Blog Cabin

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
  • Permalink


  1. Thanks for the top floor plan, looking great, but I don't see any door for an outside walk way. With it being a bedroom up there, that means no one but the one sleeping up there gets to enjoy the views. Sure they can share the sitting room area, but won't be the same as it was before.
    I was hoping for a nice big open space with a bathroom up there so could be shared by everyone. Maybe having a pull down bed for guess to use when needed.
    Now it just needs an walkway for others to use and enjoy it too. Just put one the whole length of the top floor and wide enough for maybe a few chairs to sit and a walkway to enjoying the view.
    Now for the floor plans for the rest of the house please.

    home_girl on January 31, 2014 at 1:46 pm
    • On one of the windows next to the closet there appears to be a symbol that indicates a door. I am hoping that means a lakeside deck off the MB, but so far it's just a hope! Do you see it too? I'm sure the super talented YardCore and Yard Crashers will knock the others out of the park!

      stlmom1 on February 1, 2014 at 11:28 am
    • That may be a fire exit window you see. That would mean outside stairs but it is on the wrong side to view the lake. They have to have 2 exits from upper floors.

      grammagail on February 1, 2014 at 11:35 am
    • Oh, you could be right……that would be disappointing. Here's to hoping that we will see a master deck on this beauty!

      stlmom1 on February 1, 2014 at 2:48 pm
    • Gail, No domestic one family dwelling of 2 levels needs more than one exit. However, windows must meet code height & width (large enough for a firefighter in full kit to enter).

      I suspect that line is just a little computer glitch or a piece of dirt on the copier when they scanned the image. There are no CAD window representations that have the same appearance that I can find. ;)

      Maybe we have an architect out there in the blogosphere who can give us some more information on that window and the mysterious slash mark. :)

      Clive on February 1, 2014 at 2:58 pm
    • Just answered someone above. That little line indicates that the window opens inward rather than opening up and down.

      Jay Michajluk on February 1, 2014 at 8:40 pm
    • I live in CA and all residences require 2+ exits. sometimes bedrooms can meet this requirement. usually 2-story buildings have VERY different rules. airs down ( fire escapes ; sometimes on 3 story)

      winky on February 1, 2014 at 11:44 pm
    • You are right ! Could not have said it better myself I like your thinking!

      debbie on February 4, 2014 at 10:13 pm
    • I was checking the first floor for a screened porch on the lake side, but, sadly, not there. Also, the second floor has lost the wrap around view of the widow's walk. I expected, at least, a balcony on the second floor.
      All the plans look great, and I am having fun voting for the options.

      AnneL. on February 6, 2014 at 12:21 am
  2. Ah! Now it all becomes clear – maybe. I am wondering whether the decision has already been made on the placement of these rooms. I probably would have put the reading room and the bedroom on the ends, with the bathroom and stairs in the center. This would provide more windows in the rooms that need it. The rendering makes it look like there will be no windows on the short ends. I think that's a shame because it will lose the look of a widow's walk.

    TwoCorgis on January 31, 2014 at 1:48 pm
    • Good catch on the end windows. The room plan drawing and the siding renderings are at odds when it comes to end windows. The siding images show, clearly, that there is a triple unit window next to the stairs. That's not shown in the upper level floor plan.

      Maybe Dylan or Kayla can help us with which it will be. I can't see why they wouldn't have windows by the stairs. Maybe they would be a little difficult to open & close but it would let a lot of light into the core of the house and, therefore, lower lighting costs a lot. ;)

      Clive on January 31, 2014 at 2:05 pm
    • If the rendering above is true to the actual build plan, the doors to the bedroom and bathroom are extra wide based on some standard assumptions such as the stair width, closet depth and bathtub size. Standard passageway doors are 30"-32" in width, these look to be about 36".

      My estimate of the entire are is 14-16 feet wide and 36-40 feet long.

      Ralebird on January 31, 2014 at 4:44 pm
    • Not quite sure how this got here, it was intended in reply to SID, above.

      Ralebird on January 31, 2014 at 4:51 pm
    • That is great to know, thanks Ralebird!

