Open Up a Small House Layout

Happy Friday All! How’s your week been? On my side, great news. Our Architect didn’t fire us as clients! Last Friday I confessed to not being sure how my attempt to break through the language barrier by sketching a floor plan would go over. Thankfully our Architect Roberta is a gem. If she took offense to my sketching out a floor plan to communicate our wish list she never showed it. On the contrary. Roberta heard me visually and turned my amateur sketch into a more realistic professional floor plan. One that ticks off almost all the elements on our wish list.

Italian Home Floorplan

In case you missed it, here are all the floor plans from our last Renovating Bardonecchia update so far.

  • Italian Home Renovation Original Floor Plan Renovating Bardonecchia
  • Italian Home Renovation Floor Plans Opt A Renovating Bardonecchia
  • Italian Home Renovation Floor Plans Opt B Renovating Bardonecchia
  • Italian Home Renovation Floor Plans Opt C Renovating Bardonecchia
  • Italian Home Renovation Floor Plans Opt D Renovating Bardonecchia
  • Italian Home Renovation Updated Floor Plan Renovating Bardonecchia

Comparing the final dream sketch with Option D in the floor plan photo gallery above, you can see where we gravitated to the open floor plan, but with heavy caveats. We are still hoping to fit more of the modern amenities that have become our creature comforts into one very small space.

Namely a bathtub and a kitchen island. If possible also a second desk/working space, a Murphy bed for guests in the studio, an entryway bench, and a washer and dryer. I had hoped if we gave up some closet space, went with a stackable washer and dryer, and moved them into the master bedroom closet it just might work! Paolo was willing to work with a small desk in his studio to allow space for a Murphy bed for guests.

Roberta came back with three options, here they are with a few notes to help explain what we’re looking at!

Renovating Bardonecchia | Open Floor Plan Solution 5

Solution five is what happens when Roberta transforms my sketch into a professional floor plan. It was a very tactful way to illustrate why everything we wanted just wouldn’t fit. My friends, you might remember early on I talked about the one stinking wall smack in the middle of the apartment that cannot be moved. A quick visual with the floor plans above. It’s the wall that sits between the kitchen and the entryway in the sketches above.

Because of that wall and my desire to have a bathroom that fits a bathtub, we cannot have the kitchen in the middle of the apartment and that kitchen island I’ve been dreaming of. Which is what the spacer lines on solution five show. Shifting the island further towards the balcony means not having enough space for a dining table. Talk about frustrating, I seriously hate that ventilation pipe wall. Grrrrr. Little venting of my own there. Moving on…

Open Floor Plan Solution 6

In short, solution five is a no-go floor plan. This is where solutions six and seven come in. With these, Roberta is trying to give us as much as she could from our wish list with the space we had.

Solution six shows the kitchen in the middle of the space, without the island. Although it breaks my heart, I have to admit it’s the best use of the space. This option also allows for a separate shower and bathtub, a second desk, washer and dryer, and a Murphy bed in the studio.

Open Floor Plan Solution 7

Solution seven is a very creative approach and I love the idea of this dream bathtub space! Fellow bathtub lovers, can you just imagine having a little corner of spa-like space to call your own? Especially knowing that little window has a view of the Alps outside?

I love, love, love Roberta for having the guts to put the idea out there for us. Bathtubs are not that common in Italy and these plans in part show why. Having a bidet takes up space in Italian bathrooms. Add to that the massive difference between the size of the average American home to the average Italian home and it becomes clear why so few Italian homes have bathtubs.

So what do you think? Do you like option six or seven above? Which would you go with?

If you’ve been following my previous #RenovatingBardonecchia updates, you’ve likely guessed already that there’s one more round of floor plans to come next Friday! Why? Because I still had a trick up my sleeve to get that kitchen island and the bathtub! Any guesses how? Don’t be shy, share ’em in the comments below!

Enjoy the weekend my friend and if you’re up for a walk in the Alps this weekend, join me on Instagram for stories from the Italian Alps.

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Leave a Reply


  1. Of what you’ve shown, I like option 6 the best but if it were me, I would hate to give up on a shower and would still wonder about getting another workspace in the kitchen. If not an island then maybe just a small butcher-block table, 2.5’x2.5′? Do you have an outdoor space where you could put a jacuzzi, to make up for the lack of indoor tub? Don’t want to drive you insane. Just brainstorming. Whatever you end up with will be fantastic.

    1. Carol you’re awesome for taking the time to share your ideas. Thank you. We’re currently thinking something had to be a combo. Still working on the compromises. Really wish we had outdoor space. Just a tiny balcony but no yard. Also sketching island/butcher block ideas.

  2. I’m not a fan of either bathtubs or kitchen islands so I’m not the best person to ask. Furthermore, I don’t have to live in your flat, you do.

    1. I’m just feeling happy to have a place at all. Getting to 45 without ever having owned a home means there could be a fountain in the middle of the living room and I’d love it! Hahaha

  3. In a small space I think a spa room is too much. You’ll regret losing all that space for a bath, at least that’s me. You may not think you need storage, but you may regret it when you don’t have enough. It’s a reason for a spa vacation:)

  4. Margaret Pellegrini Payne says:

    Fun to read about your deliberations. How about a “floating” island that gets stored against the wall in the empty space near the second bedroom (along the outside wall – selection 7) and used when you need the extra counter area and/or serving table? Or a soaking tub instead of a long bathtub – takes up “vertical” space and not horizontal space?

    1. Without spoiling too much… I think you have an excellent ideas! More to come soon.

  5. I like solution 7 personally because I’m a bath lover! Still, I think if many homes had a bidet, it would save SO much toilet paper!

      1. Exactly! And it’s greener to use less TP. I read funny stuff at the start of the pandemic about the TP shortages. My favourite was “You can’t come in. It’s not because of the pandemic. We just don’t trust you near our toilet paper!” Also, there was something about the UN noticing massive death in the US, but everyone has clean bottoms! Guess that prediction wasn’t far wrong!