Dueling concepts.

Since the two of us liked different massing concepts, we developed both to see if they could merge at some point down the pipeline.  We started referring to these as mine and yours, but for the sake of clarity here, we’ll say hers and his:


Both designs feature a masonry wall on both the inside and out that divides the common public spaces from the living spaces.

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Hers: Features a resale conscious main level garage (though still requiring a few steps).  The garage access leads into a hall with a bench and coat locker, powder room, laundry and master suite.  In the other direction the hall intersects with the wide entry hall at the staircase, and continues on into the open plan living area. The kitchen is bumped out from the dining room.  The living room is double height.  The dining room has a loft above.  The second floor features the loft overlooking the living room and entry, a bathroom and two bedrooms off of a hallway that overlooks a roof top deck above the garage.


PROS: Essential living is all on the main floor.  The kitchen is oriented such that is opens into the dining room but dirty dishes can be hidden behind the raised bar top.

CONS: In order maximize use of the sloping site, the garage needs to be dropped down several steps diminishing main level accessibility and intense re-grading still has to occur.  The overall footprint is also pushing the limit on width considering the side yard trees we want to keep.

Roof Studies:


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His: Features a basement level garage that, by way of the stairs, leads to the main entry space and directly into the open plan living area.  The living area is 1 ½ height volume that opens out to a roof top deck over the garage.  A hall behind the kitchen leads to the powder, laundry and master suite.  The second floor has two bedrooms and a bathroom off of a hall that overlooks the double height entry space.


PROS: The lower level garage allows the overall footprint of the house to be narrower, providing ample space for existing trees.  It also makes good use of the sloping site.

CONS: Coming or going from the house requires use of stairs.  The common living area lacks boundaries between the separate functions, and the plan is already at the upper limits of programmed square footage without a loft space.

Roof Studies:


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So which do YOU like better and why?  Leave a comment!


5 thoughts on “Dueling concepts.

  1. I like the second design, personally. Love the offset sinks in the first design (second level shared bathroom); clever way to avoid collisions during dual use. I may need to implement that idea in my own design (Sometimes I feel like I’m reading my own life story from the past 6 months!).

  2. I think the “her” version is more accessible as far as flow. The garage is with the main level instead of the the basement in that one which will be easier on bringing in groceries and the little that is on the way. I don’t like how the master bedroom is broken up in the :”his” version either. I do like how both are pretty open when it comes to the kitchen, dinning room and living room. More so in the “his” version but over all the “her” version gets my vote.

  3. The first is normal with a nice roof line. The second is modern. Forget resale value I think that idea is out the window. I would eliminate all the unfinished space in the basement. It would be costly to build and makes the house feel too large. Best of luck it is a really fun project. We just finished ours.

    • Thanks for the input, Tyler! I just took a gander at your project. It simply kicks ass! I think I’ll drop you an e-mail before too long with a load of questions if you don’t mind.

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