      SID on January 31, 2014 at 6:18 pm
    • Sandy, since around the late 80's/early 90's (?) everything has to be built/designed to ADA standards. All doors and passageways must be compliant to pass inspection. You'll be able to motor around the first floor just fine and once you get your stair lift in, upstairs will be compliant as well.

      Wind Chime Girl on February 1, 2014 at 11:18 pm
    • Generally, single and two-family homes, apartment complexes, condos or homeowner’s associations if they strictly limit the use of their facilities to residents and their guests are not subject to local, state, or federal accessibility requirements. This doesn't mean that Dylan will not build ADA code compliant but he is under no obligation to do so.

      Clive on February 1, 2014 at 11:55 pm
    • Clive, you are probably right about that. My experience as a project manager is limited to one public building over a decade ago.
      With the aging of the American populace, maybe ADA needs an upgrade to include new home builds as well as public buildings.

      Wind Chime Girl on February 2, 2014 at 1:19 am
    • A state or city could include the ADA guidelines in their residential building codes. I believe some already have. That's probably how change will come but there are possible Constitutional issues involved. Pubic buildings are easy to legislate for but it's a thornier issue on private property.

      Clive on February 2, 2014 at 1:25 am
    • Right you are and the city I worked for already had all those guidelines in ordinance. Guess that's where I got that every city did. Although the county we live in now doesn't care squat about any of that!

      Wind Chime Girl on February 2, 2014 at 2:01 am
    • I agree. Here new homes don't have any such laws. My brother I law wife became wheel chair bound shortly after finding she had MS. It hit her hard and fast because she was young it spread faster. They had to but in a elevator, cost more than those easy seat lifts that go up stairs. But with MS you get worse and arms strength is not there so they did the elevator. We have a handicap around the neighborhood and all have to build there own. Know others too who are, plus visitors have had time bringing in people with wheel chairs. Some home have 3 and 4 steps.

      Denise_D._ on February 2, 2014 at 2:57 pm
    • WCG, I'm one lucky old gal. So far the only mobility issue I face is not tripping over our cats or the dog when I'm zooming around on my own two feet. But I do know that need could someday come to any one of us, and would not want anyone to win this prize and not be able to enjoy it to the fullest! Hugs to you my friend, and hope you're keeping warm down there in Texas!<3

      SID on February 2, 2014 at 3:41 pm
    • In past Scripps networks giveaways they have often said they would retrofit certain things if the winner were mobility impaired and needed them.

      The Napa DH was won by a guy in a wheelchair. They offered to put in ramps, chairs, lifts etc. at no extra cost if he wished to keep the house. He sold it quickly, as most do. However, HGTV swapped the big SUV that came with the house for a top-of-the-line minivan with all the bells and whistles to accommodate him and his chair. :)

      AnniesOwn on February 2, 2014 at 4:18 pm
    • Not that I am currently in need of any assistance, but this was nice to read. Kudos Scripps Networks!

      Since I am from S Florida, my only real experience with upstairs living is from visiting relatives up north. I was surprised that so many were opposed to an upstairs bedroom, as it seems most bloggers are currently living in or have lived in areas where this would be the norm. I like sleeping where it is easier to hear if someone enters, but I'm sure over time I would get used to living upstairs – especially in Winter Haven or any of the other Scripps' Homes!

      I think when you have a waterfront property; the more open space is in the main living areas where you spend the most time is better. These views are the whole point after all, since you pay premium to have them! For this reason, the upstairs bedroom makes the most sense in my opinion.

      LAUDGIRL on February 2, 2014 at 5:15 pm
    • Using the 3ft door as a yardstick I measured and came up with 13 ft wide and 30ft long. Hope you're closer. ;)

      Clive on January 31, 2014 at 5:05 pm
    • I wonder if the wider doorways are because we have been asking for them for wheelchairs.

      webwoman on February 3, 2014 at 9:05 am
    • The lake side still has windows all the way across….three sets of three. I'd be willing to sacrifice one set for a slider or French doors, leading out onto a deck/balcony.

      RLDorf on January 31, 2014 at 2:07 pm
    • Placing the stairs is contingent on the layout of the first floor, too. This way probably allows for a more open layout for the new great room.

