Let’s take a walk through the Going Queen plans together. I’d invite you over, but it’s very cold inside right now without heat, walls or insulation and with it open to the outside air in several places. So instead, lets look at the unfinished drawings and take a walk through.
Generally, we are going to restore the exterior of the home to a typical Queen Anne Victorian but it will have a modern interior.
I’ll tell you about the exterior later; this one is about the insides.
As I’ve explained before, previous owners removed the original interior and trim of this home a long time ago. There is no original charm to salvage or pay homage to so we are reconfiguring the inside.
Queen Anne Victorians of a size similar to the Going Queen typically had many small ornate rooms, narrow passageways and dark interiors. Closets were small or non-existent. Bathrooms were spartan and maybe a bit cramped. Authentically restored Victorian homes are gorgeous but can be less comfortable as compared to a modern home.
We will be opening the interior up and making it light and airy. When you pass from the outside to the inside, you will travel from 1907 to the year 2018 unless I do not get my permit drawings back soon in which case it could be more like 2021 or 22.
Opening up this old home is requiring a lot of engineering work to increase the spans, shearing and transfer the various loads down to the foundation. This is where we are currently log jammed with our current architect and engineer. But lets not mention that again today.
When we purchased the house, it was a 4 bedroom, 2 bath home with 2,527 square feet of finished living space. You can see those details on any of the real estate sites.
What is not apparent is that it has 4,420 interior square feet. That additional 1,900 square feet is found in the previously unfinished basement and the large attic space.
In our plans, we are finishing all the interior square footage. We are adding to the existing basement and main floor as a function of relocating the existing basement staircase outside of the current footprint of the house. This lets us open up the entire basement and recovers a lot of interior space in both basement and main floor. This move will add about 300 square feet to the house brining it to 4,700.
Another way we are making it lighter and airier is by adding a few windows. Currently, if you count the windows in the Going Queen you will get to the number 27. In the new design there are over 50 windows.
In the end, the house will be a 5 bedroom 4 bath home. This is how we get there…
The main floor will, as you’d expect, have the kitchen, living room and dining room spaces. There will be a half bathroom, a pantry and the stairs to the upper floors and basement. Otherwise the design calls for an open floor plan.
The main floor has 1,360 square feet to work with.
We are adding an eating area in the kitchen that extends out the back of the house. I think you would call it a ‘breakfast nook’ although it’s likely this is where all dining will occur unless we have friends over.
Like most people, we spend a lot of time in the kitchen. When we are cooking, everybody hangs out there. We are giving a lot of space to the kitchen and not worrying too much about what else happens on the main floor.
The kitchen will actually be larger than it shows on the drawings. We are going to push out into the living area. I’ve not told the architect about these changes yet because I don't want anything to delay the completion of the drawings. I really need the architect and the engineer to focus on finishing the permit drawings.
Inside the kitchen, we’ll have a glassed in pantry and on the other side of that you can see the stairs heading down to the basement.
I like to cook. Cooking is craft and cooking is art. Like anybody who enjoys making things, their ‘shop’ is a lovely and peaceful place for them to be. A wood worker likes to walk into their shop, smell the wood and the oil, and see their tools and materials. That’s how I look at a kitchen. I’d like it to look and feel like a shop where things are made.
And a 'formal' dining room? Who gives a rip. I guess we have to have these things in a floor plan because they are expected but frankly, if the entire first floor could be a kitchen I’d be happy. We’ll eat in the kitchen. Maybe it's semantics. Adding 'formal' as a precursor to any word diminishes it's relevance. The word formal to me means a space that's too good for you. I think we just reached a consensus here to not use the word formal non-ironically ever again.
The second floor will be the master suite. The entire floor will be used for a master bedroom, bathroom, closet and what Jenny has described as a ‘sanctuary’. For purpose of official classification, this will be a bedroom. In practice, this will be where a lot a cannabis is smoked and a lot of books will be read.
Overall, the floor is split about 2/3 to the master bed, bath & closet and approx. 1/3 to the sanctuary. We have 1,140 square feet to work with.
Inside the bathroom, we’ll have an enclosed toilet room.
I like these enclosed toilets. I don’t know about you, but when I’m pooping, I don’t like to be bothered. I don’t want anyone walking by the door behind which I’m pooping. I don’t like it if anyone tries to talk to me either. I know some of you will deuce in front of your loved ones. There is something wrong with you and you should stop doing that. If I could have my way, I would want a toilet experience like a commercial airline pilot. When a pilot has to use the loo, she pushes a button in the cockpit, and a trained airline employee pulls out the service cart to block the aisle that leads to the privy and then SILENTLY stands guard so no one bothers the pilot. The pilot enters the comfort station, no conversation or eyecontact is made, and goes to work. People think this is some 9/11 security protocol but it’s not. It’s just a benefit of being a pilot. It’s the one place on earth where you are truly safe while pooping. The only thing they get wrong is the cockpit door. Rather than having an armored and secured cockpit, this door should be used on the bathroom.
