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Need feedback for my new design, soon to be published
Kieran J. Liebl, Royal Oaks Design, Inc. MN
February 25, 2013 in Design Dilemma
Hello to all my Homies, I mean HOUZZIES out there. I'm a residential designer in the Twin Cities. I publish a lot of my house plans on line. Here is one I'm about to submit and would love to get feed back on it. Pros/cons, design, layout, room sizes too big/small. How can I improve it. This goes out to everyone, professionals and homeowners. Thanks in advance! Kieran
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Kieran J. Liebl, Royal Oaks Design, Inc. MN
Here are additional images
1 Like   February 25, 2013 at 1:53PM
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Kieran J. Liebl, Royal Oaks Design, Inc. MN
one more
2 Likes   February 25, 2013 at 1:55PM
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JUL313 Gallery
Love this,, Also LOVE the sliding door concept--the posts on the porch maybe seem a little too wide? I feel like its blocking most of the front of the house. Have you thought about discarding the desk area off the pantry and making it one large pantry. Maybe with all sorts of fun storage areas--my dream!! I also love, love the idea of a glass wall of doors across the back that open up to the outside. If there was someway to incorporate that it would be awesome. Maybe tweak it to where it is part of the living area and remove the flex room. Love your ceilings, the square footage is awesome---perfect size. Maybe strive for one continious floor covering in that large area to really make it open. Love the large porch. All in all looking good--what a fun job you have!!
1 Like   February 25, 2013 at 2:20PM
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SPACIALISTS
I think this is a lovely design. I like it.
2 Likes   February 25, 2013 at 2:24PM
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gwnorth
Maybe it's just me, but I really don't like open kitchen/seating areas. Yes they look great in magazines, but unless you are fanatical about keeping the kitchen absolutely spotless, to me they don't work. I prefer having the seating nearby but still with some visual barrier between the two. I like having a feeling of openness without having everything in the kitchen always on display.
1 Like   February 25, 2013 at 2:43PM
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gwnorth
I also don't like not having some form of entry way. It doesn't have to be formal, but I don't like walking in the front door smack right into the living area. There should be some visual separation. If this were a rustic log cabin in the woods, or the back door entry, then it would be different.
2 Likes   February 25, 2013 at 2:46PM
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lesliemahler
From the perspective of someone with kids (mine are 8 & 12) this is a fantastic layout. When I was looking at plans last year (currently custom build) I had a hard time finding a one story with all the bedrooms together. Personally I love the desk (e-space), the master bath with closets inside, and the front porch. I would make a couple of small changes by moving the powder room to where the wet bar is now, and increasing the size of the mud/laundry room. That will be the hardest working space in a family home and needs all the square footage it can get. Oh, and one more thing - where will people grill? They probably don't want to use the front porch. If they use the backyard, food and drinks will have to be carried all the way through the house. Good luck with your plan!
0 Likes   February 25, 2013 at 3:52PM
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Kieran J. Liebl, Royal Oaks Design, Inc. MN
Thanks everyone for your insight, this really helps me out!
0 Likes   February 25, 2013 at 4:35PM
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shortped
Are the center porch pillars centered with upper window? If not, that would bug me...love the pantry and large master
0 Likes   February 25, 2013 at 4:50PM
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Kieran J. Liebl, Royal Oaks Design, Inc. MN
The columns are centered with the window.
0 Likes   February 25, 2013 at 4:53PM
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CMR Interiors & Design Consultations Inc.
I love the open kitchen family room. Clients love this. I'm not so keen on the wet bar...I would have not have a need for that. Or the half wall at the entry-
0 Likes   February 25, 2013 at 4:56PM
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Kari Palomo
I like it, but feel that having a little bit more of a defined foyer would be awesome. Also I can't stand when the kitchen sink is in the island where it can be easily seen.
1 Like   February 25, 2013 at 5:00PM
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Kieran J. Liebl, Royal Oaks Design, Inc. MN
For the wet bar, I was actually going to make a desk area for that with int. transoms looking into the great room. Thanks for your input.
0 Likes   February 25, 2013 at 5:02PM
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Kieran J. Liebl, Royal Oaks Design, Inc. MN
I think I'll do a few options here.
0 Likes   February 26, 2013 at 7:21AM
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Architectural Designs
If you had a desk option, it would be a plus. And we'd put it to use as an either/or with the plans
0 Likes   March 5, 2013 at 5:42AM
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Kieran J. Liebl, Royal Oaks Design, Inc. MN
Jon, I will show that, the wet bar area could as be a closed desk option.
0 Likes   March 5, 2013 at 5:45AM
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S. Thomas Kutch
I would eliminate the center column and pilaster .......open up the porch to the front door.....right now it's hidden.
2 Likes   March 5, 2013 at 5:49AM
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sarita574
Hi...I am just a reader that love houzz to get inspiration for own home. I love your design, but although, first impresson the front of the house looks awsome, then I had to "work" to find the entry door. The pillars blocking the entry door prevent it from being "welcoming".
0 Likes   March 5, 2013 at 6:00AM
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kathy
Hi Kiernan,
You just had to have that star, didn't you!

