Designing your new home may seem intimidating. And truthfully, it can be. There are so many decisions, large and small, that will impact your life. We’ll look at some of the most important decisions. Once these decisions are made, you can move on to less stressful decisions.
- Your home needs to work with the local vernacular. It shouldn’t be a cookie cutter replica. It should complement the other homes in the area, but definitely not be identical. The contrasts should lend to it’s individuality. Not only will this keep your neighbors happy, it will help maintain the value of your home. No rambling brick rancher belongs in an area of lodge-style or craftsman-style homes. The neighborhood should have character and a variety, but don’t go too far afield.
- Choose a style that makes you happy. An aesthetically pleasing home will make you smile each time you arrive home.
- Your home should “live” exactly as you live (your rooms should fit your lifestyle). If you enjoy the outdoors, be sure to incorporate porches and decks. If you need quiet space, an away room, office, or a small nook that will let you sit quietly is important. If you are a gourmet cook…or just enjoy cooking…you won’t be happy with a small basic kitchen. Think about how and where you spend your time when you’re home. Design for you…not for the Jones or a trend you’ve seen in a magazine.
- Work with a designer or architect who will listen. Even if you are revising a stock plan, at the end of the day, it should reflect your tastes. Architects and designers have skills far beyond the average homeowner. They know what works and what doesn’t, but they should help you to develop your plan to work for you. Don’t get lost in the process.
- Make a list of the most important elements you want to include. Keep it short and specific. This is a “choosing your battles” type of decision. If these items are important, be willing to give on other components that make these key elements work for the design and the budget. You may need to downsize to keep a complex roof line that you find charming. Or you may need to have a smaller home so you can spend more money on your outdoor living spaces. Try to keep the list short and be flexible on less important (to you) items.
So build, build boldly and design with your heart and your head.
Thank you for letting us share our tips with you, Bonnie Pickartz.