Also, I like a clean butt. To that end, I prefer hosing it off to wiping. Wiping seems barbaric to me. If you got dookie on your hand would you just pick up a napkin and smear the excreta around on your hand and call it good and go eat some buffalo wings? All you’ve done is spread ass-waste all over your hand. In the world I live in today, I have to hang my butt over the tub and spray it off with a high pressure shower head after each discharge. This is not ergonomic or hygienic. It's also risky. In the future Going Queen world, I will have a sound proof civilized ass sanitizing toilet room that is enclosed and has a high-power fan. When I exit this room, my butt will be as clean as it was when I entered, probably cleaner.
(NOTE: Jenny edited the previous paragraph in a clear violation of my first amendment rights.)
In my current living situation, there are so many things that should be in a closet but are not in a closet, that I want to err on the side of having excess space, even if that encourages the retention of unused items. I’m not sure if the closet in the design is large enough for this goal but, again, I’m not changing anything right now because I want the drawings completed.
Jenny’s sanctuary is the room with the turret. Jenny loves this turret and she has big plans for it. She wants to use the turret as a mini-library and have shelves that run up the walls and into the turret silo. This sounds really cool to me. Making a joke, I told her that instead of a ladder to reach the books, we should put in those rock climbing handholds and you would have to climb up the wall to get to the highest books. To my delight, she agreed that this was a good idea. The turret will double as a tiny home gym.
I imagine this room having a couch and a few comfortable chairs. And, as I mentioned, this will be a dank marijuana parlour. Jenny both needs and deserves a parlour like this and I’m excited for her to have it. Between the parlour, and the master suite, I don’t think Jenny will leave the 2nd floor much.
In early December, after I regrettably yelled at the architect, he sent a flurry of emails to me about changes he was making to the drawings. One of them was to delete a new turret he’d added to the south-west corner of the house right off the bedroom. This seemed like a fun feature. However, he asked if he could delete it and I agreed because I wanted the drawings done. I may revisit this. While the added turret is probably not the best use of construction budget, I think some adjustments will be made to the bedroom area. Since we are adding the breakfast nook off the kitchen directly below, and are going to all the expense to extend the foundation out to support this, we might was well build above this space on the second floor and add plant room for Jenny. She fucking loves plants. She has an app on her iPhone that is a plant watering game. You do nothing but water a plant. That’s it. She loves that game. She's been playing it for three years. Every day. If she could have a little atrium off her bedroom that gets great light that she could pack with plants she’d be in heavan. She wakes up sad sometimes and I know that if she woke up, opened her eyes and saw a room full of plants then she’d probably forget she was sad and start thinking about watering those plants. I haven’t brought this up with the architect because I want the permit drawings done.
As you can see from the outside, the Going Queen has a steeply pitched roof. This results in a spacious attic. We are putting two bedrooms, a full bathroom and a small common sitting area. Our primary intention for this space is for guests.
This space is lovely. The current ceiling, at it’s peak, is probably 10 to 12 feet high. There is a good-sized window that faces east which has a view of Mt. Hood. The window in the north attic bedroom has a view of Mt. Adams. The Going Queen was built before the city codes established a 30’ max height for single family homes. It’s just tall enough to see over the rooftops of the surroundings homes.
The bedrooms themselves will be small. We’ll likely create built-ins with twin beds and integrated dresser to maximize the use of space. I like the idea of small bedrooms to discourage guests from staying too long.
The full bathroom will be smallish, but not cramped. It will clean your ass in a civilized manner as well.
The basement is a good size. Remodeled, it will be 1,240 square feet. In the plans, we are making it a bit larger by moving the staircase to the back corner outside of the current building footprint. This will give us more control of the space and avoid breaking it up by bringing a staircase down right in the middle of the room like it is now.
In this space, we’ll have a TV room, a laundry room, utility room, bedroom and a full (ass cleaning) bathroom.
This is where my step-daughter Halie will live. Jenny wants Halie to live with us for the rest of her life so this has to be a comfortable place for her.
The basement is going to have a lot of work done to it and I’ll cover all that in it’s own blog post later.
You may have noticed this chute on each floor of the drawing…
This is a laundry chute that terminates in the laundry room in the basement. In the bathrooms of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd floor, there will be a little door where you can put your dirty clothes. These clothes will magically disappear and then reappear in your closet or in a pile on the couch between one and seven days later.
Hey, I just realized the laundry chute is missing from the 3rd floor bathroom. I’m not going to mention that to the architect just yet because I don’t want to create any delays.
Next, I’ll go over the exterior plans. The landscape architect we’ve been working with is really fast and thorough. I’ve got his drawings back and can go over those plans with you soon.