I really like the feel of the whole house and the overall size - rooms are generous without being huge. Each room individually is well-thought out. But I do have some concerns over how rooms - especially entrances - flow.

In my opinion, the house feels backwards. With an open concept kitchen/dining/living space, I would expect the view to be towards the back - and to have a closer connection/access to that backyard. If this house was designed for a specific location where the view (and some privacy) were at the front of the house, then that's different - ignore all the following!

I have concerns about the entrances:

The front door needs to be more separate from living/dining areas - to keep wind/snow/rain/heat/cold out from these areas. Also, picture having 4-6 or more people over, you will have to step over their shoes to get to the dining room.

The mudroom looks like it has sufficient locker/closet space, but the laundry area needs to be bigger. I would want to have a laundry sink plus room to hang/drip-dry clothes and then space to fold clothes. But between the pantry/desk/mud/laundry rooms, there's got to be a way to fit all that in.

The flex room - to me that feels like it should be the main entrance! Lots of room to add closets and still be grand. It doesn't need to be stuffy/formal, just roomy. Now, the living areas are at the back of the house, the door to large porch is not a main entrance, so no worries about storing boots, coats, etc. Probably the windows in master sitting room and garage need to be grander to fit being at the front of the house, but I think that can be done without changing the layout anymore.

And one last comment - the central pillar at front - it hides the front door. Can it be removed without the roof falling down? I would prefer a smaller dormer with just 2 pillars rather than hide the front door.

So, I've said I liked your house but then went and changed the whole place around - sorry. Just trying to picture how I would want to live in that space.
4 Likes   March 5, 2013 at 7:42AM
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Mary Poulos Interior and Exterior Design
I agree with those who said to open up the view to the front door. I like the style of the features of the front, but when built, I think you will regret hiding the front door. Great job of illustrating the personality of the design is beautiful.
2 Likes   March 5, 2013 at 8:00AM
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Grace Reed
Kieran, thanks for offering a unique opportunity. You're a brave man!
Front elevation: Are the chimneys for design purposes only? Maybe it's just a style that I'm not accustom to seeing. I think everyone's in agreement about removing the center pillar.
Floor plan: *Have you considered a 3rd garage with a house this size and price point? *In general, Kmkh's and others comments and concerns are very valid. This would be a tough sell in this market.*In the MBA, someone at either vanity would prevent access to the toilet or shower. The closets are small and the shower should be 5' or more. I would distribute the master bedroom, sitting area and bath space differently. (I'd eliminate the window seat). *The sinks in the other bedrooms wouldn't appeal to most.*My biggest concern might be seating for dining. Where is a family going to eat meals? Entertain? Have holiday meals?
Thanks for the opportunity to critique!
0 Likes   March 5, 2013 at 4:11PM
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Grace Reed
By the way, am I missing the coat closet?
0 Likes   March 5, 2013 at 4:16PM
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Kieran J. Liebl, Royal Oaks Design, Inc. MN
Thanks for all the feed back! I love this site for that reason. Center column is now out! I do have a similar plan that made it to the sunday papers across the country. Here is the plan, which was one of my top selling plans.
1 Like   March 5, 2013 at 4:20PM
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Flourish Design Elements
You could add a designer newel to the staircase for character
0 Likes   March 7, 2013 at 11:50AM
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redheadedwmn
Agree with all the posts above! I'm not sure a wet bar is needed when the kitchen is just a few steps away. I would much rather have an front entryway/foyer with a coat closet of some sort.

