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What do you think of this floor plan for a small apartment unit?
pie1984
February 19, 2013 in Design Dilemma
My boyfriend is going to build a 10 door/unit apartment complex and I made out a floor plan to suggest to him... What do you guys think? The small bedroom can either be a maid's room/guest room or a kids room that can fit up to 2 kids on a bunk bed...
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pie1984
It is just a low cost apartment so maximizing use of space is essential :)
February 19, 2013 at 3:36am     
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inkwitch
Where are the closets? Is this being built in the US or in Europe? I can tell you, built-in closets are essential. People have a lot of "Stuff." Where are the windows? Most apts. have windows at either end because the side walls are shared. Which walls are shared? If the entrance is the door to the left, then you have no windows except what looks into the kitchen, tub and bedrooms. THat means the LR/DR areas have no natural light. Bathrooms don't have to have windows as long as they have ceiling vents.

Do you really want to enter an apt. and see kitchen? Few people leave their kitchens in pristine ready-for-company condition.

If the spatial relationships relative to the furniture is realistic, that's a very crowded bedroom with a full-size bed.

Apt. layout has followed a standard layout because of the issues above. It might be better to build an 8-unit complex and enlarge the spaces of each apt. That would require some cost/return evaluations for profitability.
February 19, 2013 at 3:44am     
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pie1984
The closets are the rectangles in the bedroom. Well this is mostly suited for newlyweds, small families or couples who are just starting out and don't forget single tenants. If the couple/single tenant really prefers a large closet/storage room they can convert the small bedroom into one. This is being built in the Philippines where like in Hong Kong it is not unusual to be in a small apartment unit with full maximizing of space. Most people just prefer to have a place where they can come to and sleep in at the end of the day and would not want to pay extra for the luxury of extra space that is not used anyway. But at the same time I will think about your idea of making it larger and charging more. :) The wall at the top and bottom will be shared so the windows will be at the right wall of both bedrooms and at the left wall of the entrance door. I took into consideration your suggestion that most people do not want the kitchen to be the first impression so I made this other sketch wherien they walk into the living room from the entrance door. Do you think this is better? :) But it feels kind of wierd to have the kitchen next to the small bedroom.... But, if that will be a maid's room/laundry room then it would be perfect! :) Thanks for the thoughtful insights inkwitch! :)
February 19, 2013 at 4:25am   
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pie1984
I changed the placement of the door of the small bedroom I think this is better.... What do you guys think?? :)
February 19, 2013 at 4:35am   
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marcmarg
The bathroom seems overly large for the space. You could place the toilet opposite the sink and free up space for your kitchen. Is this drawn to scale? Instead of dining for six, how about a kitchen island with countertop seating?
February 19, 2013 at 4:38am     
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marcmarg
Also turn the bathroom so you enter off the living room instead of off the kitchen.
February 19, 2013 at 4:40am     
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spmm
Be useful if you added the external dimensions at least. Also where is the cooking area? ventilation and windows.
Is there a laundry space or will there be a shared laundry with other units.
Thoughtful design will add value to the properties unless you are building a slum of tomorrow for immediate gain.

Japanese New York and Hong Kong floor plans may help you to achieve a considered and pleasant space for the inhabitants, you also do not show how residents will access the units, is there any shared external space given there are no windows or balconies.

Some people are doing great design with containers, they are worth a look as well.
February 19, 2013 at 4:44am   
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Sandra Studley_DAcci_Cardoza
I'm claustrophobic, just looking at it! How many square feet are we talking, here? I live in 840 sq. feet and it feels enormous compared to what you're proposing here. I will say that I like that the door to the hallway doesn't open in to the living room as pie's does, but at the same time, I prefer pie's kitchen set up (in a big way!). Put less emphasis on the dining area (a single or a couple has little need for a dining area with seating for 6). I'm not crazy about having the bathroom off of the kitchen/dining area as there have been times when my husband has "visited" the bathroom that would have spoiled many an appetite. How tall will the ceilings be? Can he maybe go a tad higher with the ceilings and make the second bedroom a loft space, freeing up more space on the main floor? I have a small entryway that is multifunctional.....I've had an "L" shaped banquet built in that I can move a table to to use as dining space when I have company, it provides a spot to sit down and take your shoes off when you come in, we have a stacked washer/dryer in a closet in this area, and the door to the bathroom is here. Also, sacrifice some bathroom space and perhaps go with a "wet room" . I can count on one hand the number of times I have ever taken an honest-to-goodness tub bath and would much rather have that square footage in my living areas.
February 19, 2013 at 4:44am   
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pie1984
marcmarg... I would like that wall to be free of a door so that they could hang or place the TV on it.... (the wall in front of the sofa).....
February 19, 2013 at 4:59am   
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pie1984
I made some changes with regards to the bathroom... well actually it does not matter where they place the dining area or the living area it is up to the tenant to switch it around it will be an unfurnished unit.... but ofcourse where the kitchen will be is crucial since it will become permanent since ofcourse the kitchen countertops cannot be moved lol
February 19, 2013 at 5:03am   
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pie1984
sandra studley the drawings are not to scale lol I just made them on ms paint just to give an idea.. We're talking 50 square meters.... per unit sorry if it is small but in japan they have even smaller units from what I know... I am actually going to look at floor plans from japan or hong kong to get an idea on how to maximize space..... :)
February 19, 2013 at 5:08am     
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pie1984
thanks for the suggestions everyone! :)
February 19, 2013 at 5:09am   
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pie1984
And depending on how you design it having small bedrooms does not necessarily equal a slum of tomorrow like spmm said. Here is an example of a small bedroom that is actually nice because of how the tenant designed it. :)
February 19, 2013 at 6:11am     
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Sandra Studley_DAcci_Cardoza
"small" absolutely does not equate to "slum-like" - all you have to do is go to the "Houzz" site and type in "small spaces" to "photographs" to see literally thousands of pictures that show how the right furniture and design can make living in even the smallest of spaces feel just right. Small space living doesn't have to feel cozy or cramped depending on how you use the space you have to work with.
February 19, 2013 at 7:01am     
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wmpj
The bathroom should be closer to the bedrooms. If someone is living in an apartment, are they really going to have a maid? The extra room would more than likely be either a guest room, child's room or office.
February 19, 2013 at 7:14am   
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blisscottage06
Did you consider putting the bathroom where the dining table is? This would put it closer to the bedrooms and, hopefully, allow for a window in the dining/kitchen area as well. Perhaps even make the access point from the bedroom, rather than the living/kitchen area, for the reasons cited above.
February 19, 2013 at 7:26am     
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misecretary
I have a couple of ideas.