      Ralebird on January 31, 2014 at 6:13 pm
    • Of course! That makes sense. I wasn't thinking about the placement of the stairs on the first floor. Thanks ,Ralebird!

      TwoCorgis on February 1, 2014 at 3:54 pm
  3. I find it very desirable to have a TV viewing area outside of the sleeping area. Great call! I hate trying to sleep while a partner is watching tv in bed. The sitting area is a great option! Window seats- I found is a big waste of space. They may appear to be charming but totally painful and uncomfortable. And it's FLORIDA Hot hot hot sitting in a window. Movable chairs provide proper support (hey I'm an old lady ) can be moved with the sun and changed with your decor. Much easier to dress the window without built in seating. And you don't need the storage. Get a ottoman. I don't want people having a party outside my bedroom. Can't wait to see the view from my big comfy chair. Wow French doors to a small veranda might be nice?

    Ashtabulannie on January 31, 2014 at 1:49 pm
    • window seats are NEVER comfortable

      Barky on January 31, 2014 at 8:59 pm
    • Unless you have a spine like a cat. And it's hot!

      Ashtabulannie on January 31, 2014 at 11:20 pm
    • Hokie! Finally, someone who agrees with me and I with her! I've always hated window seats. I'd much rather be able to move furniture around as the notion strikes. Whoever wins BC will need options since that closet in the master looks to be so teensy. I don't understand why closets take such a back seat in the designs of BC's? (Ok, I really do need to thin out my closet.) But there are things besides just clothes that need to be stored.
      And an outer deck or sitting area – that's a must. And there should be an outside staircase. I can't see being stuck upstairs when the unforeseen happens. I always look for contingencies, that's just me.

      Wind Chime Girl on February 1, 2014 at 11:31 pm
    • Ditto I have said it's hard to look out without twisting your neck a lot.

      Denise_ D_ on February 2, 2014 at 3:05 pm
  4. I think I will never leave

    Trishc66 on January 31, 2014 at 1:56 pm
  5. Love it. I too, like Clive, am glad to be wrong about the MB being on the first floor. It looks like we may be able to have the best of both worlds regarding window seat vs comfy chairs. I am still supporting the comfy chair choice for the private sanctuary/reading room, especially now because of the room's size. However I'd love to see a window seat in the master bedroom. There is room for it. That should make everyone pretty-much happy. Now, I hate to sound greedy, but I'd also like to see a second floor balcony/deck along the lake side of the Master Suite, probably with a door from the Sanctuary leading out onto the balcony. Am I asking for too much?

    RLDorf on January 31, 2014 at 2:02 pm
    • Me likes Greedy blogs like yours -LOL .. <3

      Mel on February 2, 2014 at 9:20 am
    • Excellent thinking RLDorf!! Since the very beginning the whole focus on this cabin has been the widow's walk.
      Remember? Surely now we won't lose it!!!

      webwoman on February 2, 2014 at 4:22 pm
  6. Knowing that the upstairs is a private master bedroom retreat….I would choose the comfy chairs for the reading space with a coffee and tea beverage center. The new upstairs plans look wonderful, now waiting for the reveal.

    Trish on January 31, 2014 at 2:13 pm
    • I completely agree, but being the greedy person that I am, I'd like to see a window seat in the master bedroom. I already have a spot picked out.

      RLDorf on January 31, 2014 at 2:18 pm
  7. I like the second floor plans but here is an off subject question. Did anyone else see what appeared to be an alligator just off the dock in the water @ about 12:15 PM CST????

    sjiowa on January 31, 2014 at 2:22 pm
    • Yes I did

      Deborah Maness on January 31, 2014 at 2:55 pm
    • Outstanding….the BC comes with pets!

