Designing A Floorplan That Works


fixer upper

The little house that could

Last post I told you about a cute little fixer upper that my Daddy and I are working on. Today I am going to share with you the floorplan as it existed when he bought the house and the evolution of the plan as it exists today. I will attempt to explain my thoughts  throughout this process as I worked my way not only toward a plan that functioned well but that was aesthetically pleasing AND was easiest on the budget.

So this is the floorplan we started with.


There is a nice, big living room that you walk in to with a formal dining room on the left.

Off the dining room is a small very ill-configured kitchen with a rotten floor and rotten cabinets.
My biggest concern was with the bedrooms and bath. We are expecting to rent this to three college girls.
Biggest issues?


1. One bedroom is very small with no closet and it opens directly off the living room.
2. Second bedroom is a good size but the door from the carport opens into this bedroom. Say what? And the closet is tiny.
3. Third bedroom is a thoroughfare from the kitchen to the hallway which leads to the only existing bathroom.
4.There is no laundry room and no place for the water heater.
 As you can readily see, all of these issues had to be addressed first before we could even think about aesthetics.
My first idea was this:

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I will post this several times so that you don’t have to keep referring back to see the floorplan. I tried to leave

most of the walls in place and work with what we had. I did remove the wall between the kitchen and dining

so that the kitchen could extend farther down thus creating a space for a dishwasher and the refrigerator.

I tucked the toilet into a little existing linen closet, did a small walk-in shower which left enough room to

tuck in a water heater. I closed off the old closet in the bedroom, opened the back side of it and put a full

size stack washer dryer in there.

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I then stole some space from the carport creating a good sized bath and two nice closets to serve

bedrooms 1 & 2.

To the right on the tub is a built-in chest on chest to make up for the lack of storage in Bedroom 1.

A large linen closet left of the tub provides space for cleaning products, bath supplies etc.

This was OK but I still wasn’t happy.
Then in the middle of the night….. it happened.
I love it when that happens. I suddenly realized that I should re-think everything and that by doing so

I would

eliminate everything that bugged me AND it would all fit within the existing footprint of the house which

means money saved.

Let’s back  up and look at the original floorplan again:



Let’s analyze all of the problems that were solved:
1.All 3 bedrooms are the same size and all have a large double closet. (easier to rent -no fights among tenants!)
2.No bedroom has an exterior door.
3. No one has to walk through a bedroom to reach another room.
4. By creating a hallway from bedroom three to the laundry I made sure that laundry washing could

still take place even if the bathroom was occupied.

5. We now have a nice second bathroom with double vanities and a tub to serve bedrooms 2 and 3.
6. I shortened the original hall way and took in the original bath linen closet to create the closet for

bedroom 2 thus eliminating the door to the hallway and making it a private space.

7. The original bath now just has a large walk in shower but serves only one bedroom and doubles as

the guest powder room.

8. There is now a beautiful U-shaped kitchen just off the great-room. The open concept allows for great

casual entertaining and opens the space up for more people to perform multiple tasks while occupying

the same area.

I really think this is a great solution and one that saves us money and time. I also love that because the

laundry is right by the back door the girls are close enough to campus that they could literally run home, throw

the clothes in the dryer from the washer and be back  at class on time. By moving the back entry steps to the side,

it makes a more graceful entry into the home and means that you aren’t immediately looking down a hallway

into a bedroom.

What do you think? There is still a tiny bit of time left to make changes if you see something that

would make

it even better!

Next up:
color and finishes!   I’m excited.
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Fixer Upper Time

I have had fixer upper fever for a while now. I was just itching to get my hands on a pitiful run-down something that I could save. Then my Daddy called.

“Hey Baby. When ya comin’ to see me?”

“As a matter of fact, I need to come next weekend if that’s okay. I have a client moving in just north of you and I need a place to crash for a few days.”

“That’s awesome. I have just bought a little house close to campus and I need your help turning it into a rental.”

“Okay! What shape is it in?”

“Weeeellll…… has a lot of potential.” (nervous laugh)

“Yippeeeeee!!!!! A fixer upper!!!!”

(laughter) “I’m glad you are excited!”

