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Jan 31

After Floor Plan: The New Second Floor

Blog Cabin 2014: After Floor Plan

I know you all have been going back and forth on the blog about what our former widow’s walk will become in the renovation. To build and design manager Dylan Eastman, the space seemed destined for a master suite getaway.

You’ll notice that when you first come upstairs, you walk right into an open space. This is what you’re voting on right now until Tuesday. Do you want it to be a social bonus room or a private sanctuary/reading room? Within that room, we have plans for a beverage area — an evening bar to whip up spiked concoctions, or a coffee and tea bar that’s perfect for use day or night. What about the seating? Would built-in window seats suit the space best, or comfy lounge chairs?

Through the doorway you’re in the master bedroom. To your right there’s a spacious closet, of which you can choose which organizational plan you like best. Imagine looking up. Do you want the master bedroom to have a trimmed, flat ceiling or vaulted exposed trusses? Straight ahead into the bathroom, you can choose the style of the space, the light fixtures and the shower floor tile.

If I could live in this year’s DIY Network Blog Cabin, I don’t think I’d ever leave the upstairs area. I mean, there’s even going to be a beverage area. Coffee, tea, wine, views of Lake Hamilton, books — I’m good for days.

What do you think of the second floor design? Talk to me.

Note: All specifications and designs are subject to change without notice.

  • Posted at 11:45 am on January 1, 2014
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537 Comments

  1. I think it is wonderful. This sure clears up a lot of confusion, Thank you….

    joanlife on January 31, 2014 at 12:03 pm
    • Happy to help, joanlife :D

      Kayla@HGTV on January 31, 2014 at 12:11 pm
    • Thanks, Kayla. It sure makes it easier to vote when we know how the choices apply to the actual plan. Not to sound impatient, but if we could have the floor plan for the first floor before we begin voting for choices on that level, it would be appreciated by all.

      RLDorf on January 31, 2014 at 2:15 pm
    • This now is making my votes make sense. I just hope that in the Spa layout for the Bathroom that there is room for a Tub with amenities.

      Deborah Maness on January 31, 2014 at 2:48 pm
    • DM,

      As shown in the above 2nd Floor Plan the layout currently includes a Tub. Having seen Matt on Bath Crashers I think it is almost guaranteed that any Tub will have amenities PLUS. Matt seems to have a thing for lighted Tubs these days.

      MAOW on January 31, 2014 at 6:11 pm
    • Rooms look like decent size..

      cucumberHOH on February 1, 2014 at 8:55 pm
    • The redesign of the widow walk is fantastic to say the least! It is a much better use of the upper floor and affords far greater use of available square footage. The widow walk as built in 1924 afforded a look of the lake across the street. The rebuild will actually give a far better view of the new lake while making the living area useable.

      Thank you for such foresight and care in the design!

      MrMoogy on February 4, 2014 at 9:35 am
  2. I was voting for the social bonus room with evening bar as an entertainment spot for family and friends, but seeing that it is right outside the MB, I am going with the private sanctuary/reading room with coffee and tea bar.

    RitaANewYorker on January 31, 2014 at 12:21 pm
    • Plenty of room for people to party downstairs. That way I won't have to worry about tipsy people falling off the balcony that I want built all along the Master Suite on the lake side. My insurance company will appreciate that.

      RLDorf on January 31, 2014 at 2:13 pm
    • lol

      RitaANewYorker on January 31, 2014 at 4:07 pm
    • Now that I am really looking at the up stairs I agree wit you. But now that is a reading room I think I would really like to see a bigger closet, it has plenty of room for it and book shelves can work there way around easily including coffee bar. The room has plenty of room to do a lot . I hope it gets that very nice closet I'm willing to bet all would want it. tell me what you think.

      Charlotte on February 19, 2014 at 3:30 pm
    • Ditto

      COOLSMILEY on January 31, 2014 at 4:25 pm
    • I like the private sitting area with the evening bar. I like to go outside with my coffee in the nice Florida morning. I am just a bit disappointed that no outside deck was added to view the lake. So many nice days to do just that. . .

