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When designing your forever home - Sedgewick
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When designing your forever home

When designing your forever home
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When designing a new home, most people are super focused on the most practical issues like price, time schedule, and number of bedrooms. In doing so, they sometimes overlook key aspects of design that can really affect how much you actually like your home over the long haul, regardless of your budget, the time it takes to build it, or the basic features of the home. Here’s a list of things to consider when designing your home to help make it more enjoyable to live in.

 

1. Function versus Aesthetics

While you want your home to be attractive, in the long run, you’ll likely regret sacrificing function for aesthetics. For example, you may fall in love with the look of a particular kitchen or bathroom counter top edge, but how does it function? Many of the decorative edges are less sturdy and have a higher risk of chipping than a square or rounded edge. In fact, you should pay particular attention to function in both the kitchen and bathroom. It’s best to follow the old (but true) saying that, “Form Follows Function” – Think about function first and then determine how to make them fit your style.

Many of the decorative edges are less sturdy and have a higher risk of chipping than a square or rounded edge. In fact, you should pay particular attention to function in both the kitchen and bathroom. It’s best to follow the old (but true) saying that, “Form Follows Function” – Think about function first and then determine how to make them fit your style.

 

2. Air Flow

Back in the “olden days” before air conditioners and central heat and air, people building homes had to think about ambient air flow. They always made sure to place doors and windows in such a way that they could get a nice cross breeze throughout the entire home. This helped to keep the home cool, but also helped keep the air inside the house fresh and healthy. Today, you’ll want to make sure you have a good HVAC for your new modern home, but you should also consider how fresh air can flow through your home with the least restrictions. This will save you money and make your home more enjoyable. Beyond the placement of your doors and windows, you should think about how easy it will be for you to open and shut the windows and doors you select. How easy is it to partially open your doors and windows, i.e. “crack” your windows? You should also consider which windows you’ll want to be equipped with screens to keep the insects and other potential invaders out. Or whether double hung is worth the investment over single hung.

Today, you’ll want to make sure you have a good HVAC for your new modern home, but you should also consider how fresh air can flow through your home with the least restrictions. This will save you money and make your home more enjoyable. Beyond the placement of your doors and windows, you should think about how easy it will be for you to open and shut the windows and doors you select. How easy is it to partially open your doors and windows, i.e. “crack” your windows? You should also consider which windows you’ll want to be equipped with screens to keep the insects and other potential invaders out. Or whether double hung is worth the investment over single hung.

How easy is it to partially open your doors and windows, i.e. “crack” your windows? You should also consider which windows you’ll want to be equipped with screens to keep the insects and other potential invaders out. Or whether double hung is worth the investment over single hung.

 

3. Natural Lighting

Studies have shown that people exposed to more natural light, as opposed to artificial lighting, have increased levels of vitamin D and tend to be happier and have less stress. Not to mention, natural lighting certainly saves on the energy bills. But did you also know that natural light helps deter the growth of mold inside your home. The ability to use natural light also allows you to more easily grow houseplants; which help purify your air. So, when designing your new home, you may want to think about ways to allow more natural light in while still maintaining the privacy you desire. Think about where you’ll want to read the paper or a good book, have the children do their homework so energy levels stay high, or just relax from a hard day’s work. However, you’ll also want to think about providing natural lighting without glare on televisions and computer screens.

The ability to use natural light also allows you to more easily grow houseplants; which help purify your air. So, when designing your new home, you may want to think about ways to allow more natural light in while still maintaining the privacy you desire. Think about where you’ll want to read the paper or a good book, have the children do their homework so energy levels stay high, or just relax from a hard day’s work. However, you’ll also want to think about providing natural lighting without glare on televisions and computer screens.

Think about where you’ll want to read the paper or a good book, have the children do their homework so energy levels stay high, or just relax from a hard day’s work. However, you’ll also want to think about providing natural lighting without glare on televisions and computer screens.

 

4. Furniture Placement

Whether you’re moving your existing furniture, buying new furniture, or a combination of both; you’ll want to think about how you’re going to arrange that furniture BEFORE the house is designed and built! Ask yourself; do I want a big kitchen table with eight chairs? If so, you don’t want to measure the space needed with the chairs pushed in; you measure how much space you’ll need when all the chairs are pulled out on both sides and people are walking around the table. What about the bedroom?  Think about which side of the bed you or your family members sleep on, and how that bed fits in the room. Think about where the closet door

What about the bedroom?  Think about which side of the bed you or your family members sleep on, and how that bed fits in the room. Think about where the closet door are and how they open.  Do you use night stands?  Then you’ll want to think about outlet placement or maybe adding some outlets.  What about TV’s in the bedroom or desks for the kids to do their homework. All these details can be overlooked sometimes because we are so focused on the larger items.  A wall of

A wall of built in shelves with Fireplace may sound like a dream come true, but it may also drastically decrease your furniture placement options, or even the type of furniture you can use. The same may be true for that wall of windows you want for natural lighting; if it leaves you with no solid wall for your entertainment center or that beautiful antique hutch you inherited from your grandmother.

 

5. Pets are People Too – Right?

Depending on how much your pets are part of the family, you may want to consider what they need when designing your new home. If you have cats, plan ahead for those less than pleasing litter boxes! Pick a place, out of sight, where it’s still easily accessible for cleaning.

You may even want to build in the “perfect” litter box spot, and add ventilation to minimize odors? What about a special place to feed your lovable dog who likes to drag her food outside her bowl or gets half the water in her mouth and the other half on the floor. If you plan to let your pets outside, you may also want to plan ahead for the perfect pet door and perhaps even ask your contractor for a custom entrance and exit that won’t jeopardize the security of your home.

 

6. Looking to the Future

As much as we would like to stop time or reverse our biological clocks, the reality is, everyone gets older and our needs often change as we do. Right now, that set of stairs from the garage to the house might not be an issue; but what about twenty years from today?

Those types of features may become a challenge (if not for us then, how about your parents and/or grandparents if they come to live with you). Features light that may also make very difficult to use a wheelchair or walker. The layout and design of the bathroom may be less appealing as we get older too. When designing our “Forever” home, we need to think less about today, and more about tomorrow.

Look out ten, twenty, thirty years and see if the design and layout is still comfortable and functional.  Asking those questions while designing a new home is the best way to have success – short and long-term.

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