The “Z” Floorplan

July 30, 2019

This is the continuing saga of Mildred House’s floorplan changes. Catch up on where the house started, our goals and how it looked when we bought it.  As a reminder, this is the original floorplan of the house:

When we first bought the house, we thought the changes we’d make would be mostly cosmetic, with minimal structural changes (adding two walls and expanding a doorway). Our plan was to switch the dining room and kitchen, tearing down the walls and the much-hated pantry to make an open L-shaped area for the living spaces. (I guess technically Z shaped when you add in the sunroom). This was the plan and I had already decided on my dream kitchen. The only question was whether we’d build a small pantry or just keep it as a U-shaped kitchen. No room for an island, alas.

Yes, the right wall of the kitchen extends further into the dining area – worth it for the extra storage
A small but mighty U-shaped kitchen with lots of storage
The dining room would have built-in storage, continuing the look from the kitchen

In this floorplan we would turn the formal living room into a bedroom to replace the back bedroom we’re turning into the master closet/bath, closing it off from the new kitchen.

Pros and Cons of the “Z” Floorplan

  • PRO: Minimal structural changes (at the time we were told the pantry was not load bearing, so we wouldn’t have even needed a header beam; we later learned that was incorrect)
  • PRO: Lots of cabinet space
  • PRO: Functional U-shaped kitchen
  • CON: Windows were too low for cabinets to run under, so they’d have to be replaced and the exterior brick repaired
  • CON: Would have to run all new plumbing, electrical, gas if we wanted it
  • PRO: Opens up the space, but not quite “open concept”
  • PRO: Allows for more cabinetry in the dining room to serve as a wet bar with ice maker and beverage fridge
  • CON: ice maker and beverage fridge are expensive
  • CON: Walking space into the hall would still be a bit tight
  • CON: Nowhere for an “entry” cabinet/place for coats (we use the carport door exclusively)
  • CON: New bedroom placement makes formal entry awkward – you’d walk into a hallway, then through all the private spaces before you get to the public spaces
  • PRO: Space for big pantry cabinets
  • CON: No walk-in pantry to hide small appliances
  • PRO: Separate kitchen and dining spaces
  • CON: Back would be to dining area when at the sink
  • PRO: Kitchen/dining are close enough to continue conversation while cooking
  • CON: No where to sit in the kitchen
  • PRO/CON: Plenty of room in the center of the U, about 7’ which isn’t enough for an island but may seem kind of far when carrying a heavy pot of boiling water

“Z” Floorplan Variations

Our second iteration was taking room from the bedroom to make the kitchen large enough for an island. Since we were replacing windows anyway, we could remove the huge three-panel window from the living-room-turned-bedroom, make it smaller and steal some space . This would involve moving the entire wall, instead of just filling in the cased opening, and lots of exterior brick work. Anyone who has ever renovated an old brick house knows it’s almost impossible to match the brick and the work is expensive. The kitchen space only needed a few more feet to fit an island so it wouldn’t have impacted the bedroom too much. Plus we don’t mind cozy bedrooms. The problem with making the kitchen larger is that there’s an awkward jut of wall + cabinets from the dining room, throwing off the balance.

Shrinking the size of the bedroom we could fit an island in the kitchen, but requires moving the wall
The island is small, but offers seating and extra storage (don’t mind the missing end panels)

The third iteration was removing the formal entry entirely. Yes, that’s controversial. We talked a lot with our realtor about it. While my dad wasn’t a fan of the idea, we think ultimately it would have been fine. We will never, ever, ever use that entry. It’s awkward to get to as you have to go down stairs at the base of the carport (where there’s a door…), through landscaping that makes the pathway somewhat hidden, then up another set of stairs. While potential buyers might say, “hmm, there’s no formal entry?” I think they wouldn’t mind when the sacrifice gave them a much larger kitchen, master and guest bedroom.

Who needs a formal entry? I’d rather have a big kitchen and master bedroom

What do you think? Would it bother you not to have a formal entry, even if you never use it? I would definitely be sad not to have the opportunity to style it, but that’s all it would be used for – pretty things. What do you think about these floorplan options?

Spoiler Alert: We’re not going with the “Z” floorplan. Stay tuned for where we landed.

  • Reply
    Open Concept Floorplan – YarbHaus
    August 1, 2019 at 8:51 am

    […] you remember way back to Tuesday, our original plan was to switch the dining and kitchen, aka the “Z” floorplan. While this would still be a great option if we kept the smaller footprint, it made the formal […]

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