Lets consider you have infinite money and you want to own your own home. Where do you go from here? Well its not that simple because infinite money ultimately means infinite options. It’s a dilemma we all wish we had, but few people ever have. So in researching house designs you should first set aside budget constraints and look specific at what you like and what you dislike. This will ensure you get a style which is nearest to your preference regardless of initial price constraints. Style is the first step in house design, only real issue is what if you don’t know what mix of styles you like?
This is where an Architect can be your best friend and guideline through the difficult task of setting aside necessities from desires. Desired style does not always mean sacrificing necessities and often a good Architect can help you achieve the best of both necessity with desires. Lets look at some areas where necessities can intertwine with desires.
It’s a difficult task to figure out what living spaces you require in a home as a new house design. This is mainly because you have no context on size, volume and inter-relationships with other spaces in a house design. Its much easier to walk into a home and feel the spaces surrounding you and decide if you like it or not. This is where exploring the existing real estate market is much better than looking through magazines, browsing websites and watching video clips. You can walk into existing properties listed on the market and browse through spaces getting a real sense of the living spaces.
Using this example you can check out different property listings on a weekly basis and view open house designs through experience not digital media. This requires some dedication on a weekly basis and its to ensure you narrow your desired preferences of living spaces without compromising on areas which you might define as necessities. Make sure you take photos of living areas you like and remember to document your impressions of spaces as you walk through them.
Mixing bathroom spaces within a house design is not a difficult one, but it can have extremely negative results if not integrated within the house design correctly. A good designer will find a efficient, well organised arrangement for bathrooms. A great Architect will go one step further and find a way to creatively invent a space for these home necessities. The key to selecting bathroom designs you prefer is not to limit yourself to what you’ve seen previously. Because bathrooms are generally small and mostly un-inhabited, its more important to have great Architect arrange a creative space with which to express a style which meets you desires. Sure, browsing for bathroom styles you like can help you narrow down a final layout but its not going to be what really needs to be creatively integrated into a new house design.
Storage and Wardrobe
A little considered space by Architects because storage is taught as un-creative ‘wasted space’ I have come to acknowledge that no storage or robe space is the same across any house design. In any case there is one definite truth; different occupants and home owners require different ‘wasted spaces.’ For this reason it is critical that in any house design the client or occupant takes control when designating the amount of volumetric spaces for their storage habits.
I have designed many storage spaces and have come to realise a second truth in relation to storage spaces. Ques should be taken from commercial warehouses and storage facilities. Stack and Unpack are two words you must remember. If you can’t Stack anything in the space, then its wasted storage space. If you can’t Unpack the storage space, than it’s a junk pile and therefore a wasted space. Remember to stack and unpack those spaces more than once a decade, clear the clutter!
Personalities can have extreme influence over how one kitchen design will suit some but not others. Its an extremely personal question when asking someone about food and for some it can be the most important part of any house design. I remain diplomatic about the pros and cons of one design solution over another, but I have designed enough homes to know that one design does not suit all. I’ve even known a home to be completed and within a month we were told to rip out the kitchen and start again, that’s what I mean when I say extremely personal.
Lets look at an example between the single most basic element of a kitchen; bench space. Some people want a huge long area to layout their preparations, while other seek an island bench to separate preparations from cooking areas. Both have merit in their design performance but what most people forget to factor into kitchen design is the surrounding spaces integrating with bench spaces. Over time its become clear to me that any bench space is good, but a truly amazing kitchen design has something else. Benches which define spaces, integrate spaces and merge spaces is the single most important factor in home design for kitchens.
An Architect who is skilled in his profession can take a kitchen design and integrate its many parts within a house design seamlessly. Using benches to separate one area from another, like a bar from a lounge. Using benches to merge a dining room with a food presentation bench. Or completely integrating a living room with a kitchen dining room without compromising aesthetics.