      Angel on February 1, 2014 at 7:20 pm
    • Angel
      I agree I would like to see a balcony or sitting area for viewing the lake and the stars:>)

      ruffybc on February 2, 2014 at 12:25 pm
  3. Thanks so much for clearing up the confusion. I'm so glad I was wrong about the private space and the master suite being on different levels in the house. I much prefer the upstairs as a master suite than as a 'megaden'.

    I still believe the relaxing space with a window seat and comfy chairs plus a coffee/tea station is the best option but looks like we may not get the window seat.

    Thanks also for the additional information on the closet, however, I really don't see what the difference is as both can have the same configuration according to the 'EasyClosets' site. Replacing the sliding doors with bi-fold doors saves a lot on wall space so the question would seem to be simply do the voters want the bi-fold doors or curtain doors. Everything else looks the same inside. That's easy – bi-fold doors please. :)

    We have until Tuesday Morning I believe to vote for our favorites for this round. Vote often my friends there's still a chance for the window box seat. :)

    Clive on January 31, 2014 at 12:22 pm
    • I'd put a window/box seat in the MB, just to the left of the door coming in from the "Sanctuary".

      RLDorf on January 31, 2014 at 2:11 pm
    • I like in wall slider doors. Perhaps it's the the computer just gives 1 door selection. It would be nice to have a skylight in the social area. Big enough to see some stars at night bet they can see them good over the lake.

      Denise_D._ on January 31, 2014 at 5:04 pm
    • In this situation with limited space the sliding doors can't work in this configuration. The bi-fold design is the only way to get the closet into that space – unless the bvote suddenly changes fo the curtain divider design . :)

      Clive on January 31, 2014 at 5:14 pm
    • In wall is like a pocket door. Takes no space.

      Denise_D._ on January 31, 2014 at 5:42 pm
    • That only works if the closet is about 6 ft deep. This one is 24 inches deep. You still need twice as much wall length with the pocket doors inside the wall as the closet opening width. ;) Otherwise the closet space to the side of the opening is almost completely inaccessible. Pocket or sliding doorsIt just can't work with the small space they have for a closet in the upstairs of this house.

      Clive on January 31, 2014 at 5:50 pm
    • How wide is is the wall it's self. That is where the door is put into. Look up pocket doors. Bi folds when you open come out into the room. A lot don't stand the test of time.

      Denise_D._ on February 1, 2014 at 8:52 am
    • They come in different sizes too.

      Denise_D._ on February 1, 2014 at 8:53 am
    • guys break all the bi-fold doors,too!

      winky on February 1, 2014 at 9:26 pm
    • I resemble that remark!

      RLDorf on February 2, 2014 at 10:33 am
    • I was giving information to someone who didn't know. Your remarks were a waste of time, he figure it out. Sometimes I think you people can't wait to write it and on other times you don't.

      Denise_D._ on February 2, 2014 at 2:30 pm
    • The wall on each side of the closet is about 4 inches wide. Clive is absolutely correct. There's no room for pocket or sliding doors with this closet configuration.

      The wall is also about 4 inched thick. Maybe you're confusing thickness with width. Pocket and sliding doors require a wide wall to the side of the opening. The doors don't just disappear like in a Harry Potter movie. ^_^

      AnniesOwn on February 2, 2014 at 4:43 pm
    • Skylights, good in theory but down here in Florida it just equates to a higher energy bill most of the time. Plus some insurance companies don't like them for storm/hurricane compliance.
      Most homes in the area have to have a min rating of in-between 90-125 MPH wind testing per code on new construction.
      I would love them, but they just aren't that practical always down here.

      amiller729 on January 31, 2014 at 8:20 pm
    • So how many times have they been it by hurricanes in this area? My Sis lives in St.Petersburg and I alway try to see if they have any damage she doesn't or mild she said. They do make them with blinds and they have tempered glass with rain detection with the ones that open-close. If properly installed they are just as strong as the roof. If your roof comes off doesn't make a difference. I just hope they have storm shelter but in on the property. The last house had a outside entrance to the basement. No basement here coming that I can tell.

