Back to Work

Like we ever stop working. But I did dig up the floorplan for the building that Rose’s shop, Oddities, is in, and that Rose’s and Ozzie’s apartments are above. And some of you really seemed to enjoy Anna’s floorplan of the museum a couple of months ago, and more to the point, found problems and solutions to those, so . . .

Here’s the floorplans for the Oddities building:

32 thoughts on “Back to Work

  1. Blueprints are not my Forte, so forgive a silly question… but is the blue line a wall? If so, how do customers get into the back rooms? There isn’t a door to the kitchen? So that’s open to visitors?

  2. My first thought was it’s odd this isn’t based on a mirrored pair of houses, but that’s probably my British perspective, where I’d expect this to have been originally a pair of semi-detached houses, or a pair within a longer terrace. (The chimneys are usually back-to-back.) This building has no chimneys. Is it very modern? Because the bay windows suggested otherwise to me; but again, maybe this is something I don’t know about recent US architecture.

    The upstairs landing makes no sense at the moment. All the rooms need to open off it. And do the living rooms have no windows? Seems odd. (Don’t know that building regs would allow that in the UK.)

    1. I’m cracking up over here, living as I do in a city of strip malls and featureless boxes for houses, at idea of “U.S. architecture.” 🤣

    2. Once saw a Property Brothers episode in which each brother took one side of a side by side building, fireplaces were back to back and the plumbing were same, back to back, up and down, easier for tie in to sewer. The basics are there for setting.

      Jenny’s got this, a work in progress,

    3. Fair point- US regs do require a window in every habitable room for emergency egress and ventilation. Easy to fix by moving the closets 🙂

      In the states we don’t have the tradition of semi-detached and terrace houses. There are row houses, generally called brownstones, but most of our late Victorian commercial brick buildings (which is what this looks like, both in layout and shape.) are referred to as a “commercial block” even if the building doesn’t take up the full block.

      Usually they have multiple bays, and can be subdivided and expanded by removing the non-loadbearing internal walls. Remarkably flexible, and kind of startling when you walk into a familiar shop or restaurant and find that it’s doubled or tripled in size!

      1. We don’t have a req for windows in every room (I’m in MD), but at least one window for egress is required in every bedroom.

        My daughter’s apartment in DC had a the living room/kitchen area in the middle with no windows, but a bedroom on each side of the living room with large windows. As long as they left one of the bedroom doors open, they had lots of light (and multiple ways out of the dwelling in case of emergency).

  3. Does Oz have no kitchen or laundry? Or stairs into the building?
    Also I think a builder might put his bathroom against the adjoining wall so all the water and sewer lines ran through the middle wall that divides fbe two apartments.
    Speaking of, why isn’t it one straight middle wall back to front in the same place first and second floor? I would expect it would need to be to be structurally sound.

    1. There are steps into the building. Look again. I would so love to see a diagram like this for every house in your books, but especially Maybe This Time. I tried to draw one for it, but it was confusing. Bet Me also is confusing, with the fireplace in the middle? Thanks for sharing this, Jenny!!!

        1. The ground floor is a shared space. The blue line’s misleading – it either doesn’t represent a wall, or else Jenny’s not marked doors in it.

          1. Hours later it occurs to me to wonder: is the blue line the state line? I know it’s down the middle of the street where the post offices are, but my impression of the town is hazy.

          2. Yes! I remember a remark where someone says the state line goes through the town and cuts the house in half. Good call!!

    2. It looks like Oz has stairs that go into the open rooms of the house below, so he can get to that kitchen. I agree on the bathrooms, since they are usually back to back and the pipes go down a wall. The walls where the bathrooms are do not coincide with the walls in the lower level, so I’m not sure where those pipes go.

      1. In my house, there are bathrooms on the east side, center, one above the other. But all the kitchen plumbing is on the west side, north corner, above the basement laundry area and deep sink. The water heater is on the west wall of the basement opposite the bathrooms.

  4. So there are no kitchens in the actual apartments upstairs? Just the one downstairs? How does Oz access it? Do they share the kitchen? Where do they eat? In the kitchen? Because it doesn’t seem practical for Oz to make food then go through the entire building to eat in his living room.

    1. I’m wondering if Oz even cooked? And I’m also wondering what those two large rectangles are supposed to be, in the kitchen and the main room? Tables? Counters? No appliances are shown, either, or a kitchen sink. I’m not sure what those things on the left side of the kitchen are. The laundry is next to the main room of the shop????

  5. Does Oz have a secret room off his bedroom? Because everything else closet-y is labeled closet. It seems as though he probably needed a secret room.

