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Floor plan comments, and thoughts on inset bedrooms

I came across the above floor plan over the weekend. I reshared it on Twitter and there was then a pretty good discussion about what people like and don’t like. I mean, who doesn’t like looking at floor plans?

The suite is 790 square feet with 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom. It rents, at least according to Bobby’s original tweet, at $2,600 per month. That’s $3.29 per square foot. I’m guessing that the apartment is in Philadelphia solely based on Bobby’s location.

The divisive thing in this floor plan is the two inset bedrooms. Some people don’t like these. But designing a good floor plan is like working through a puzzle. You have all these constraints (some of which are just personal preference) and you have to find ways to work around them.

When you’re working with a deep urban floor plate, you pretty much have no choice but to design floor plans with inset bedrooms. Otherwise, the suites get too big and they stop making economic sense. I have talked about this a few times before on the blog.

So what you do is “bury” the bedroom(s) and keep the main living space as open as possible. In this case, the living/dining dimensions are about 17′ wide x 10′ deep. So a pretty good size, and certainly a very good width.

An alternate solution might be to flip one of the bedrooms up towards the main glass (keeping the second one inset). But given that you only have 17 feet to work with here, something is going to have to give. So if you made the living room 9′ wide, you’d then only have somewhere around 8′ for your bedroom.

Personally, I don’t mind inset bedrooms, especially if they allow for more generous living spaces. So I think that this is a fairly reasonable and functional suite layout. I would have absolutely lived in an apartment like this when I was going to school in Philadelphia. (Is this even the right location?)

But if I were to make a few tweaks:

I would compress the bedrooms slightly to enlarge the living space even more. (Though if the target market is student roommates, perhaps the idea is to allow for a desk in the bedroom.) I would then flip the closets to the partition wall between the two bedrooms to improve sound attenuation.

I would also try and get the kitchen out of the hallway and into the main living/dining area. I don’t know where all the plumbing stacks sit (see, constraints), but perhaps it just slides up toward the glass. Another solution might be on the other side of the upper bedroom (where there is currently a closet).

But what are your thoughts? Would you rent this apartment? Comments welcome below.


  1. Myron Nebozuk

    I’m reminded of an apartment my cousins lived in Montreal. Come summer, with high temperatures, 100% humidity and no cross-ventilation, my inboard bedroom was impossible to sleep in at night. In the warmest weather, we would sometimes sleep on the landings of outdoor spiral metal stair.


  2. Brandon,
    1 This will not meet the daylighting requirements of the Ontario Building Code, even in its most liberal interpretation.
    2 The word is “bury,” not “burry.” 🙂


  3. Nancy

    Terrible layout, race to the bottom in quality of life. Lenient interpretations of OBC should have never allowed even one bedroom in a unit without access to an operable window.


  4. Hilary Vaillancourt

    In short, love this floor plan, as an alternative when faced with very tricky floorplates. What I’d change:

    1) There appears to be no bedroom windows, which isn’t permitted here in TO. If that’s the case, (perhaps due to it being a inner unit and not a corner unit), I would spec a horizontal transom window in the 2nd bedroom wall abutting the liv room and in the hallway wall in the case of the 1st bedroom for natural light/airflow. However, it might be hard to cover if one wanted darkness for sleeping; and not sure if staff would accept this as a ‘window’, but worth a shot.

    2) I would move the closets to the interior parting wall for noise mitigation between the bedrooms.


    Liked by 1 person

  5. Judith Martin

    I’ve just been ruder to Bobby Fijan than I think I ever have to anyone on twitter or elsewhere. An unprincipled chancer. I was almost willing to go along with it until I found it was built from scratch. It’s not a rescue or a conversion. There was no need for it to be like that. I would say thank god I’m not in DC (which is where he says it is) but then I’m from the UK where we have Grenfell Tower and various other high or mid rise fires since. All these buildings appear to be safe until they’re not.


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