      Denise_D._ on February 1, 2014 at 10:19 am
    • There was no basement in the 2013 Blog Cabin It was raised with a crawl space underneath (the same as will happen with this house). It was totally unsuitable for storm shelter as it was designed to fill with water easily. The roof, windows and walls were rated to withstand a category 2 hurricane. :) . The Quonsett style hut is very strong and can probably withstand a major hurricane easily.

      AnniesOwn on February 1, 2014 at 10:28 am
    • Dear Denise_D_, It does not matter how many times someone has not been hit by a hurricane. It only takes one time to be in its' path and in minutes your life has been destroyed. Just drive through parts of Arcadia now and it will make you sick to your stomach to get just an idea of what they went through. By the way, they weren't hit directly, but the trees alone were bent in half and some looked like tooth picks. Please do not take weather here in Florida lightly. Blessings to all.<3

      Sheri McNamara on February 2, 2014 at 10:27 pm
    • very good accurate home code info especially for a weather specific zone

      winky on February 1, 2014 at 9:36 pm
    • guys break all the pocket doors! and that is see them "WELL" not good

      winky on February 1, 2014 at 9:14 pm
    • I voted for the comfy seats and still do, however…maybe we can enjoy both at the same time. I see the plans currently in the rough draft pic above, it looks as if a bookshelf is in order. How about a built-in desk with window-like seating on each side of the desk in the "corner" with the bookshelves remaining surrounding the entire corner wall space, storage is underneath seats and a "computer/desk" area near the bedroom for privacy/bills. One can talk with family at the same time in comfort while browsing the computer for the tax accountants number, again! Putting the comfy chairs in front of the window or in the bedroom. Maybe this will please everyone on the window seating/chair discussions??

      kmh on January 31, 2014 at 7:11 pm
    • Computer workstations, even in offices, are fast becoming obsolete. There's really no need to set aside space for them.

      Sally on January 31, 2014 at 11:00 pm
    • While I'll agree on the formal desk and computer stations being outdated, sometimes the laptop and i pad I use are great to quickly pay bills on an isolated space but have a small area for snail mail to accumulate without the business all over the kitchen counter. I do not like the desk area in the kitchen as with my newly built tract home. I agree the "office" has gone by the wayside and even PC's for that matter, but a small space is needed…somewhere. I have been using the kitchen table then putting in a file cabinet. A bit old fashion I guess but getting there… I will forgo the entire area if they enlarge the master closet!! Closets are not just needed but a requirement for all our junk. Now to add all sorts built-ins and storage space in that adjacent room to the master will certainly help with the small master closet. Now that is fine use of a room most will not use.

      kmh on February 1, 2014 at 12:03 am
    • one of the greatest architectural teams of all times specified 10% of square footage as storage. this would free rooms of clutter and extraneous furniture pieces including PC space. Frank Lloyd Wright invented the wall closet and sliding doors. he hated clutter. (I know personally.) that was pre-PC and all the other electronic "junk" we collect in our kitchens, baths, media paces, etc. you are requesting a real closet and real functional storage, I agree. but it doesn't photograph well!

      winky on February 1, 2014 at 10:17 pm
    • FLW was a great architect but he didn't invent the wall closet or pocket door.

      Egyptian tomb designers circa 4000BC were the first to utilize the pocket door concept. ;)

      Closets first began to appear and be named 'Closet' in 17th century France as a small private room, often behind a bedroom, to which a man or woman could retire, for privacy.

      Both are great ways of saving space.

