what’s in a floor plan? (aka: learning to LOVE a split level)

by Jul 7, 2012ModArchitecture0 comments


exterior of our split level listing on evening star in clifton

Modern homes come in all shapes and sizes and much to the chagrin of the mls and home appraisers, often defy categorization.  Homes commonly referred to as split levels can be quad or tri levels, or split foyer bi levels, but they share one thing in common.  Stairs are involved, and rooms commonly grouped together in more traditional ranch or two story plans can wind up anywhere.

Our house happens to be a split level.  Or you could call it a tri level.  The entry, living room, family room, dining room, kitchen and laundry room are on the main living level.  The bedroom wing is a half flight down, and below the main level is another finished level with another family room, a rec room, an office, a workshop and a small ‘kids’ studio.’  This level also has a walkout to the back yard.

When we first moved in, I did not think much about our floor plan, but after living here for nearly 15 years, there are some distinct advantages to multi level living.  One unusual thing about the way our house was sited on our lot is that all 3 levels walk out to ground level.  A real advantage in case of a fire, but also very convenient.  Another plus is that our bedroom wing is private and can be closed off from the rest of the house.  It was great when our kids were younger.

In our house, the family room and dining room share one open space.  Odd, but it really works for us.  It is also unusual for the bedrooms to be below the living areas, but no one can argue that the lower level keeps the rooms cooler when it is hot.  Brilliant!  These homes were designed without rigid parameters and limitations, allowing the lay of the land to literally dictate the design of the house.  I have a feeling that not many builders would take that chance today.  New housing is much more homogenous and unfortunately new moderns builds are practically non existent.

So why the rant, you ask?  Several of the homes we currently have listed are split level plans and when negative feedback is received from a showing agent, it is usually that the buyer does not like the floor plan.  Wake up and smell the coffee, people!  Different is GOOD and in the modern world, there is definitely something to be said for NOT being like everyone else.   Open your minds to change and you just may find YOUR dream home!


in case you still need more persuasion, check out this old blog post on open-mindedness! 

foyer of the split level on evening star in clifton. yes, there are stairs, but the good news is that there are never more than 6 or 7 in a row!


cool ‘lower level’ master bedroom in the clifton split level with walkout to deck!


foyer of our split level listing in anderson provides dramatic vistas and open spaces. no closed in stairways in these homes!


exterior of anderson split level. in this home the dining room, kitchen and family room are on the LL and the living room and bedrooms on the UL.


view of living room and stairway (with bedroom wing beyond) in our split level house


front of our house with main living level to the left and lower bedroom level to the right.

our split level from the back with all 3 levels visible

Update on Saturday, July 7, 2012 at 5:50PM 

We have a NEW split level listing coming in Finneytown next week.  Contact us if you are interested and stay tuned for more information!


Submit a Comment

featured publications




research + articles






modern books



some of our listings