Our long-term plan is to live in our row house for a few years, while we slowly divide the home into two apartments. First, we’ll create a vestibule at the entrance of the house, with two entries to the separate spaces. In dividing the house this way, very little changes to original details will be required.
We’re not in a hurry to begin this process in the immediate future, since we enjoy living in the city, and can escape to the place around the bay when we like. It IS our longer-term plan to live at the spot around the bay permanently, and rent both apartments in the city house, avoiding living with a tenant!
A plan view of the present layout can be found here, and below we’ll include concept plans of our house as it could appear in umm, ~2016ish!
Even though the major structural changes are a few years away, the eventual division is a major guiding force in the selection of our materials at present.
The first floor will be a bachelor apartment, with separate kitchen, bath + laundry. The current living room will serve as the bedroom and main living space, ideal for a student tenant. The materials we’re choosing for this space are more utilitarian, cost-effective, and low-maintenance, as bachelor apartments have high-turnover rates.
The second apartment will have private access to the first floor hall, basement, and backyard, and the middle and top floors. This space could accommodate two bedrooms, or one bedroom and an office. We’re more carefully selecting materials that we enjoy for these levels, while still keeping in mind that we’re not living here forever! We hope to eventually rent this larger apartment to a long-term tenant.
The largest structural changes required will be:
1) creating a main entry to spaces
2) sealing the existing two french-door entries to the space (the upper apartment will have private access to the first floor hall, basement, and backyard)
3) making windows in kitchen (at rear) large enough for fire code
Okay, so it’s not our taste, but the laminate floors in the first floor living room will most likely stay. It was installed very shortly before we bought the house, and has held up extremely well with our labrador retriever (can’t think of a better test- maybe triplets in cleats??). Low-maintenance is key. The bath and kitchen floors will be covered with ceramic or porcelain tile, after we lift the improperly installed laminate flooring from this area. Aside from this, no major changes to the interior design will be necessary.
The second apartment will have first floor access to the hall and backyard, and both the mid and top floors of the house. On the first floor, the hallway storage space at the rear allows for an upright freezer, and vestibule with lots of pantry shelving. The backyard will be paved. Just kidding! We’re scheming about the backyard space right now, and it will be discussed in an upcoming post.
The second floor will require more extensive renovations: a powder room (with space for eventual stackable laundry) is already underway, but the biggest job will be turning The Pink Room into a kitchen. The Green Room on this floor will serve as the main living room.
The two largest rooms on the third floor have already been renovated, and will be featured in an upcoming post. At the rear, we’ve created an office, and at the front we have our master bedroom. Off the master bedroom, we’re turning the little room into a master bath with a tub and separate shower.
We’re lucky to have enough time to step back and mull over our decisions, and consider your options. Let us know what you think of our master plan!