      There's also a often repeated myth that N. American homes predating 1776 don't have closets because of the British "Closet Tax". That's a funny story but there was never a 'Closet Tax" – Tea was another matter. ;)

      Clive on February 2, 2014 at 11:57 am
    • I think that will be on the 1st floor, with a tablet that can go anywhere.

      Denise_D._ on February 2, 2014 at 2:24 pm
    • Sorry kmh, Sally is spot on. PC's are a thing of the past. Now its a portable tablet you take anywhere. No need for a workstation or desk. It would be nice to have a locator on the dang things so I can find them when I put them down. Same goes for my coffee cup.

      Ashtabulannie on January 31, 2014 at 11:15 pm
    • Ash I'm still in the work force, and know so many people that are working from home.
      Working from home is on the up swing with no signs of slowing down. Working from home absolutely requires a workstation and desk, really it requires a designated room that is away from family living spaces with a door that can be closed when needed for conference calls, and concentrating on job tasks.

      Mel on February 2, 2014 at 9:16 am
    • I run my business from home and all I have is an i-pad and wireless printer/scanner. Hardly a workstation. I work from wherever I wish in the house, coffee shop or car. It took a little while to get used t it but now would never have a desktop 'workstation' again. The home 'workstation' is definitely on a decline and will continue to decline as new technology enables us to work from almost anywhere with ultra light and convenient devices.

      Sally on February 2, 2014 at 12:04 pm
    • I guess that would depend on the type of business work being performed. I can't see an architect, for instance, doing design work on a tablet.

      Ralebird on February 2, 2014 at 4:04 pm
    • Clive
      I agree about the configuration of the closet etc. I really dislike the idea of a curtain for the front of the closet:<( I realize this is a cottage but that to me is cheap looking and something done from the 50's-60's in a girls teenage room:<( I really hope they put on doors of some sort-I prefer sliding doors over bi-fold doors and that they be of some solid material vs. louvers (dust collectors);)o.0

      ruffybc on February 2, 2014 at 12:30 pm
    • Louvers are definitely dust collectors. There's no design other than bi-fold doors that will work. Sliding or pocket doors can't work in this design, despite what another blogger thinks LOL ;) as there's no wall space either side of the closet.

      If they removed both of the road side windows (Nooooo! :( ) and made that a solid wall they could install a 6ft deep walk-in closet with sliding or pocket doors as both need exactly the same width of wall area for the door to slide into or over.

      That would give a really nice closet. The downside is that the master bedroom would look more like a wide corridor being about 15 ft long and 7 ft wide. I doubt that would be a winning concept. ^_^

      The only way I see to get more closet space in the MBR is to make the 24 inch deep closet a lot deeper and remove about 4 ft x 7 ft from the 'Reading Room'. It's possible but maybe best left for the winner to decide how to cope with the small closet. :D

      Clive on February 2, 2014 at 12:57 pm
    • Again I agree with your expertise in this matter. Please no louver doors:>) solid doors-no curtains!
      Keep up your great observations:>)

      ruffybc on February 3, 2014 at 8:25 am
    • I like the look of louver doors but they do require extra cleaning efforts – for some the tradeoff works, for others it doesn't. There are telescoping pocket doors which can give a wider opening with a smaller parking space but they also require thicker wall framing to allow for two tracks. To use them in an eight foot wide closet with a five foot open span, you'd need about a foot and a half at each end to store the panels when fully opened, which is a foot and a half that is hard to access. You would actually have less than a five foot opening due to overlap of the panels and trim.

      Ralebird on February 3, 2014 at 6:11 pm
    • you say it's really a cottage so put up a one size sliding barn door.

      Charlotte on February 19, 2014 at 4:03 pm
    • you see I REALLY WANT A BIGGER CLOSET AS I SAID ON THE START OF THE BLOG

      Charlotte on February 19, 2014 at 4:04 pm
    • I'm with you Clive, I think the window seat just adds more to the room. Kindda beachie!

