Our household is spending the final couple weeks of summer season at Zuma Beach House, and we’re sincerely hoping that it’s one of many final instances we’ll be capable to sleep right here earlier than building begins. As a result of that would suggest that building is beginning someday within the close to future. However regardless that nails aren’t being hammered but, issues are positively taking place behind-the-scenes on this venture. Permits are filed, and we’ve been assembly with our builders to hammer out inside elevations as we make selections just like the kitchen cabinet and drawer configurations, or the position of the bathtub fillers and sink taps in every toilet. Our aim is to get forward, so that when we’ve acquired these permitted plans in hand, we are able to hit the bottom operating on building.
Thus far, I’ve shared the backstory and our overall inspiration for this venture. We’re making a serene, minimalist seashore bungalow, whereas preserving the Nineteen Fifties ranch parts that give the home its character. Now, I’m excited to begin diving into the nitty-gritty particulars of the design and renovation itself, and there’s no higher place to begin than by strolling you thru the brand new seashore home ground plan. Able to see how we’re laying all of it out, and precisely what the added sq. footage will embrace? Come on in…
Let’s revisit the existing house floor plan…
Here’s the breakdown of the current house…
1421 square feet in the main house
The current 2 bedroom / 2 bathroom house has an undeniably awkward floor plan. It’s the only time I’ve ever seen people get lost in a house this small, because the floor plan makes absolutely no sense. The kids’ room connects directly into the living room (divided by a curtain, no less), and the “primary” bathroom is separated from the primary bedroom by a small den that was added on to the house at some point.
Issues with the current house
No clear front entrance. While technically there is a front door, it’s been used by exactly zero people since we bought the house. When you pull into the driveway, the path leads you down a sidewalk straight to the back door. So, no one is quite sure whether to circle around to the front of the house, or enter straight into the door of our laundry room.
Lack of space. Aside from the awkward floor plan, we’re also lacking space in general. It’s a cozy fit for our family of four, so when family or friends come to stay with us, we’re bursting at the seams. There’s also nowhere for me and Adam to work (which is a problem when you both work from home), so one of us usually ends up taking zoom calls from the bedroom while the other sits at the kitchen table with air pods in, praying that the kids won’t get into a fight while you’re on an important call.
Closed-off rooms. If you’ve seen our Austin house, you already know that Adam and I are huge on an open ground plan structure. We gravitate in the direction of an open, ethereal vibe, so a home made up of small rooms which can be separated off from one another makes us really feel claustrophobic. We will’t wait to open this house up.
Low ceilings. For my part, low ceilings are one of the regarding issues a few home as a result of they are often actually tough to alter—and infrequently, can result in a home feeling darkish and crowded. So, after we first thought of the acquisition of this home, ensuring that we’d be capable to increase up the ceilings was a prerequisite. Extra on that later.
Tucked-Away Kitchen. For me, the kitchen is the center and middle of a house, so having a small kitchen awkwardly tucked into the nook of the home (with dated granite and cabinetry no much less) was going to be the very first thing to go in any renovation.
GOALS for the new house
Clear front entrance.
As mentioned above, the current house lacks a clear entrance and leaves guests confused about where they should go. In the remodeled layout, we want anyone who arrives at the house to know exactly where to park, with a clear plan for how to enter the house. Did you know there’s an actual name for this topic? It’s wayfinding, and includes principles like creating “well-structured paths” and avoiding “too many navigational choices.” Not sure why I’m obsessed with this topic, but I find it endlessly fascinating.
Open floor plan.
For the areas where we live, eat, and play together as a family, I prefer a wide-open space that feels expansive and preferably, opens up to the outdoors as effectively. Should you hold studying, you’ll learn how we’re reaching that with a 1000 sq. foot addition that’s mainly one huge kitchen.
After we thought of buying this home, I knew that for the funding, we’d want to have the ability to increase the ceilings. Fortunately it wasn’t too sophisticated right here, particularly since we’re preserving it one-story. We’ll be vaulting the ceilings, which implies that we’re extending into the triangular house between the place a ceiling would usually sit and the highest of the roof. This won’t solely assist the rooms really feel bigger than they really are—it’ll additionally let extra pure mild into every house.
Room for visitors.
Whereas we needed to maintain this a reasonably modest-sized home, we additionally knew that this was a spot we anticipated internet hosting household and associates for years to return. By including a visitor suite and a bunk room, we’d make room for an extra 4 – 5 individuals to stick with our household in the principle home.
