In 2006, with 2 kids and a third on the way, we decided it was time to finish the upstairs with an addition. My wife and I spent may days going through iterations of layout and design to try to figure out a way we could get what we wanted upstairs. We wanted to add 2 bedrooms, a full bathroom that could be shared between the bedrooms, and closet space.
Part of the uniqueness of this house is the 10 ft ceilings in the living room. Because of that, there is space in the attic that has a higher floor than the rest of the attic. One of the sister houses incorporated that into the base of the master bed. Literally, the mattress is raised off the floor by that 2.5 foot height change. It’s cool. So we discussed how we could incorporate that into the design of the upstairs.
A couple of the main ideas we kept coming back to as we worked on the design concepts were energy conservation, long-term low-maintenance, and keeping within the neighborhood. We wanted the scale of the house to remain the same on the street view. We tried very hard to keep the scale the same so that it appeared the same as it did from the 1930’s.
We came up with this layout with the master bedroom having a sitting room, and the “library” area on the raised platform. With this layout, the bath is off the hallway and shared with the other bedroom on the second floor. We had some issues with this layout. The bedroom portion of the master wasn’t very big, but it probably didn’t need to be since there was a sitting room. The main issue is that the bath wasn’t close to the master bedroom. We didn’t mind sharing a bath, but it wasn’t exactly close. Nor did we have a lot of closet space in the two bedrooms, just the standard-sized closets.
We were trying to keep within the main footprint, without extending out over the sunroom.
The best part of this is that the master bedroom overlooked the back yard. This would offer a great view of the 200 ft lot we have. Along with that, the bath was still shared, but also had a separate WC for the toilet, and it was located directly above the existing bath, which made plumbing easier. With the plumbing being easier, the cost should be lower. The things I didn’t like about this is the smallish closets and the fact that the sitting area was right next to the bed. It didn’t feel right. But the quad-windows were great.
One other interesting aspect of this layout is that the bathroom was directly over the center of the house. With that fact in mind, I was considering a cathedral ceiling, and by that, I don’t mean just a vaulted ceiling, but an actual cathedral, 4 curved sides up to a center square, painted dark blue and edge lit.
With slight modifications to #2, this changed the bath around so that there were 2 toilets and sinks, but a shared tub/shower. Each toilet/sink was in it’s own “powder room” for lack of a better term, and both had access to the tub/shower room. We also had a small walk-in closet. This arrangement stole some room from the bedroom side of things to enlarge the bathroom a little. The concept of having 2 toilet/sink rooms was very interesting, as well as sharing a tub/shower. With this, each bedroom had their own toilet and sink.
This layout features a slight bump-out over the sunroom. That gave us a ton more space to work with. I really liked how this layout felt with the bath overlooking the back yard. We could also have a separate “wc” room for the toilet, along with a walk-in closet. The angled wall entry into the bathroom was also very cool, and it would have felt like you were being led into the bathroom.