  6. My assumption is that it was once two houses sharing a wall, like a row house. That would explain two sets of interior stairs. But in that case there either would have been two sets of steps up,
    Or they would have been in the center with a divided porch. Also there’s the plumbing issue. You have the kitchen sink on an outside wall, but the bathroom on an inside wall. And then running across to the other side with a set of stairs in between?

    The odd upstairs arrangement could be explained by the fact that someone renovated it in the past. The back bedrooms might very well have required passing through another room first. My grandparents back bedroom was like that. I do think the two living rooms could have windows on the outer walls, assuming the building isn’t attached like townhouses in the US. I have no side windows, but I do have windows for every room on the front and back sides. However it would work better if the bathrooms are back to back. If the house is old enough, the bathrooms might have been added in later (both grandparents had houses where the bathrooms were once either a small bedroom or a large linen closet) but the plumbing would have had to be connected up with the main somehow. So you might need to move the kitchen sink to the interior wall also.

  7. The blue line continues outside the house so maybe it is the state line, but then why doesn’t it run through the whole house ? And what is the long hallway to nowhere on the second floor?

  8. At first glance I think the laundry is oddly placed and inconvenient (customers can access, noisy when used during open hours, dryer needs ventilation). However if your house similar to a historical listed building in the UK and the laundry was added in modern times from an adapted room/storage. I guess that can be part of the quirky layout

  9. The blue line looks like the center line of the building, perhaps the dividing line between two identical rowhouses before they were remodelled into one shop with only one entrance and with two sets of semi-shared living quarters above?

    It looks as if both upper flats share the same kitchen and laundry downstairs, with Oz needing to cross the shop to move between his upstairs flat and the kitchen or laundry. I assume those will have doors in their doorways, even if those doors aren’t drawn in (ditto for some other door-openings, i.e. from both livingrooms into the useless dead-end corridor upstairs: I’m assuming there will be doors, to stop drafts and noise, and create some privacy). You don’t want customers wandering into your laundry room and kitchen, trying to buy your clean laundry or kitchen stuff and food.
    I assume they all cook and eat in the kitchen at that big rectangular table-shape?

    The laundry is placed underneath Rose’s bathroom, which is logical from where the pipes would run.

    The plans look as if this house/these houses are part of a row of houses, with the side walls shared with neighboring houses. That would also explain why there are no windows on the side walls. Alternatively, if the house next door isn’t part of the row but is very close, you couldn’t have matching windows on the sides facing each other (constantly looking into other people’s houses from your own windows from too close a distance is forbidden in most building regulations); but then you’ld have either a translucent but not transparent window, or a clerestory window set above eye height, to let light into the living room. Living rooms without windows are not allowed in any building regulations as far as I know.
    Row houses are often mirrored for cheaper and easier (shared) pipe access, but sometimes identical – if you don’t want two master bedrooms sharing a (perhaps not very soundproofed) common wall, identical instead of mirrored layouts make sense; on my parents’ block they were all identical, not mirrored. The location of both sets of stairs and both bathrooms argue for it being two rowhouses with identical layouts before the conversion.

    The 2 converted rowhouses would also explain Oz’s bathroom being on the outside wall, either if it was identical or if the neighbor on the other side of that wall has their bathroom mirrored on the other side of that wall. Or it was added in later, and the pipes run up the outside of the house, if it (almost) never freezes there (as I’ve seen on some old converted small houses). If not, there will be a sort of square blocked-off chimney shape downstairs that the pipes run through (ditto in the laundry, but as that is undetailed I just assumed it was there).

    I also assume that the dead-end corridor accessible from Oz’s bedroom functions as a kind of walk-in closet, otherwise why would it be there, taking up precious space? Very inefficient use of the space, even if so.

    The similar dead-end corridor at the rear, divided by the blue line and accessible from both living rooms, makes no sense at all. Both living rooms are very small and dark without windows (unless they’ve got skylights), and here a similar amount of space is being wasted on a long dark dead-end corridor which apparently has as its only function to work as a buffer between the two back rooms and as a hallway between the two living rooms. Putting the wall in the middle, on the blue line, and adding the space to the rooms on either side, would make much more sense; with perhaps a small square hall between the two living rooms if you need or want the upstairs connection between the two flats. Then perhaps both back rooms could be a bit shorter but wider, keeping the same space, and both livingrooms could be a bit larger.
    Or, if the wall of Poppy’s room needs to stay above the kitchen wall, that corridor-space could be added to Oz’s workroom without an extra wall inbetween.

    Unless the house has a double mansard roof (like an upside-down W with steep sides and much less steep tops), and what looks like wasted dead-end corridor space through the middle of the upstairs is where the steeply angled roofs come down, and it’s too low to stand. But in that case, the door-openings from both living rooms and Oz’s bedroom opening into the central valley of the roof make no sense.

Comments are closed.