Woohoo! Today we met with our architect and she showed us the revised concept drawings for our renovated bungalow in Ottawa.
We'd like to thank everyone who commented on the earlier draft drawings for their great suggestions. You helped reaffirm many of our thoughts about the drawings and offered some great new ideas. We think you will find many of your suggestions incorporated into this latest set of drawings.
Quickly, here is what we told our architect about the previous options she proposed. We said we liked the main floor of Option 1 with the lower level of Option 2. However, on the main floor, we wanted to have a mud room off the foyer, expand the kitchen to significantly increase the counter space, and make the kids' bedrooms bigger. We also heard what many of you said about having a powder room on the main floor right next to the kids' bathroom. So, we gave that up in favour of having a larger kids' bathroom. We also asked her to add what we call a "communications centre" by the foyer. This is a space with a small counter for an iMac computer, plus a bulletin board, cubbyholes for mail, hooks for keys, a calendar, etc. We also liked the suggestion to put the laundry room on the main floor, but there was just no room to do so without sacrificing something else, so it is staying in the basement.
On the lower level, the play room has expanded because the bedroom above has been bumped out a couple of feet and the area under the terrace outside the kitchen will be excavated to create an office. In theory, this could also become a media room or even another spare bedroom.
When we looked at these new plans, we really couldn't think of too many changes that we would want to make. There are a couple of things, like making the island in the kitchen a bit bigger and putting a wine fridge underneath it, as well as moving the door for the master bedroom ensuite bathroom to the little hallway rather than leading directly from the bedroom. On the lower level, we have asked for double doors leading into the office and to increase slightly the size of the laundry room so that there is more room for drying racks.
Our Architect also provided us with a proposal for the look of the rear of the house. There is a terrace leading off the kitchen with a pergola over it. If we grow grapevines on the pergola in summer, it will keep the terrace and the house cool and remind us of the farm in Chile, while in winter the leaves will fall off the vines, allowing sunlight to stream into the master bedroom and kitchen/dining room. This terrace leads to another terrace, set down a few steps behind the family room creating a quiet, partially enclosed space with great views to the back garden. From here, steps lead down into the back garden.
For the style of the house, she has gone with a modern take on the Arts & Crafts style. The lines are more simplified than Arts & Crafts, more similar to Prairie style, which is what we originally suggested. We may ask to see a conceptual drawing of a more modern style of exterior, just to compare. We are hoping to partially clad the house in stone with stucco on the rest, but it will depend on the budget. We may have to go with stucco only. Either way, a new layer of blue foam insulation will be added to the outside of the home all the way around and the stucco or rock cladding put on top of that, which will significantly increase the insulation value of the home.