Thursday, June 7, 2012

Convenience Wins Out

After 35 years in the same house, I have finally decided to put a powder room on the first floor.  Why did I wait so long?  The simple answer is that there was no place to put a powder room that didn't require giving up parts of the house I liked just the way they were.  But the decision has been made and demo begins tomorrow!

This is the layout of the first floor.  Obviously, if money grew on trees, there would be some really fancy solutions that would probably include an addition and a bigger kitchen.  All of which would be lovely but not in the budget. Realistically, I needed to do this within the parameters of the exisiting footprint.  I mapped it out in my mind in a varitey of places but it always came back to putting it in the alcove of the dining room.

The entry to the powder room would be through the existing panty.  The door  would start at the wall on the right (just out of the photo...very hard to get a good shot of this small room) and end just about the center of the two pairs of doors.  That leaves room for cabinets to the left of the bathroom door...just not these same cabinets.

The table with the lamp on it sits in what will soon be the new powder room. 

(Dining room in stripped down version in preparation for demo)
The downside of this plan is that I lose the light and the view from the alcove window.  I still have a window on each side of the fireplace but I will need to paint the dining room a lighter color to compensate for the loss of the southern exposure. Secondly I will  lose some of the cabinetry in the pantry.
But the scales are finally tipping in favor of a first floor bathroom over all previous objections and I'm doing my best to turn this renovation into a win/win.

This is the planned layout for the half bath.  The window will now be in the powder room.  The radiator will be turned 90 degrees so that it ends up on the dining room side of the wall that separates the dining room and the powder room.  The plan is to move the pantry cabinets to the basement so they can still store infrequently used kitchen items. (Please excuse the direction of the black arrow and the slightly crooked drawing.  If you only knew how many times I redid this to get this far you would understand my not trying one more time to get it just so. Learning curves abound when it comes to electronic gizmos.)

(Just for clarification, the existing pantry cabinets are on the wall to the left of the stool and the door to the kitchen starts right at the end of the telephone shelf. That shelf, by the way, may stay or be replaced by a small piece of furniture.)

This little room has been the life center of the first floor for 35 years.  Dispersing it's contents throughout the house is going to be an adjustment but it has to be done.  Besides the normal kitchen bowls, muffin tins, pie plates, etc., it held vases, napkins, tea towels, phone books, recipe books, candle holders and candles, address labels, greeting cards, business cards, and menus from my favorite carry out restaurants. One large drawer was the "junk" drawer.  You know the one. (stapler, ruler, pens, screws, picture hooks, wire, outlet adapters, rubber bands, thumb tacks, flashlight, safety pins, extra keys, markers, scissors, tape measure, glue, scotch tape, and more)  I have moved some of these things to the second floor in my newly designated "office" space.  Now if only I'm on the second floor when I need it.  All those trips I made to the second floor to use the bathroom will be replaced by trips to get an envelope or a hole punch.

But, the decision has been made, and as with most hard fought decisions there are trade offs.  The biggest trade up might be the increase in resale value of the house.  Whenever that does happen, the new owners will never miss the "hub of the house pantry" they never had.

In the next post I will talk about selections for the new bathroom.

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