The original bay window was too short to make into a sofa/guest bed and we also need a double desk which wouldn’t fit there either. Sure, the front door is cute to look at from directly out front but function won over form. All available space needs to be usable in a tiny space like this.
What we decided is to swap a window and the front door location so that when you step into the cottage you will be standing in what would have been the bay window. We essentially made a foyer; a place to hang our coats and take our shoes off. We also deleted the far side of the bay window but added a window on either side of the cottage in the living area a little farther back so that we’d still be getting quite a bit of natural light.
With the front door opening to the right instead of straight ahead, we now have the full wall on the left to make into a double long desk with storage below and the fireplace mounted just above it between the two work areas and windows. We’re planning on making a customized sofa/bed to go on the opposite long wall. Both the desk unit and the sofa/bed will cover the wheel wells because they jut into the living area and we don’t want to see them. Between the two desk work areas we’ll have a fold up cabinet door to use as a dining table/additional work space.
We also moved the kitchen and bathroom. Before deciding to build the cottage we laid out string on our (current) living room floor outlining the suggested built ins. We didn’t like the original bathroom location because it was so small that someone sitting on the composting toilet (this one is large) could shower at the same time. While this is probably a time saver to someone, we wanted more space to shower and dress. We also found that two people couldn’t comfortably work in the kitchen at the same time when it was alongside the bathroom. If we enlarged the bathroom using the original floor plan then the kitchen would be further reduced and vise versa.
The bathroom is now about 2’-9”x7’6” and runs along the back wall and we will install the same sized window in there as in the rest of the cottage. From back of the cottage to the front we now have the bathroom, closets/storage, galley kitchen, living area/office, then the foyer.
We thought about enclosing the whole loft area (we wonder about having enough storage space) but would miss daylight upstairs. The loft above the kitchen and bathroom will be the sleeping area and a small loft above the foyer/front door will be for storage.
We have considered adding eyebrow windows or shed dormers on both sides of the roof so that we could park the cottage sideways (the front door could face the front and the cottage would have more character). Right now we've decided against those options but we're not yet up to the roof so we might change our minds. Currently we plan to install a skylight above the sofa so that both upstairs and downstairs gets natural light as well as better ventilation.
We're very happy with our modified floor plan. The cottage will be much more comfortable for two people to live in and the space now better suits our specific needs without sacrificing anything that was important to us.