designing french country home downstairs

Designing our French Country Home – Downstairs

If you missed how we got to this home plan, then check out Picking a French Country House Plan. As I talked about in Designing Our French Country Home Exterior Plan, I moved the garage to the back of the house leaving an entire wing of the house in need of design “repairs.” I knew ultimately what rooms I wanted to incorporate into this “owner’s suite”, a private wing of the house accessed primarily by side entrances, but the question that needed to be answered was how to create the best flow for the rooms.

These rooms included the mud/utility room, craft room, laundry, exercise room, master bedroom with master bath and large walk-in closet.

When designing our French Country home, Zach and I have always agreed that our master suite is where we personally prefer to cut costs. We became huge fans of the TV show Fixer Upper, and it amazed us how much money clients wanted to invest in their bedrooms. We once added up the amount of waking hours we spent on average in a day in our master bed and bath, and we averaged 2 hours a day. That’s 2 hours a day between the two of us as compared to the minimum of 12 hours a day in our kitchen and main living spaces. That being said, for us, our bedroom did not need to be the equivalent of a 5 star hotel – with no disrespect to 5 star hotels. Now mattresses, on the other hand, are a whole other story and not part of this post, so I will move on.

The first step I took was to measure my current bedroom size as it fit our queen bedroom suite and still had plenty of room for a king should we ever want to upgrade (which we did). This is a good rule of thumb for planning room sizes when building your own house. If you see your new dining room on paper is 14 x 11, and you aren’t sure if that will be too big, too small or just right, then take a tape measure and map out your current dining room dimensions for comparison. If your current dining room is already feeling crowded at 13 x 11 and you were hoping to get a bigger table, then you know you need to increase your room size.

Zach and I agreed that we were satisfied with our current bedroom size, so starting with similar dimensions I placed the bedroom at the front of the house to maximize the possibilities for each space in our master suite – bedroom, bathroom, double walk-in closet – to get natural light.

Moving from there I measured our workout equipment and stepped off the space we currently required. And voila, approximate dimensions of the home gym.

Lastly, and the most challenging, I laid out the laundry, mud, utility and craft room. I decided to create a “mud hall” instead of incorporating it into my laundry and craft room with the idea that the laundry would be right around the corner. This way individual lockers were readily accessible walking in from the garage with spaces for electronics, backpacks, and shoes.

Designing french country home downstairs
*Not to scale. For illustration purposes only.*

We also made some changes to this French Country home plan’s bedroom/study space on the opposite side of the house, and opened the kitchen into the family room.

Join us next time as we make our way upstairs to design our French Country Home and do a complete design renovation!

designing french country home downstairs

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