1. Place shower stall only in bathroom
2. Switch the location of the dining area with the bathroom
3. Pocket doors on bedrooms and bathroom
4. Build a couple of one bedroom apartments use the space to make larger bathroom and bedroom
5. Build outside storage on site for renters
February 19, 2013 at 7:29am     
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PRO
Dytecture
How are these units arranged ? If they are placed side by side of one another then the living area would not have any exterior windows as the bedrooms would take up the exterior window wall.
February 19, 2013 at 7:56am     
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rinqreation
I guess it's wise to set up a place like this in a barn or garage somewhere (with carton boxes for example) and see if you can properly walk through it. These drawings make some sense, but they also tell me you need to make quite a lot more to get to know the hang of it.
There are many plans around the internet on micro-units, look them up, research.
Maybe you can read some books on interior design, especially the part on function and walkways. I'd rather enter a house in the kitchen than against a tv. And where do you prefer daylight when you come home from work (and want to cook a meal)?
Last but maybe best option: get a designer to do some of the drawing for you, so your boyfriend has a professional plan to start fom.
February 19, 2013 at 2:19pm     
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PRO
lewis + smith
Bedroom size would appear to be too small for local codes.
February 19, 2013 at 2:26pm   
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inkwitch
I do like the changes you've thought of. I agree with whoever suggested a 4-seating dining area; more than 4 and it's a buffet. I also like the idea of a bath accessed from the bedroom. And a shower rather than a tub. Does anyone take a bath anymore?

Consider "stealing" at least 12" from the kitchen/DR for the bedrooms. But like you said, it's not to scale.

I wasn't really thinking "luxury" so much as efficiency and pleasant surroundings. To make money with an apt. complex, it has to attract renters with a sense of pride even if they don't own it. Young marrieds with a long-term occupancy will want a nursery. And it would be nice to have an office, or a walk-in closet.
February 19, 2013 at 4:31pm   
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pie1984
Here is my latest arrangement.... What do you guys think?? :) Is this better?I even added a kitchen island with 2 seats....
February 19, 2013 at 7:38pm     
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blisscottage06
Hard to tell if you will really be able to fit those seats at the island and still get to the bedroom, since it's not to scale. Maybe seats at the L in the kitchen could work too. I would suggest only one entrance to the bathroom, from the bedroom. I do like the bathroom there, and the entrance with both the living and dining areas as the first thing you see as you enter is much nicer, and, hopefully, brighter because of the window possibilities on that wall. Getting better, I'd say! Good for you for keeping open to the suggestions you've gotten.
February 19, 2013 at 7:56pm     
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joffler
If this is really for newlyweds or single persons, a unit like this could work rather well, but I question if it would be suitable as a 2 bedroom unit, unless you built up loft style. It's really difficult to appreciate the space with a plan that is not to scale but I gave it a shot using "Paint".

As for designing the space, I would create an open concept such that the living and dining area (for 4) are up at the front of the apartment where I assume the main view will be. Perhaps that wall could be mostly glass to let in a lot of light and add drama to the space? The kitchen would occupy the center space where it can service the public and private spaces equally. At the back, a good sized bedroom and bathroom accessible from the main living area and the bedroom. At least, this is my initial take.

