to travel directly through the family room, dodging furniture as you go. While eliminating hallways and creating open floor plans was the goal for many years, the result often compromised privacy. Who really wants to sit in the family room and see directly into the master bedroom?

Finally, the media center has gradually replaced the fireplace as the focal point in the family room. In fact, the fireplace might even disappear completely from the family room in some markets.

For past House Review topics, visit www.HousingZone.com/HouseReview.

Improving Traffic Patterns

Designer

Larry W. Garnett, FAIBD

254.897.3518

larrygarnett@larrygarnettdesigns.com

www.smartlivinghomedesigns.com

Traffic flow throughout a home becomes one of the most critical and often overlooked details. The following two plans, although bestsellers for many years, certainly benefit from improving the traffic patterns and opening up a few walls. The kitchen in each plan now becomes the focal point of the design, providing views to the family and dining areas, in addition to creating informal eating bars.

BEFORE - Problems with the original plan:

A. Kitchen is closed off from dining and family room.

B. The rear portion of a rather large family room is actually devoted to traffic flowing from the foyer toward the hallway and dining area.



AFTER - Benefits of the new plan:

A. Kitchen now opens to dining area and includes a small island bar and corner windows above the sink. Also, note that the rear door eliminates traffic directly through the middle of the kitchen.

B. A 10-inch-thick half-wall defines the foyer and family room.

C. Dining area now also opens to family room, creating a more informal and useful area.

D. Now the defined gallery directs traffic past the family room and dining area. Note that the square footage and furnishing areas remain identical.

 

BEFORE - Problems with the original plan:

A. Kitchen is closed off from the family room.

B. Formal dining room is isolated from the family room. As a result, it’s a room that’s seldom used.

C. Entrance to master bedroom from family room saves some hallway, but at the price of compromising privacy. Someone sitting in the family room has an unobstructed view into the master suite.



AFTER - Benefits of the new plan:

A. Kitchen opens to family room and provides casual bar seating.

B. Removing the walls between the dining room and the foyer and family area makes all three areas seem larger and more inviting.

C. The footage required for a short hallway is a small price to pay for a secluded master suite.

D. The new gallery is actually space borrowed from the family room. Note that the furnishing space is the same. But now the traffic flows from the kitchen and foyer to the bedrooms without having to walk diagonally through the family room, dodging furniture.

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