      RLDorf on January 31, 2014 at 3:06 pm
    • sillyxD

      bogartandbacall on January 31, 2014 at 4:03 pm
    • :D

      RitaANewYorker on February 1, 2014 at 10:43 pm
    • Welcome to Florida. Stay outside when you let the pets/children out. ;)

      On that note, Kayla, please tell me there is going to be some type of gator/critter barrier?

      amiller729 on January 31, 2014 at 8:29 pm
    • Gators are not very easy to see. We spent a two week vacation with my sons trying everyday to see one (not in a preserve, but in the wild). They were so disappointed when I pointed to a small floating "log" with two bumps on it and that was the only one they saw. I saw some sunning across the street later when I was taking care of my father. My parents also had a Florida Panther and a bobcat that went through the back yard on occasion. There was the usual selection of snakes, raccoons, and rabbits as well.

      grammagail on January 31, 2014 at 10:31 pm
    • Just have them boys watch gator boys and other shows so they learn how dangerous they can be. I would not want a female nesting they become very protective. It would be hard to get to the dock &on the boat. Babies can get though a lot of fences. Do need a barrier that takes that in consideration.

      Denise_D._ on February 2, 2014 at 3:13 pm
    • There are paddle board, kayaking and canoeing and sailing schools on the lake with kids in the water all the time. I doubt they exist on Lake Hamilton or be successful if there is a problem. ;)

      Clive on January 31, 2014 at 10:38 pm
    • Locals say they are, but usually go the other direction. But when there is a big one I think you better to stay clear. They are fast.

      Denise_D._ on February 2, 2014 at 3:16 pm
    • Typical Florida. There are few, if any lakes that DON'T have gators. They don't bother people unless they are being fed, but if people are giving them food, then they are trouble!

      GatorGirl02 on February 1, 2014 at 1:06 am
    • The next time you are on the camera look at the neighbor's back yard fence along the water.

      Jay Michajluk on February 1, 2014 at 8:43 pm
    • Wish I had been on to see it!

      grammagail on January 31, 2014 at 10:32 pm
    • wow…i gotta watch that cam…

      twoTERRIERs on February 1, 2014 at 1:07 am
    • me too. not wild about gators or snakes

      Ann on February 2, 2014 at 2:10 pm
    • me not fond of snakes……….and we have plenty here…..hate to say it but i like creatures with legs….

      twoTERRIERs on February 2, 2014 at 2:21 pm
    • I used to live on a canal here in Florida. My bedroom faced the canal. Many is the morning I found our gator sunning herself next to our dock in the yard! But she was afraid of us and as soon as she heard noise from in the house, she would head back into the water and pop up in the middle of the canal to look back at me or the house to see what chased her. One year, she even brought us a baby that she took right back into the water when I came out of the back door. Beautiful creatures.

      Angel on February 1, 2014 at 7:29 pm
    • What about the pythons in the wild?

      ladyadnyl on February 2, 2014 at 12:43 pm
    • No pythons on Lake Hamilton, 'gators got 'em all. xD

      Clive on February 2, 2014 at 1:22 pm
  8. Oh , this would have been on the CabinCam. And I can't think of anything better than 2nd floor window seats to enjoy the view, cuddle up and read a book.

    sjiowa on January 31, 2014 at 2:24 pm
    • You could put a chair there or go out on the deck on the 2013

      Denise_D._ on February 2, 2014 at 3:21 pm
  9. Sure am glad that the master bedroom is upstairs. I've never been a fan of the master bedroom on the first floor. It does make it easier to choose options with a floor plan. I sure hope the floor plan for the rest of the house is online, so we have a better idea on what options to choose for the rest of the house.

    lillian_gish on January 31, 2014 at 2:47 pm
    • I do too, Lillian.

      Deborah Maness on January 31, 2014 at 2:55 pm
    • older folks like them downstairs

      Barky on January 31, 2014 at 8:58 pm
    • HA. I guess my age is showing through.

      lillian_gish on February 1, 2014 at 6:36 pm
  10. Wow, thank you for posting the floor plan for the master suite, Kayla! I'm thinking the window seating is so appropriate, especially if the private sanctuary wins. That way, there are options for seating besides chairs- and more chairs. I realize that not everyone who votes, reads the blogs. Anyway, I love the floor plan, thank you again for posting it, Kayla!

    AndreaMP on January 31, 2014 at 3:38 pm

Post a Comment



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 will transform a 1990s waterfront home in Panacea, Florida 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.
DIY Network on Facebook