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THE KLARA PROJECT #3 - The Design Process Begins - My Home Away from Home

Posted on March 28, 2019 at 7:00 AM

As the crew worked on building the new retaining wall and constructing the new patio outside, I was busy coming up with the new layout for the inside.  When I design I always think of function first.  How a space will be used and how can it be used to it's greatest potential are the questions I constantly ask myself. Functionality first, then the aesthetics. Our lives, our jobs, can be difficult and while it's great to come home to a beautiful house, imagine if it was an impractical one, one that was not very functional. That would only add more frustration to an already stressful life. My first goal is to make the homeowner's life easy, alleviate stress through ease of use.... functionality first.

To understand how a space is going to work to it's peak potentiality I first have to get to know the space and know it well.  Before I even start the design process I spend lots and lots and lots and lots of time wandering through the rooms, getting a feel for each one, exploring all the possibilities, until I figure out what the true configuration of the home should be.


Case in point is this coat closet.  It was located just to your right as you entered the house. While it's always great to have a coat closet, this one was way too small for the way we live our lives now.  Lets face it, we all have So Much Stuff!!  This little closet would never hold all the coats, hats, boots, brooms, vacuums, swifters, etc. that we use in our daily lives.

That size issue went along with another that I had with the space behind the closet.  It was a nice room, but you could only access it by walking through a living space to a door in the middle of a wall.


What I decided to do was seal up the door into the room, which would help create a second living space, and then get rid of the existing coat closet and create a doorway into the room that way.  That would let you come into the house, walk directly into the small room to your right where you would find a bench and a huge coat closet that's perfect for all your stuff.

Note: this is why I love my phone.  I can take pictures, measure, then write the measurements directly onto the picture.  Later I can then take all that data and create layout drawings.  Also this cool funky door would later become the door to my new powder room.

That took care of one side of the house. Time to address the other. In a very traditional and standard for it's time layout, the dining room was it's own room.  A powder room was in the space between the dining room and the kitchen. Our modern lifestyle tastes have changed. Now we prefer an open concept.


In order to open up the space between the dining room and the kitchen I first had to figure out where to put the powder room.  It's always a huge bonus to have a first floor bathroom so I didn't want to remove it.  Near by was a large pantry and a space with some cabinets.  This was an ideal location for the powder room.


I then had to measure out the kitchen to see how I could lay it out in the most fuctional way possible given the limited space.




You never know what you'll find when you start opening walls.  Once we began demo on the wall that would help open up the space between the dining room, through the powder room to the kitchen we discovered one of the main waste pipes.


There wasn't a way to move it, so I'd just have to design around it.


Having a master bath is pretty much on every home buyer's wish list and I knew I need to add one.  This full bathroom located on the second floor serviced all three bedrooms.


But there was this room next to the bathroom. Too small to be a bedroom, it was being used as an office.


I would just need to close up the existing hall entryway and create a new door into this bathroom from the bedroom that would become the master suite.


With a water supply and access to the waste line right in the wall dividing the two rooms, it was easy to image the office as a full bath.


Once the wall was open we could create the plumbing necessary for the new bathroom.


Up next, deciding on fixtures and finishes.... "Dressing Up Klara"

Categories: Design, Renovation, Real Estate for Sale

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