And agree that the front columns block too much of the house. My first thought is that you would never get any sunlight in those windows with all that blocking them.

Lastly, I think the back porch could be a little larger. At least big enough for a grill in the summer time!
1 Like   March 7, 2013 at 12:13PM
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Frank Borszcz
I love this home. Americans know how to design a home that's for sure. Love it. Seems like here in Canada depending on where you live its all cookie cutter garbage. Do you do any designs for Canadians?
0 Likes   March 7, 2013 at 1:04PM
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Peter McDonald Architect
I think kmh nailed it. One of the first things I learned in school was that you never put a column in the middle, especially in front of the main door. I was told the Greeks figured that one out a long time ago and they did. As my professor used to say - "Man goes in the middle".

I also like the idea of turning the house 180 degrees and making the flex room the entry hall and giving the living areas a better connection to the backyard which I assume is the more private side - of course this depends on the views, solar orientation or any other contextual reason to have the main living on the street side.

I like how you took the sliding barn door idea from inside to use outside for the shutters. They are held back somehow from banging in the wind, right?

On a minor note the window on the gable over the front porch looks small while the trim above the window looks heavy.

Did you consider pulling the kitchen to the left to the outside wall so you could get some natural light in there. If you did you could rearrange mudroom, laundry and 1/2 bath and open up the stair to the living space - and as a bonus would have room for a large dining table. (stairs are going to be dark too - can't you get a dormer at top of stair? Not sure how you will light that kitchen with a cathedral ceiling but as is it will need lights on even in day time to work in there.

Looks promising so far. Will there be a balcony on the 2nd floor looking down to the living space?
0 Likes   March 7, 2013 at 1:52PM
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Kieran J. Liebl, Royal Oaks Design, Inc. MN
Peter, Thanks for your insight!, I think I'm going to do a 180 on the design. I have one similar to this that I posted above. It is one of my better sellers, I think it's because of the room locations, maybe not too many plans in the books that have kit/living in the front part.
0 Likes   March 7, 2013 at 2:00PM
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Nancy Travisinteriors
Love the color wood floors. A little too much wood with ceilings. Love the craftsman style of out side.
0 Likes   March 7, 2013 at 2:01PM
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Nancy Travisinteriors
I agree the planter in front of door should go. Would open it up. Think I would move bar out to make kitchen wider. Looks narrow. Can't tell what counter tops are? I'm not fan of color. Don't like so much glass on cabinets or color. They look cream. I would rather see white. With bronze pulls. How is lighting. Recessed? Because of angle of ceiling with wood takes away from room. Too high not cozy. Like a craftsman, usually is.
0 Likes   March 7, 2013 at 2:08PM
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Nancy Travisinteriors
The barn door is nice. But railing too modern for house.
0 Likes   March 7, 2013 at 2:08PM
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Nancy Travisinteriors
Furn looks too modern for home. Needs some sort of entry don't like walking right into living area. Don't like butcher top counter tops. Go granite, with some color. The gray color looks to modern for this type home. If you are going craftsman you need the inside to reflect that too. You are a good designer, but it seems you try and put too much into a space. With all the different woods.
0 Likes   March 7, 2013 at 2:15PM
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