      Candace on February 21, 2014 at 7:53 pm
    • What's the thing on opposite sides of the wall between the master bedroom and bathroom?

      I've been watching/waiting for YEARS now for HGTV to design a totally private master bathroom in either the DIY blog cabins or the dream houses in which there's a wall to hang a full-length mirror opposite the sink with a tri-fold mirror above it. (So I can see my back and sides, too…because people aren't only one dimensional!)

      I really like this 2nd floor layout; if it could potentially incorporate that "full view" idea it would be near PERFECT!

      Susan Holliday on March 31, 2014 at 12:02 pm
  4. Hi Kayla, unrelated but important to families; how many bedrooms on the 1st floor?

    RitaANewYorker on January 31, 2014 at 12:26 pm
    • My first reaction when I saw the original BC and drawings used for Exterior Color selection was that the Widow's Walk would make a great Master Suite (Same reaction as Dylan). The advantages to this option are pretty clear. However, there some potential downsides for some individuals in using the Widow's Walk as a Master Suite.

      1) The master suite is on a completely separate floor from the other bedrooms. Not ideal if you have kids.

      2) The master suite is upstairs. Not ideal as the owners age and have limited mobility (Certainly an issue for area's with a lot of retired individuals (Such as Florida)).

      3) Limits the use of the "Widow's Walk" to other family members and quests.

      Just my 2 cents. Now for the really important question regarding the "Widow's Walk". Is there going to be an observation deck around any part of the "Widow's Walk" (Crosses fingers).

      MAOW on January 31, 2014 at 1:00 pm
    • MAOW, I first thought the same thing, that handicap access to upstairs could be a problem for many. Now I see the floor plans have a straight run, which means one of those little lift chairs could be installed relatively inexpensively. I have seen these installed in friends homes and they seem to work very well. Did you notice that the window spacing in the master bedroom on the wall facing the lake does not look symmetrical? I wonder if it could possibly indicate a door leading to that "observation deck". That would make that floor a perfect master paradise! Do we dare hope?:D:p

      SID on January 31, 2014 at 1:44 pm
    • The windows are symmetrical…from the outside. There are three sets of three windows. from the inside, one set is broken up between the BR and bath.

      RLDorf on January 31, 2014 at 1:53 pm
    • SID,

      Thanks for your comments on access to the upstairs. I think your solution could easily work.

      The window placements do raise some questions, don't they?

      Based on the drawings provided to select Exterior Color and the above 2nd Floor Plan I envision 3 sets of windows (With each set containing 3 windows) on the Lake Side.

      Based on the drawings provided to select Exterior Color and the above 2nd Floor Plan I am scratching my head on the Road Side windows. The drawings provided to select Exterior Color had 2 sets of windows (With each set containing 3 windows) for a total of six windows and a section where the Shower/Toilet are located (No windows). However, the above 2nd Floor Plan only shows a total of three windows (Separated, not in sets of 3). Particularly interesting is the line drawn at a 45 degree angle in the middle window (Road side).

      Could that be the door to an observation deck?

      MAOW on January 31, 2014 at 6:05 pm
    • That may indicate that the window opens inward rather than going up and down.

      Jay Michajluk on February 1, 2014 at 8:37 pm
    • I'm sure the winner may rearrange the rooms to his/her liking.

      cucumberHOH on February 1, 2014 at 8:38 pm
  5. Clive.. I am with you. Do like the window seat. If the box seats do not make it in the one room wonder if it is possible for some version to show up in the MB. My thinking is that the drawing South wall, the bottom side of the drawing is facing the Lake. There is enough windows in the MB to put some sort of seat. Because the door is not next to the outside wall there seems like enough room. I would place the head of the bead up against the drawing North wall.

    Jay Michajluk on January 31, 2014 at 12:48 pm
    • We have two big cedar blanket chests in our BR which get used for everything including seating. A window box seat under that big window facing the lake in the MBR would be ideal (JMHO of course). :D

      Clive on January 31, 2014 at 12:55 pm
  6. I love seeing the floorplan, don't you?