I know you want to maximize your income and having 2 bedroom units may seem a good way but I think if you have a really good workable space for singles or childless couple, you stand a better chance of renters staying longer and caring for the property better. Perhaps some units could be smaller for singles/couples and others larger to accomodate 2 bedrooms appropriately.
February 19, 2013 at 8:40pm     
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February 19, 2013 at 8:51pm     
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pie1984
Hi I only saw the additonal comments now... Yes that's a great idea to offer both single bedroom and two bedroom units..... By the way I made this since someone requested to see the entire layout of the apartment complex... I was thinking it would look something like this and on the outside would look like a huge mansion or house but is actually full of units when you go inside..... I am going to search for a picture of what I have in mind for the exterior look of the apartment complex..... :)
February 19, 2013 at 8:59pm     
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pie1984
I want it to kind of look like this on the outside but ofcourse much simpler.... with stairs at the end of the atrium going up to the units on the 2nd floor..... and probably a fountain or some plants at the front of the stairs...... LOL if my boyfriend's budget allows it... but I was thinking if you're going to build a building why not make it pretty too right? :)
February 19, 2013 at 9:12pm   
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pie1984
blisscottage06 I really want to have another door from the kitchen into the bathroom because I do not want other people having to go inside the master bedroom to use the bathroom in case we have guests.... hope you understand.....
February 19, 2013 at 9:15pm   
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pie1984
I would really like to hear your opinions..... :)
February 19, 2013 at 10:10pm   
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spmm
Ah slum is not about size, it is about noise, wall thickness, effective sanitation, fire prevention and suppression, not to mention fire exits adequate lighting and ventilation in a very hot climate, etc.
There does not seem to be any consideration of sound insulation, water heater location, electricity and water meters, cooking and laundry facilities. These can all be overcome but require some space for multi-apartment dwellings.

I guess discussing the location of a chair can be a distraction from hearing the neighbours above, below and beside you performing their ablutions or having a chat, or running up and down the stairs.
I have lived in some great well equipped and insulated small apartments in big cities, they were not cheap to rent or own.
February 20, 2013 at 12:57am     
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pie1984
what do you guys think? :) About the exterior
February 20, 2013 at 1:03am   
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misecretary
Consider pocket door that slide inside the walls for entry into the bathroom and bedrooms. These would provide 'visual' space to the rooms. I don't think you need a separate entrance to bathroom from bedroom. You're gonna want shelves for storage in the bathroom and the space for the extra door takes away that possibility.
February 20, 2013 at 4:16am     
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pie1984
I made a drawing on paint of how I want it to look on the outside.... What do you guys think? Hope you can understand the drawing lol there is an open atrium in the center of the building with a staircase in the center going up to the 2nd floor to access the units on that floor.... If it is too costly to have 6 units per floor then I guess it can be just 4 units per floor for a total of 8 units all in all.... :)
February 20, 2013 at 5:29am     
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pie1984
Don't you think an apartment complex like this would be beautiful??? :) Lol sorry got caught up in the design....
February 20, 2013 at 5:33am   
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rozajac
Couldn't come up with an alternative without blocking the door to the small bedroom but if the full bath could somehow be closer to the bedrooms instead of across the apartment, would make it more functional.
February 20, 2013 at 6:04am   
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pie1984
hi rozajak I already made it closer if you didn't see one of my latest sketches... :) what do you think of the drawing above for the exterior of the apartment complex?
February 20, 2013 at 6:20am     
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rozajac
I am sorry for I didn't have tools I need on this PC s oI had to use MS Paint to move things around a bit just to show what I was trying to do. My goal would be to bring the full bath closer to the bedrooms.
February 20, 2013 at 6:33am     
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rozajac
pie1984; Just saw your earlier comment/idea; right on. Really loved it. Looking at my scetch now, I see only difference is I placed the bath in between two bedrooms with an angled door. But in your last plan, like the idea that bathroom door is close to all rooms (living room and bedrooms)
February 20, 2013 at 6:45am     
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rozajac
pie1984; you sure nailed it, really. arched gates made it awesome.
February 20, 2013 at 6:50am     
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blisscottage06
Hi pie 1984, I see your point about door from living area to bathroom for guests. Someone else suggested an idea I was going to propose- pocket door(s) so that so much of the bathroom space isn't taken up by the door swing.

You asked for feedback about the front elevation - very grand, indeed. I wonder about the windows - some of the apartments will have doors, it would appear, into the bedrooms, and others will have windows under some sort of overhang. I live in Maine so light is at a premium here, especially in the winter!, but I was surprised that the windows in the living/dining rooms would not have views or much light, since they are in an atrium and close to the unit across the passageway.

As far as figuring out what the building should look like from the street, the neighborhood is key, in my opinion. Would the grand facade you have drawn be like the other homes on the street? I do think that fitting equal sized, identical units as you've laid them out will be hard to incorporate into a building basically designed for very different usage.

Complicated process, for sure, with so many factors to consider. I can see why architects earn their fees!
February 20, 2013 at 6:56am   
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PRO
Urban Design & Build Limited
It is afraid you will find it is lack of storage when you move in. Bath tub can be replaced by shower stand to minimize the space taken. And the door location of smaller room is weird.... you have to walk pass the tv to get in the room.....
I think you can take this as reference. The size of apartment is even smaller than yours yet it gives spacious feeling.

February 25, 2013 at 11:24pm   
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