Be prepared…. this is not a “pretty picture” post…..not pretty at all…..YET.

Here she is in all of her glory.

fixer upper


I made a video as I did a walk through but it was too long to fit on the blog. If interested you can jump over to my facebook page and check it out to get the full effect… especially of the back side. Gulp.

Here are the bedrooms: yes, the door off the carport opened directly into this bedroom. Say what?




This is the second bedroom on the carport side. It is  substantially smaller than the other two bedrooms which might cause conflicts with three female renters.




The floors are in great shape. That’s a plus!

This is the front door leading into the large living room. Dining is beyond the “holey” wall. Why?



Here is the opposite end of the living room  with a door leading into bedroom number 2. All windows in the house are rotten and have to go. That’s sad.


Dining Room


This is the kitchen. The door leads out onto a little concrete porch that is about 8′ x 12′. Steps lead into back yard from there.

While inspecting the condition of the cabinets Daddy fell through this floor. THAT was not a good day. Angels, please protect him.

fixer upper

This is the hallway that leads from bedroom 1. Door on left goes to living room. Door on right goes to bathroom. Door at end leads to bedroom 3 and then into kitchen.

fixer upper

This used to be the bathroom.


Apparently an entire nation of squirrels had taken up residence under the tub years ago. Anybody want to buy a few million acorns? I can fix up you.



Appliance wall in kitchen.

fixer upper

Bedroom 3



And now, gulp, for the back view.

fixer upper

fixer upper


Jeff and I measured every inch of the space and I drew a plan to help us visualize where we were starting and where we needed to go.

Next up, I will share those plans and the evolution of the finished plan that we are now working from. It involved a middle of the night epiphany. I love those!

Come along on the journey of this fixer upper . It will be fun!

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I Have A Couple Crush On Chip And Joanna Gaines


I have a couple crush on Chip and Joanna Gaines. Is there anyone who doesn’t love those two? I mean, if you don’t you really shouldn’t admit it ’cause they are just so stinkin’ cute together. If you have been under a rock somewhere and don’t know who they are check out HGTV’s Fixer Upper and introduce yourself. They are the hosts. I must admit, as a design professional, I am not a fan of most of these shows because they set unrealistic expectations for the general public who are not equipped to discern what is real and what is just good TV but I love Fixer Upper.

I was putting my name in the hat to try to win a trip to stay at their new guest quarters, Magnolia House, when I got sucked into their web-site and found the pictures of the farmhouse. Oh my.

Chip and Joanna Gaines

It started out looking like this.


I think this is such a beautiful quote to feed our children’s minds with every morning.


This feels like The Price Is Right…  what’s behind those doors, Joanna?

Chip and Joanna Gaines

So much to love here: herringbone brick floors, white ship lap and black iron.



Just give me a little bit of architectural salvage everyday, Baby. It’s as good as a vitamin.




I think this would be a perfect house for a family getaway: easy care finishes, lots of places to run around and wait till you see all the possibilities for art projects! The first thing my three little ones ask as soon as they see me is “Do you have an art project for us,Gigi?!?”… every time…without fail.  Love it.



The master bedroom feels very peaceful.

Chip and Joanna Gaines

And talk about a grand entry into the bath! Yes, please.

Chip and Joanna Gaines

Now you will see what I meant. This is the children’s craft room.


And this is Joanna’s! Heavenly. Actually I would like to add one more area. I want a big open space-heated and cooled but with floors and walls that I don’t even have to think about. I would sling paint to my heart’s desire. Then I want a bunch of mega-large canvases… oh, and the knowledge to know how to produce great works of art. Where did that come from? See last week’s post.

Chip and Joanna Gaines

The boys’ bedroom is my favorite room.


The girls’ is sweet.

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I got so wrapped up in the farmhouse that I forgot all about The Magnolia House. Sadly, I didn’t win or I would have taken you with me. 🙂

It looks pretty cool. SHIPLAP.  Nuff said.

Magnolia House Chip and Joanna Gaines


They have also converted some old silos into what I hear is a must-visit marketplace.



I think I see a trip to Texas in my future! Road trip anyone?

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