Before we actually put pencil to paper, we had to think about space. How much were we going to need? We had seen some of the seemingly trendy new tiny houses less than 1000 square feet but with the need for an office and storage space those were pretty quickly ruled out. Much as we were trying to condense, we were going to need something similar to what we currently had.
This was an excellent exercise though in that it forced us to evaluate our space and how we used it. It forced us to come up with a plan where every square inch would be used effectively.
We have an upstairs. When we first moved, I was thrilled with our second floor but with just the two of us it was rarely used. Husbie needs a private office for his job but we still like to communicate throughout the day. The office upstairs was hardly visited in favor of working at the kitchen table where we could chat while I worked in the kitchen. Because it eventually came to be such a chore to go up and down stairs, paperwork and other such paraphernalia accumulated here and there. We enjoy the sacred ritual of a weekly date night where we cook together before a movie or a game of canasta. A sitting room off the upstairs office was arranged for this purpose but never used because it was so far removed from the kitchen. The space eventually became a catch all for anything else we didn’t know what to do with.
We discovered that the kitchen was the central part of our lifestyle. Anything that we built would need to be on one floor with the kitchen literally as the heart of the home. We decided then that a simple 30’x50’ barn would suffice. We set to work measuring out the spaces we did use to try to work those into our 1500 square feet.
It was difficult.
The funny thing is that years ago, I had taken a drafting class and so I have had some experience with creating a layout. Space however, was not my strong point. Give me an empty square, ask me to put in rooms and halls, and I am completely overwhelmed. My sample boards though? All the pretty, “fun” stuff? I dominated that part of the course leaving my classmates in my wake. This would explain why I have already purchased curtain fabrics and placed walls with one piece of artwork in mind while struggling with the less important details like the foundation. But I digress…
My first draft, scrawled out on a piece of notebook paper, resembled something of a shoebox with compartments. The entry opened front and center into a long room running the length of the barn with the bedrooms off of it. We lived with that idea for a while. We even got our initial estimate based on that plan. Then we realized that while we would technically be roughing it by moving to the country, aesthetic is still very important to both of us and we began to feel as though we’d be living in a cave.
Husbie bought me a pad of graph paper and I set to work refiguring our plan. I placed the kitchen and living area in the center with bedrooms and a dining room on either side. We added a mud room with a half bath, and a nice laundry room with a window.
It felt cozy.
It felt homey.
It is the one we plan to use.
We experienced a bit of a ca’ching when we went from shoebox~cave to home~ sweet~home and for that reason, we’ve considered making it permanent. The original concept of eventually building a traditional home is not as prominent as it once was but that doesn’t really matter because we are both pretty excited about what we came up with.
Now to see if it will actually flow as well in real life as it does on paper…