Progress on Our House Plans

Earlier this week we received two proposed designs for a 190 square meter (about 2000 square foot) two story house. (All these numbers are as quoted in Italy: gross size including the exterior walls.). There were elements of both designs that we liked.

home architect's toolsNote: in all of this, we were constrained by the 190 square meter limit. The amount of space we could build is based on the size of the original building, now a ruin, that is on the property. So we’re making trade offs and shaving a dimension here and there to make the plan fit.

Option A

This had a good general design on the ground floor: lots of open space; kitchen/dining room, living room, and master bedroom all on the “view” side of the house; good sized baths and laundry/utility room. The biggest change it needed was to expand the study/fourth bedroom by taking space — but not too much! — from the master bedroom. It could also be improved by rearranging the kitchen and dining space and removing an interior wall to open the space up even further.

Option B

The biggest strength to option B was the sizes of the two upstairs bedrooms. While option A had one large and one small bedroom, option B had two rooms about the same size. In addition to the main terrazza that was in both plans, B also included a small terrazza off one of the bedrooms — a nice little touch.

We discussed our options with our general contractor Kevin. We decided to work from the option A design and try to redo the top floor to include option B’s strengths. Off he went to the architect.

Floor plans for a country house in Italy
Revised plan @ 190m2 Click image to enlarge

This morning we awakened to find a new set of plans in the email. Happily, on the whole, they addressed the issues I mentioned and in a good way. The ground floor study was enlarged a bit and the main area rearranged. On the top floor the bedroom sizes had been adjusted and we even had space for a linen closet.

We had a couple of small tweaks to this plan: French doors instead of a window in the master and a smaller window in the kitchen to provide wall space for cabinets. We also identified some missing information, in particular the ceiling height and the shape of the corner fireplace. (It was drawn as a trapezoid.)

However, we noticed one measurement that gave us pause. The hall from the entryway to the main room was exactly 1.00 meter wide. This isn’t a long hallway, but that seemed to be a bit narrow — but maybe not. We measured some openings in our current house and couldn’t tell for sure. Maybe that’s standard in Italy.

So today’s plan went back to Kevin and the architect, mostly with just the question about this entry hall. We’re hoping to feel comfortable with this 1.00 width, as we have an absolute constraint of one of the structural pillars defining the space, so to widen this opening might mean a total redesign. That’s not what we want to do, but we don’t want to be disappointed later.

First mage source: License: CC0 Public domain. Free for commercial use. No attribution required. Other images: Copyright Our Big Italian Adventure

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