    Hope you're all voting often!

    Laurie
    http://blog.hgtvremodels.com/2014/01/20/simple-fi

    Laurie_March on January 31, 2014 at 12:50 pm
    • Oh yes….voting my ten votes has become part of my morning routine. Great floor plan. I wouldn't change a thing…except maybe adding a balcony/deck off the Master Suite on the lake side. There is still time!

      RLDorf on January 31, 2014 at 2:10 pm
    • Yes a balcony/deck would be wonderful to go outside in evening to watch stars/sky whatever. Maybe even have a telescope up there but mostly enjoy the scenes and listen to wildlife. upstairs is beautiful. Can"t wait till you guys are finished. the ugly duckling to the beautiful black swan. Love reading new things and rereading old things this place is going to be omg! omg!. May put 2013 in 2nd place. Enjoy your coffee I'm icedtea drinker. T o each of us all.

      bogartandbacall on January 31, 2014 at 3:57 pm
    • Hi Laurie! It is nice to see you here! Yes I am voting, voting and voting! LOL! Hope you are doing well and thanks for stopping by!

      jchristie24 on February 2, 2014 at 12:16 am
  7. It is FANTASTIC that the upper floor will contain the master suite as well as the personal private retreat area–an excellent plan!!!!

    HRVD on January 31, 2014 at 1:03 pm
    • but what happened to the walk-in closet???

      winky on February 1, 2014 at 9:19 pm
  8. Wow I asked and I got it! Thank you for the floor plan. It sure does help put everything in its place. Laurie I can say I am voting ten times a day every day!. I am ready for the next grouping to vote on. Oh happy day, it's all coming together!!!This makes me happy on yet another cold, rainy day.<3<3

    Sheri McNamara on January 31, 2014 at 1:04 pm
    • Like the floor plan. It sure fits what I like to do. I love to read.

      Micron1 on January 31, 2014 at 1:26 pm
    • I love that reading area! I love to read and it will be so nice to be able to enjoy the view as I relax! I do like having the master suite on the second floor. BC 2013 had it on the first floor with it's own door to the outside. There was something about that setup that made me a bit nervous. I called it "The Boogey Man Entrance". No sleeping for me with that in my head!

      TwoCorgis on January 31, 2014 at 1:44 pm
  9. I absolutely love the upstairs retreat layout. That space will be gorgeous with the the vaulted ceiling that is leading and those incredible lake views! From the plans the stairway will be straight, so it should be easy to install a mobile lift seat to give anyone with mobility issues access to the master suite. Kayla, could you please put in a request on behalf of our friends who need handicap access for Dylan to leave door openings that are wide enough for wheelchair access? We have so many bloggers requesting this. Please, pretty please,we need to care!<3<3<3:D

    SID on January 31, 2014 at 1:34 pm
    • I am sure one of the two bedroom downstairs will have a bathroom located in the same room as a second but smaller master for the individuals who might need the single floor layout for whatever reason: handicapped, safety, children, guests, etc.

      kmh on January 31, 2014 at 7:15 pm
  10. I like the seperation from the first floor. Sadly, I'm too old to be grounded and sent to my room. Guess I'll have to pretend.

    DeeDee287 on January 31, 2014 at 1:39 pm
    • LOL DeeDee

      Mel on February 2, 2014 at 10:33 am

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Blog Cabin is the groundbreaking multimedia experience based on a very simple idea: You Design It, We Build It, You Could Win It! This truly interactive series asks Internet users to vote on the design features for a real vacation getaway. Expert hosts from DIY Network series will be on hand to rebuild the 1920s lakeside house that will become a luxurious home for a lucky sweepstakes winner. Plus, a one-hour Blog Cabin special, hosted by tool expert Chris Grundy, will highlight the incredible transformation.
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