You told me: The hallway needs to be designed to attract light and air, and not trap the heat. The guest bedroom can have its own bath by splitting the hall bath into two. And the kitchen can be oriented to the courtyard and the back patio. And why not build up on the casita instead of the main house, using the utility room for stairs? It will have the north-facing orientation I sacrificed in the main house. That west-facing wall in the master will have to be addressed. I’m tempted to make the west wall of the master flush with my theoretical pool (my proportions are very rough) but I don’t want to eat up the entire yard with concrete. (Here is yet another option, which puts the second floor on the main house, and scales back its footprint, leaving a larger yard. Oops — why is the bodega along the back terrace?)
This is all highly theoretical, but my solutions were easy. To add a walk-in closet to the master bedroom, I wrote in “w/walk-in closet.” My high-tech solution to the hallway: reword the label. Being a fake architect is easy!
But a real architect, which we will soon have to find, can’t act this way. We always said we would spend time in the house, as it is, and take in our needs in a more organic manner. We also want to design around the practical, functional needs of the house — particularly air flow. The house should be something we can secure well for long absences. And the yard will be designed around the most sensible garden design. I’ll try not to fall too much in love with this particular floor plan. It’s not grounded in reality.
Lesson learned: The cental courtyard concept is more than just a pretty feature. It’s an essential tool in keeping your house exposed to light and air. And in this floor plan, I’ll have a nice cross-breeze when I’m simmering my carnitas in lard.