The Plan

The house ended up being about 2100 square feet of finished space, with the ability to go up to about 2900 sf. We thought we were going to save a bunch of money doing this, but unfortunately unfinished space upstairs is only about 30% less than if we'd just finished it. So, we kind of created a bigger, more expensive house than we originally intended. But it meets all our needs (offices, giant garage+shop) and most of the things we wanted (outdoor living area with a fireplace, main floor master for resale value, massive kitchen, mudroom...) and we hope to be there for the foreseeable future. (Weird phrase...I mean, how much of the future can you foresee?)

We had no idea what the facade should look like, so while we provided a bit of creative direction, our focus was more on floor plan. It's cute enough. I'm the first to say it's not the best-looking house ever designed, but we tried to give it a little personality.

There are three architectural styles that are allowed in new construction in Jacksonville: Victorian (bleh), farmhouse, and Craftsman. None of these are my very favorite, but we went with the last one with the intention of leaning kind of a Northwest-Craftsman direction (ever so slightly lodge-y with big timber accents. More on the outside, not so much inside.)

We went through one major reconfiguration of the downstairs (kitchen was adjacent to the patio area) before fine-tuning 6 times (OMG) and ending up here, 7 months later. The downstairs has:
  • A master bedroom, which is important for this area
  • A mudroom/garage entry
  • A laundry room that does NOT double as a traffic area
  • A powder room
  • An entry hall
  • A big open family room/kitchen with a fireplace
  • A covered patio
The fireplace is not open between inside and outside; it's woodburning on both sides with log lighters (has gas, but we'll burn logs). On the west (right) side, you'll notice our absurdly oversized garage and my shop. For the first time EVER, Todd will be able to garage his car, and it will be nowhere near my wood and tools.

More specs on the downstairs:

Master Bathroom/Closet
  •  Roomy but not oversized shower: I think it came out to about 3x5' and change
  • Separate toilet closet (? what do people call these? Water closet sounds so pretentious) with pocket door 
  • Door outside to our lattice-enclosed hot tub patio
  • Closet extends underneath the staircase for a bit of additional storage
Mudroom/Laundry: DOGWASH. After a lot of searching, I ordered a 24"x32" RV bathtub. Baxter approves, though I'm not sure he understands what he's approving. I'll probably have an entire separate post on this, brought to you by my back, which will soon not be aching from hunching over a bathtub to hose down a resistant dog.

Kitchen: the kitchen is huge. Probably way oversized for two people, but we like to cook and frequently do so together, which gets a little annoying if you don't have enough elbow room
  •  7'6" island with sink
  • Small bar counter with sink
  • Pantry cabinets AND a utility closet
  • Back door to a small concrete pad where we will keep our grill
  • Fridge is recessed into my shop, so it'll be counter-depth without having to be a dinky counter-depth model
Moving upstairs, there's a storage room/closet at the top of the stairs, a full bath, an unfinished second master bedroom/bathroom/closet (plumbing will be roughed-in), two bedrooms, which will be our offices, and an unfinished bonus room (with bonus mountain views).

The bonus room will probably have some cheap carpet thrown down and it'll be Baxter and his buddies' playroom. (Right now, the house we're renting has a huge living room that we left empty, so he has a big indoor play area. I know, I know...whatever.)
Upstairs is more functional than super exciting, but I love the staircase. It's open to the family room and entry hall downstairs, and upstairs it has a pony wall, so the whole thing feels fairly airy. The pony wall was a budget call; I'm optimistic at some point we may replace it with railing, which was the original plan.

So that's where we're headed. It has been a real trip as the guys have framed out walls, to go from looking at floor plans on a big piece of paper and imagining what it will feel like to actually walking around inside of the plan. Sounds kind of "duh" but it was way cooler than I thought.