One main question I have is about what's currently marked as the 'Grow Area'. The idea was that this would be a semi-dedicated area for working with plants -- it wouldn't have much natural light, but I could put in a lot of grow lights, and use it for starting seeds, chilling bulbs, etc. But I'm not sure how useful that is. The rest of the basement will have heat, so even if I don't put heat directly in there, will it be cold enough for chilling bulbs, or should I just plan to do that in our unheated garage? (Which is quite large - 2.5 car-size, and we only have 1 car.)
Is it likely to be helpful to have this grow area separate, or should I just give up on it, knock that wall down and let it be part of the main playroom/den area? (Which will mostly have a tv, some couches, maybe some bookshelves if we run out of room upstairs, and spillover toys -- the actual playroom is up on the third floor, next to the kids' rooms.) If we do keep it, is it useful to have it be an area that closes, or is that likely to be kid-safe enough that it can just be open to the rest of the room? And if we do keep it, should we squeeze it down to be smaller, allow for more storage space?
Then there's the craft room -- a room that needs a large stand-at work table (dining table size, roughly), a sewing machine table, a lot of wall storage, and a door that closes and locks, as there will be a lot of dangerous stuff in there (poisonous chemicals, cutting devices, etc.) Is it the right size?
And somewhere down here should be the general tool area -- for saws, drills, etc. I'm not sure whether that should be part of the craft room (since there's already going to be a utility work table there), or off in a grungier part of the basement.
Also, somewhere in here is beer-making supplies and work area for Kevin.
Also, somewhere in here is probably an extra freezer. That section currently marked as laundry is really more laundry-kitchenette, I think. Will probably have a spare microwave down there, for example. The main laundry room is on the second floor, but the house came with two sets of washer/dryer, so we thought we might as well have a second set in the basement.
Also, any other thoughts on whether we're likely to need more storage, etc. would be helpful, especially from those of you with four-person households.
And if we eventually added a bath down there (I agree it's generally desirable, but the budget just might not stretch that far, sadly), we'd basically have to carve it out of the main playroom area, I think. Or I guess it can go in the grow room area instead? But we'd want to decide now, even if we were going to do it later, since it might affect plumbing layouts.
The only thing that I'm sure doesn't change is the utility / storage room in the top left corner. That's where all the mechanicals will be going.
One alternative layout would be to move the craft room to where the grow room currently is. And then open up the rest of the laundry / grow / playroom space. I'm not sure we need all those walls...
And this is a minor point, but not only do we need to have a wall somewhere in the playroom area to hang a large-ish flat-screen TV, but I'd ideally like to have a line of sight from the open craft room door to that tv. Often I'm doing long, tedious, time-consuming tasks that it'd be nice to have the tv for. But that's not a priority -- even just listening to the TV is decent (especially since most of the tasks do require my eyes as well as my hands), and I can always bring a laptop with Hulu in the actual craft room too.
My thoughts are clearly all over the place. Any input would be welcome.