So… what does a Woman-Centric approach to home design actually look like? Join us as we tour a floor plan through the collective eyes of scores of women we’ve talked with. The Mackenzie (plan #42067) is a family-oriented two-story home that’s just 40-feet wide, fitting perfectly on today’s increasingly common 50-foot wide lots.
Since we go in and out of our homes through the garage 92% of the time (Recon Analytics), the design of the rear foyer receives as much attention as the front entry. We heard tales of having hands full walking in from the garage and needing a place to put things – but not the kitchen island or counters! That inspired the Drop Zone. The coat closet was nothing new, but since kids knew how to use lockers at school, bringing lockers into the home meant a familiar place for everything they needed, from coats to gym clothes to art projects. That would help de-stress the morning rush. A bench meant a place to sit when tying and untying shoes, and since pets are often considered full-fledged family members, a pet shower. Importantly, that essential rear foyer transition space was not to be the laundry room!
Mackenzie rear foyer amenities include a Drop Zone and Pet Shower (click on images to enlarge).
While we have been told we’ve never designed a home with too much storage space, the Mackenzie’s kitchen might come close! The long wall of cabinets is interrupted only by the sink and is complemented by the 5’-2” by 6’-9” pantry – deep enough for cabinetry at one end. Meal prep space is essential, and abundant in this kitchen, while three transom windows over the range add sunlight. Also note the location of the door onto the covered rear porch. Unlike most designs that access the back yard via a door in the eating area, this design solves the problems of that door dictating placement of the table and chairs.
Holidays coming up? Go ahead and add the two leaves to your table – the Mackenzie’s 17-foot-deep dining area can easily expand for larger gatherings – so important to women we spoke with. The Great Room’s triple windows deliver daylight, while its sloping ceiling provides drama. Built-in storage for books, games, electronics, and display items is suggested along either side of the home’s fireplace.
Just off the entryway, the den/home office is close to the powder bath, ideal when receiving clients and colleagues into your home. Just past the front door, a seat recessed between the garage and stairs is handy in case another client shows up early, while the angled office entry provides visual privacy.
So many items on wish-lists are accommodated in your suite! The double door entry is a reminder that this suite is special. Splitting the windows to the corners of the bedroom provides another possible location for your bed. There’s a provision for furniture and/or an entertainment center at one end, and it’s a stunning view into your bathroom with sloping ceiling through yet another set of double doors. Bathing options include both a corner soaking tub and 6’-4” by 4’-9” doorless shower (no door to clean!). Women told us showers should be large enough that her elbows don’t run into the sides when washing her hair.
Separate vanities mean they can be built at differing heights, which is a more comfortable solution if your partner’s height is quite a bit different than yours, and a gentle radius countertop adds a bit of sophistication. There’s also a makeup counter area next to the interior vanity. Regardless of how long you’ve been together, there are times when you just need your privacy. Hence the toilet area design with storage shelves, because when you’re sitting in there and there’s no provision for additional rolls of toilet paper or hygiene items, it’s simply not good design. And at 10’-1” by 9’-3”, your walk-in closet provides generous storage.
We learned maximum closet space is also a priority in the secondary bedrooms that, in this design, are separated by a compartmented bathroom. With the toilet and tub separate, two people can use this bathroom at the same time, easing schedule conflicts. The linen closet is also big enough for extra bed and bath items. A study desk in the hall provides another option for completing homework. And for homes with all bedrooms upstairs, locating the laundry room on that second-floor also means avoiding carrying overflowing laundry baskets up and down stairs, which can be dangerous as well as annoying. That laundry area design also answers the calls for natural light/fresh air, a folding counter, sink for washing delicates, plus storage.
Larger households may prefer the four-bedroom Mackenzie (plan #42067-4Bed) option. Lost is the sloping ceiling in the great room, in order to gain another full suite with private bathroom and walk-in closet. Or turn this space into an upstairs playroom for the kids when you have neighbors over. How you purpose this additional 318 square feet of space upstairs is entirely up to you!