The Floor Plan Puzzle
One of the best things about a self-build is getting your own custom layout, a bespoke design that’s just not available anywhere else.
Mind you, getting the rooms in the right locations, with the right flow and relationship between each other is a challenge. In fact I think getting the floor-plan right may be the most difficult part of the entire process.
And that’s because moving just one of the elements has a knock on effect that gets more and more pronounced the closer you get to having everything in just the right place.
We ended up with an extra bedroom because of this, there was just no satisfactory way to lose the space without upsetting some other part of the plan too much.
We started off with a few rules that we had to build the floor-plan around. For example we always knew we wanted the master bedroom on the ground floor (bad knees and old age) and these are some of the other requirements that we wanted to fulfil…
- Master Bedroom gets early morning light
- Master Bedroom has attached ensuite & dressing room
- Main bathroom is upstairs to serve other bedrooms
- Back door does not enter into the utility
- Utility & Pantry are both off the kitchen
- Main living area south facing for solar gain
- Main living area gets western evening light
- Snug is at front of house
The dual aspect nature of the master bedroom’s north and east facing windows will make the most of the sunrise. The west facing slider in the Kitchen Dining Living room is there for the evening light and access to a patio area.
The southerly aspect of the main glass gable allows for solar heating of the main space, and roof windows for all-day light and the ability to dump excess heat in the summer.
A Tale of Two Halves
The house is split into 2 buildings. Looking from the front, the left (west) side is a vaulted single storey barn that contains the open plan KDL area with a small utility room and pantry behind and the integrated double garage beyond that.
On the right (east) side is the 2 storey accommodation block. The ground floor has the snug at the front with the stair lobby and wc/cloakroom beyond that. Then the master bedroom with its ensuite and dressing room. The first floor contains the bathroom, bedroom 2 and 3 and an open landing / study area that could be converted to a 4th bedroom if required by a future owner.
Joining both buildings is a single storey flat roof hallway. This runs along the overlapping section and the front and back doors face each other at opposite ends of the hall corridor.
In many ways this entrance is the opposite of our last home. Instead of a large hallway with a double height space, the entrance here is more of a compressed affair which then opens up into the 5 metre vaulted ceiling of the main living area.
Our old hall also felt like quite a lot of wasted space, but with this layout much of it is incorporated into the kitchen / dining area for an even greater sense of space.
Even with the requirement for some services above, the bedroom side of the house has relatively high ceilings too – 2.7 metres downstairs while all the rooms on the first floor have vaulted ceilings. Apart from the main bathroom that is, which has a conventional flat ceiling, giving us a location above for some plant.
Here’s our architects 2020’s take on the layout and design.
Next time I’ll reveal the smart home system we’ve chosen for the Automate Home 2.0. In the meantime you can keep an eye out on the progress of the build by following our Instagram.