It has been quiet on the blog, but a LOT has been happening with the build! Well, I should say a lot has been happening with planning the build.

The most exciting update I have to share is that the floor plans are now done! We have PLAAAAAAANNNSS!! (Read that as if Oprah were announcing it – it’s that exciting!)

Oprah GIF - We have plaaaans!


I am absolutely thrilled with how the plans came out. Mike at MPR Architecture took my drawings and transformed them into well thought-out, perfectly functional, perfectly charming, professional plans. I really love that Mike stayed very close to the design I originally came up with, but used his expertise to kick it up a notch. Actually, he kicked it up about 100 notches.

Click the image below to enlarge it for a closer look. You can also open a PDF version of the floor plan that lets you zoom in quite a bit.

Cottage Floor Plan |


Mike’s design makes my future home a lot more functional. Let’s zoom in on some of the changes he made.



First, the layout at the front of the house has been tweaked so that the bathroom is on the same side as the guest bedroom. Also, the guest bedroom has been brought forward to create a more interesting front elevation.

Front Rooms: Before (my drawing)

Floor Plan for the front rooms (guest bedroom, guest bathroom, craft room) |


Front Rooms: After (Mike’s design)

Floor Plan After - front rooms (guest bedroom, guest bathroom, craft room) |


First, let’s talk about how Mike uses three-dimensional walls in his designs… Genius! Yeah, I’m still embarrassed that I spent months working on my homemade floor plans and never considered the fact that walls have dimensions.

Anyway, I love how the bathroom now has access from the hallway, but also directly from the bedroom. That provides a lot more privacy for guests who don’t want to cross the hall in their unmentionables in the middle of the night. Bumping the guest bedroom forward not only adds interest to the exterior, it also helps everything fit without losing space in the rooms. The guest bedroom is actually a bit bigger than my original design, and the craft room is very close to its original size.



The dining room hasn’t changed too much, but the kitchen design is vastly improved. Mike told me he was wrapping up his first draft of the plans the day I posted about possibly changing from a peninsula to an island in the kitchen. He quickly put together a new design for the kitchen that incorporates an island, and it definitely works much better.  Also, Mike recessed the bar so that the cabinetry will not be jutting out from the wall and into the walkway.

Kitchen & Dining Room: Before (my drawing)

Kitchen & Dining Room floor plan before |


Kitchen & Dining Room: After (Mike’s design)

Kitchen & Dining Room floor plan (after) |


I really love the way people will be able to move through the kitchen. At parties, the bar area will be out of the way and there’s lots of space for people to congregate near it. The island will provide plenty of room for putting out food.

In the dining room, it’s helpful to see how the dining table and chairs will fit.  The table shown has the dimensions of my actual table, so it’s good to know there’s enough space for people to sit comfortably.



This is my favorite part of Mike’s design. I think the other changes I’ve shown to this point definitely illustrate the value of having a professional architect help with your design. But if you aren’t yet convinced, you will be after looking at the improvements made to the master suite.

Master Suite: Before (my drawing):

Master Suite Floor Plan (Before) |


Master Suite: After (Mike’s design):

Master Suite Floor Plan (After) |


This is sooooo much better! Looking back at my original drawing, the dressing area and office nook are such odd spaces. In real life, they would have overlapped too much and likely would have felt like they had furniture awkwardly shoved in corners. It’s kinda strange that I ever had the spaces laid out that way because I strongly prefer defined spaces. I think I’m the only weirdo in the world who doesn’t like open concept.

Mike’s design definitely defines the spaces in a much more functional way. It also increases the size of both the dressing area and study, making them more practical and better suited to their functions. All this was done with my original goal in mind: having a separate, defined sleeping area. I want the space where I sleep to be relaxing and peaceful. I don’t want to see a desk or a laundry hamper or anything else that makes me think of work.

The bathroom also has a better layout with a huge shower and much larger linen closet.

The master suite is so freakin’ perfect for my needs, I can barely even stand it!



Other changes to the interior floor plan are pretty minor. The living room and laundry room are about the same sizes they were in my original design. The entry hall is more narrow, but still plenty big enough to move people through comfortably. The overall flow through the space is pretty similar as well, with the guest bathroom being the only room that was relocated from its original position.

The square footage of my original design was roughly 1,750. The new design is 1,968 square feet. The additional 200 square feet is mostly in the master suite, which is well worth it.

I have many more exciting things to share soon… Mike’s scope of work included exterior design, and I have fabulous drawings of every elevation. I also have a preliminary kitchen cabinetry design, as well as an update on the backsplash tile.

And finally, I have a floor plan Mike completed for the apartment over the garage. What apartment, you say? I don’t think I’ve mentioned it anywhere on the blog yet, so more on that later!

A big thank you to Mike for all of his great work! I’m so excited to finally share it with everyone!