Monday, December 20, 2010

Knox Hill Project: Weekly Update

Work is humming along, Not spending as much time as I would like to but other duties often call on our time. I know based on photos its often hard to understand how what we are doing translates into the overall plan for the  room. So I have floor plan here showing conceptionally how things will go together..

The big design challenge with a 'shotgun floor plan'  is how to get from one point to the other without walking through another private area. Originally when our house was built it was two room per floor with a staircase at the back. The kitchen was a separate building behind the house. Eventually another room was added at the back of the house which was a family dining room and eventually became the kitchen. At some point ,a second story was added which became an additional bedroom. So our plan is to  combine the two front rooms into one master suite. This gives us a 15x34 ft space to work with. When originally built it was just two rooms. At some point there was a bathroom added that took a part of the 'middle' room. At some other point (perhaps within the last several years that was removed but the soil pipes and vent stacks are still there, so that is a logical location for the new master bath as wall chases and floor chases are still there. However there was never really any "real" closet space in the house except for the two tiny closet built a round 1910 or so which we took out to make the entrance to the master bath from the bedroom.

The design goal was to have the master bedroom at the front, have a walk-in closet with a mahogany storage system clothes racks. Room for a double sink, a whirlpool tub and a separate tiled water closet are with a generous size tiled shower. I think this gets us there. Plus we have a nice gallery wall leading to the master bedroom which gives me a nice space for my art collection. I have prepared bid specs and we start looking to a plumbing contractor (with experience working with PEX) to do all the rough in plumbing, pull permits etc. We will handle all the finish work as we are going for  very upscale 'period look'.

So, with that in mind, the  walk in closet space is coming along nicely with stacked rods we wind up with 23 linear ft of hanging space, built in sweater storage drawers and a built in laundry hamper and all the little cubbies for shows, ties etc. What will make this closet "over the top" will be a back-lighted  stained glass window ceiling and Encaustic Victorian patterned tile floor. To save space we will be using a pocket door which will have full view glass panel with will be acid etched in a Victorian stencil pattern. The same custom glass panel door will be used to the toilet/shower area and I am custom etching the shower door to match.
That outside wall will be MUCH warmer once its insulated!

Greg and I took out the last of the damaged plaster on the east wall of the gallery hall and that will be properly insulated and drywalled. With the big east facing windows this space gets lots of nice light. The doorway leading into the master bedroom will be 'centered' to the hall for balance. The plan is to use a French inlaid parquet flooring in the Gallery Hall and Master bedroom and should be very much in keeping with the French second empire style.
By keeping hallways and doorways large you maintain a feeling of space and distance that would be lost with narrow hallways and door openings

This the "unglamorous grunt work" phase of restoration and it's often the hardest phase for the typical homeowner to deal with because you don't see the 'instant gratification you would see with painting or wallpaper. But like they say 'hopefully' you only have to do this once in 140 years of the house so you better do it right!.


St Charles said...

What computer planning program do you use to configure your rooms?

Paul Wilham said...

Actually I don't use a program to configure the rooms.

I start by "laying out' the possible spaces with tape on the floor. Most floorplan programs are designed with /modern furniture in mind and minimal code requirements. Which are often narrower than would be appropriate in an old house. For example the shower is 3x6 feet and will have two shower units with body spray and overhead waterfall. This shower will also have 'steam unit and have sealed door so it can be a steam room.

Once I have than laid out, I 'walk' the space to see if there are possible conflicts for day to day use. In this case we changed the layout 3 times until it had the 'walkabilty' and space I wanted. The closet required two revisions to get it right.

I then drop it into a normal Cad/floorplan program for working drawings for the bid specs and eventual permitting by the plumbing contractor.

The floorplan illustrations you see are actually done in powerpoint. I can crank one of these out in about 10 minutes and its a great way for me to help a client visualize the space. Often I give my client a copy so they can doodle on it and make any suggestions.