Our Florida House floor plan + changes

For the past couple of months we've been gearing up to start a full home renovation.

Getting started with this large of a project has taken quite a bit more time and planning than I was anticipating, but we’re so close to finalizing decisions and getting the ball rolling on construction. A lot of decisions have already been made behind the scenes, including our floor plan! The house has great bones and a pretty good layout to start with, but we need to do so much work getting this place up to code (new electrical, roof, plumbing, hvac, etc.) that we’re using that as an opportunity to finesse the layout to make it perfect for us and our family.

Floorplan_Before Floorplan_Plan

Our pain points with the current floor plan

The house is currently 1,427 square feet with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. That’s already a good size, but our biggest issue with the current layout is a large amount (over 220 square feet!) of unfinished space in the utility room. In addition, there are some minor things that can be addressed to make the space more efficient and functional. 

Let’s take a little tour through pain points numbered 1-6 on the image above. 

  1. The hallway to the bedrooms and bathrooms is a maze. There are currently five doors. Two go to bedrooms, two go to very small closets, and one goes to the bathroom. It’s not terrible, but it’s a little funky, especially when you consider…
  2. …the bathroom door takes up almost the entire bathroom. The toilet is shoved in a tiny nook and you just about bump your knees on the sink if you sit on the toilet. 
  3. While on the topic of lots of weird closets, there is a closet off of the existing sitting room that is currently being used as a pantry. Probably because the house currently does not have a proper kitchen with any sort of storage, but even if used as a common closet the location is a little funky. 
  4. The fourth issue is an overall symmetry issue. The house has a lot of areas where there are missed opportunities for symmetry—like the opening between the existing great room and sitting room. 
  5. The primary bedroom is not a terrible size or anything, but we’re hurting for office space so we will convert that space into a library and workspace (it will still technically “count” as a bedroom). 
  6. By far the biggest room for potential in this house is the 220SF unfinished utility room. We immediately knew that we wanted to convert that to living space. 

The solutions to all of our pain points

Mostly small changes are going to make a huge difference in the functionality and efficiency of this space. We’re also making a huge change by converting the previous utility and bumping the space out to add a large primary bedroom, an additional bathroom, a pantry off the kitchen, and a small laundry closet. Beyond the most obvious change of the much smaller utility room, we’re really going to be touching every room of this house. 

Let’s take a little tour through our planned renovations numbered 1-11 on the image above. 

  1. We are moving the cased opening over about 3 feet to give us a substantially larger living room. This will give us more options for furniture placement and sets us up to have a better defined sitting area. dining table will go on the other side of the room closer to the kitchen. 
  2. We solved our maze of doors and closets problem but eliminating the closets. With only two people living in this house, we really have no need for that additional storage at this time and we will surely figure out creative storage solutions as needed in the future.  
  3. We rotated the orientation of toilet and bumped out door to eliminate the toilet cove. Bigger bathroom without the need to reconfigure plumbing! 
  4. We plan on using both bedroom 2 and 3 as guest rooms and we’re really hoping to be able to squeeze small workspaces in to each room to accommodate longer stays for anyone who can work remotely. To make bedroom 3 a little bit larger, we opted to flip the funky pantry from the existing sitting room to open from the bedroom. It’s a small closet, but well suited for our needs. 
  5. Our general contractor recommended we add foundation and a proper roof over the lanai to carve out some outdoor living space, and he is going to set it up so that we can easily convert this space to an additional bedroom if we ever want to! I thought that this was so smart to plan ahead to continue to grow in this house. 
  6. To add some symmetry to the house, we are making the walls in between the sitting room and great room the same length and adding french doors that will open into the renovated den to mirror the doors to the patio. I’m so excited to see how those minor things will transform and anchor the space. 
  7. Now that we aren’t going to be using this room as a primary bedroom, we will close up the door to the exterior.
  8. We carved our some space from the previous utility room to make a pantry right off the kitchen! 
  9. We’ll be able to walk through the pantry to access our much smaller utility room. 
  10. We also added a laundry closet opening to the great room. We debated keeping the laundry in the new primary bedroom, but with how close we are to the beach I really wanted anyone and everyone to be able to comfortably access the laundry to wash towels and swimsuits. 
  11.  And finally, the primary suite!

Primary suite configurations

Our main goal in adding a new primary suite was to make better use of the previous utility room, but we are definitely taking this as an opportunity to make the space perfect for us. 

✅ Full luxurious ensuite bathroom with a vanity, walk-in shower and soaking tub.

✅ Two separate walk-in closets.

✅ Room for a king bed with nightstands on both sides.

✅ Space for a small workspace. 

We spent a lot of time tinkering with potential layouts before we went to our architect and figured out how to *actually* make it work. We ended up with checking every single item off of our wish list! 

With our changes, we will go from 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms in 1427 square feet to 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms in around 1800 square feet. Maybe even more importantly, it’ll add a lot more functional living space. We have so much to do before we can get to the details, but this house is already on track to becoming a home!

This post was written for the  Collected Eclectic blog.

Collected Eclectic was a passion project focused on recording the process as Grace and Michael van Meurer transformed their builder grade home in to something special.

124 blog posts were published between 2018 and 2021. Explore the complete Collected Eclectic archive here

Learn more about the project here

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