Large kitchen for entertaining.
For the reason that kitchen is my completely satisfied place, I naturally need to have the ability to spend time in it surrounded by household and associates. I would like a kitchen giant sufficient to accommodate cooking initiatives, recipe picture shoots, and plenty of individuals, since most dinner parties find yourself with everybody gathered across the island. I knew that, based mostly on the present tucked-away nook kitchen, this might require an entire reimagining of the house.
A number of pure mild.
The present home already has nice mild, however we knew that by elevating the ceilings and including extra home windows and doorways to the again of the home, we might create an much more light-filled house.
Flooring plan model 1
Our architect, Doug Burdge, just about nailed the brand new structure on his first cross. We had thought that the addition would in all probability be comprised of a major bed room suite, nevertheless Doug completely reimagined the footprint of the present home to incorporate all of the bedrooms/loos, whereas including a 1000 sq. foot nice room that may turn out to be the house’s point of interest. He actually understood our need to make this home about entertaining and internet hosting, and created an open ground plan that was actually all about gatherings.
For this primary cross, Doug experimented with an attention-grabbing imaginative and prescient for a contemporary “hacienda-style” entrance, the place as soon as individuals entered the principle gate from the driveway, they may roam round to the entrance of the home and enter by the large glass sliding doorways. Nonetheless, for us this plan was lacking a couple of issues… specifically, a transparent entrance door. We favored the idea, however felt prefer it finally wouldn’t be conducive to on a regular basis life.
Flooring plan model 2:
Our second floor plan introduces the new front door, and (surprise!) it’s actually on what is currently the back side of the house. We basically flipped the entrance so that when you walk down the path from the driveway, you enter down a long tree-lined path and enter right into the new Great Room.
One other concern we had from the first set of plans was that our Primary Bathroom was tiny. So, in version 2 we expanded the Primary Bath by stealing the closet from Guest Room 2 (sorry guests!) We’ll add a built-in to that room to serve as the closet. It would have been cool to have an actual closet there, but a small primary bath is just not a great option since I want this one to feel airy and spa-like.
We also turned Guest Room 3 into a bunkroom to make room for lots of kids to sleepover. We added a large floor-to-ceiling corner window in the Great Room to maximize the ocean views from inside the house. And we removed the bar in the Great Room and replaced it with a banquette/breakfast nook.
The one thing this plan was still missing for me was an entryway—I wanted an entrance “moment” when people walk in the front door, and right now they’d be looking at the side of a banquette. Which brings us to…
Beach House Floor Plan version 3:
Here are the details of Floor Plan 3 which is close to where we’ve finally ended up…
2500 square feet (includes a 1000 square foot addition)
The new house will have 3 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms (including the new powder bath), plus a lounge and a great room with open kitchen and living area. The dining room will be outside under a covered trellis (yes—the only dining room will be outside! The beauty of Southern California.)
It feels like we’re adding on so many rooms and usable space, but in actuality, we’re only adding 1000 square feet to the main house. It’s an example of what a difference it makes when a floor plan is designed to be smart and efficient, thanks to the brilliance of our architect, Doug Burdge. He was able to turn the existing footprint of the house into our bedrooms, bathrooms, and lounge. Then we could let the addition stay one big open room that’ll make the entire house feel more expansive, and invite the indoor-outdoor flow that we knew we wanted for this property.
Round 3 changes included:
- Opening up the entryway to make room for a console table and artwork—we did this by removing the banquette and the pocket door to the laundry room.
- Extending the square footage in the Primary Bedroom. We wanted to keep the current footprint of the house as much as possible to save on cost, however we knew that adding a few feet to the Primary Bedroom would be a worthy investment and make that room feel much more open and luxurious.
- Vaulted ceilings throughout—we decided that it would be worth it to go ahead and raise the ceilings in the guest rooms as well. It added on some cost, but for me, high ceilings are a worthy splurge.
And then there’s the guest house.
We haven’t even talked about the guest house yet! It’s a one-room apartment above the garage, with a weird little kitchenette and fridge that share a space with the bed. The downside is that you have to climb a creepy carpeted staircase from the garage to access it. The upside? It already has gorgeous light, and expansive views of Zuma Beach from every window. We’ll be keeping the current footprint, but getting very creative to turn it into a one-bedroom suite with boutique hotel vibes. The guest house project deserves its own post, so stay tuned to see how we’re doing it.