To build own house is one of the life milestones. We imagine it to become cozy hub for every family member.
Architect is one of the first professionals who helps to plan a house of your dreams. He is good to prepare structural form and plan optimal natural lighting, where interior planning requires more time and attention from homeowner himself. It can be quiet frustrating to review plans for the first time. But don’t worry, I will try to clarify that process for you. Here are you key notes!
#1 Adequate room size
It’s one of the main things to be sure is right! View each room separately and make sure that everything you want to bring into the room will fit perfectly. Try to see it in a long term.
For example, see how many seats do you need to have in your sitting room? Sketch your armchairs and sofa (ideally in scale) on your plan, creating conversational area i.e. seats facing each other or centre of the area. Make sure there is enough clearance between furniture to move around (at least 800mm between objects).
Think, how much storage do you require?
Where do you put your TV?
Do you mind if TV point is near a window?
Is windowsill too low near TV unit?
Do you need log storage or display units on each side of the fireplace?
When construction is over, you will see that difference of having well-planned room and no frustration of dealing with unexpected outcome.
Image via decoist.com
Check each room the same way, particularly kitchen! There are special requirements for kitchen layout and you can read more on this topic in Planning Kitchen Layout.
Bedroom is not an exception here if you want to fit your king size bed with two bedside lockers on each side. You need to be sure you allow enough wall space to fit it all!
#2 Light is good but Function is your Priority
We all want to have bright, light and airy house, especially kitchen and dining zone. Though, there is good balance. There are many types of style and layout, it should work well for you and your personal life style!
No matter what your taste is, kitchen layout should always comply with “working triangle” i.e. your path sink-cooker-fridge and back, doesn’t exceed 7.8m (max). If you feel it doesn’t work, change kitchen layout and even reconsider window position in order to improve it.
With every extra inch of window frame you loose functional wall!
Make sure it works for you!
Review your plans carefully
Do you have full height piece of wall for your fridge or eye-level oven?
Where do you place your cooker with extractor fan?
Note: gas cooker should be at least 30cm away from the window.
In addition, window position should be right in a bathroom too.
Does furniture /shower fit well next to the window?
Where do you place your vanity unit? What size?
Where is shower? Do you have enough space for wet room?
If you compromise on something, you should estimate what you get and what you loose.
#3 Watch out, odd corners!
Any room looks more pleasant when it has right shape. Try to minimize presence of various corners, bends, not to mention chimney.
I often find that issue in master bedroom with ensuit and walk-in wardrobe. If you see obstruction blocking your entrance or it creates dead corner wasting footage, I highly recommend to talk to your architect or designer to make a change, even if it means moving internal walls or windows on your plan.
#4 Aim for symmetry
Symmetry is one of the universal interior elements and creates feeling of stability, calmness and dignity.
It’s very effective visual feature when you enter a room but be sure you made planning for it.
In the sitting room: Do you have equal distance on each side of your chimney?
In the bedroom: Do you have enough wall space to center your headboard with beside lockers?
I know, it might sound so obvious but for some reason, it’s been missed in several cases.
#5 Imagine your living
That’s what kids and designers are good at, imagining something what’s not there yet. But don’t worry, let me show you how you can do it too!
Make a cup of tea, sit down in comfy chair and prepare plan in front of you.Start from the main entrance and see space as if you are living in it. Make analysis of current plan:
What do you see when you enter?
What do you want to see when you enter?
Is area big enough if you come home with shopping or return from vacations with all your bags and kids around?
Imagine how your kids race from room to room?
Are there any dangerous bends or corners?
Do you have space to place console table to keep your keys?
Where will you keep your coats and shoes?
Try to imagine as many details as you can! Continue moving around house on a plan and try to understand if place is comfortable for what you do daily? Don’t compromise trying to adapt yourself to new place. You build house to improve your living, make it perfect from scratch. It should be house for you and not the other way around. Think for youself because your habits are very personal just as house should be.
Make a list of what you think doesn’t feel right or needs to be reconsidered and discuss it with your architect or designer. I still meet families, who have built a house and later build extention in order to improve layout.
Give it a good thought because there is nothing what cannot be changed while it’s on a paper!
P.S. Let me know in a comment if you have questions in this topic.