New Ideas In Modern Home Design

Home trends change along with the needs of consumers and of the general population. Modern home design aims to satisfy those changing needs by providing simplistic design with loads of storage space–a common problem found in older homes where dwellers find it impossible, or at least challenging, to store their personal items in a logical and organized manner. The design must be capable of providing such solutions for the home to be functional, and that has architects, interior designers, and builders scrambling to come up with great ideas every year.

Given the opportunity to build simple home designs enable the homeowner to add personal touches to customize their future home so that it meets their own needs. For instance, a very outgoing and athletic family needs solutions to store away their sporting equipment when it’s not in use, but in a way that their equipment is easy to reach whenever necessary. This is what makes a home functional, and it is imperative in modern home design. Future homeowners can work side-by-side with architects to customize their homes to perfect them according to their individual lifestyles. It can be a small adjustment to increase the size of a closet, which could make all the difference, but would likely not greatly affect the budget.

New home ideas can turn an otherwise simple home into something spectacular, such as with adding features that would have been more common in older homes, like the ceiling medallions and crown moldings. Such features add beauty and interest to what would otherwise be very bland spaces. A smart idea that uses space wisely includes maximizing every square inch available, such as in the commonly wasted space beneath a staircase, which can be altered with fitted pull out drawers. This would provide space to store outerwear, footwear, and much more!

Focus on lighting–both artificial and natural light. The home can never have too much light, and so the budget should allow for numerous light sources throughout the home, from one room to the next. Keep in mind that one central ceiling-mounted light fixture just won’t do, and instead, aim for six light sources per room. As for natural light, with all the advances in insulated windows today, choose a design that lets the sun shine in through as many openings as possible.

Building and design trends today incorporate numerous innovative ideas for achieving the optimum comfort level, with interest to spare. Design software readily available to professionals and consumers alike allow each to develop a space in 3D that simplifies expression and enables those ideas to come alive, whether they are related to the must-have kitchen island or the fire pit in the center of the sunken living room. Knowing how to communicate visions and desires is the key to achieving the home of your dreams.

The Secrets of a Good Home Design: Moving Beyond the Obvious

This article is not your basic primer on selecting your “dream home”. Nor does it contain the list of “items to ask your designer” – these things can be found on any designer’s website or Google search. As important as those items are, what we are going to do here is drill-down into the design a little, bypass the fan-fare and talk about some specific concepts that will really make a difference in your life.

Matching your house to your lifestyle begins with an exploration of your needs and wants. Most home designers will have some type of “discovery process” that will help identify the basics for your home design. It will start with the configuration of your lot and proceed through items such as privacy requirements, work areas, outdoor spaces, etc. Although this process is critical to your project, it rarely drills down enough to transform your design into a home that will serve your needs for a lifetime.

Here are two keys of good home design that must be addressed up-front: a) assessing the homeowner’s current needs; and, b) anticipating the future needs of people living in the home. Before you say “Yeah, yeah…I’ve heard this all before!” let’s take a closer look at what “current needs” entail.

Almost all “discovery processes” used by home designers focus on the use and space requirements of the rooms in the house. This is good, but too little attention is given to the personal needs of the people actually living in the home. Without performing a comprehensive assessment of the client’s functional abilities, identifying areas of the home where modifications are necessary is often overlooked.

For example, the needs of a child and his / her ability to live comfortably in the home are rarely addressed at the design stage. It’s necessary to evaluate the child’s current abilities and design an environment that works and grows with the child. Some easy adaptive design elements would include adjustable shelves and rods in the closet. As the child grows, the shelves and rods can be moved to better accommodate their reach. Appliances present a similar situation as it is necessary for the controls to be accessible. Front mounted controls on washing machines and dryers enable their use. Safety also comes into play. A child trying to use a microwave placed overhead is a recipe for disaster!

Of course, the above example is very simple, but it illustrates the point that design needs to be done from the perspective of the individual and his / her ability to carry out daily routines in the home. This is why a good designer will perform an assessment of the client and specify the needed design modifications.

There are a couple of tools that a designer can use to evaluate the needs of their clients. One of those tools is the Comprehensive Assessment and Solution Process for Aging Residents (CASPAR). CASPAR was designed for healthcare professionals to evaluate their client’s ability to carry out routine activities in the home. This is also useful in determining the requirements of people who have disabilities.

Anticipating the future needs of individuals may prove a little trickier, but we can start by understanding the process of aging. Whether we like to think about growing old or not, it is inevitable, and people’s functional abilities diminish over time. A well designed home will easily adapt to these changing needs and allow people to stay in their homes longer.

Fortunately, “universal design” is beginning to take root in modern home design. Ron Mace, Founder and Program Director of the Center for Universal Design (NCSU), give us the following definition of UD: “The intent of universal design is to simplify life for everyone by making products, communications, and the built environment more usable by as many people as possible at little or no extra cost. Universal design benefits people of all ages and abilities.” Because the principles of universal design are inclusive for people with disabilities, the application of UD in home design is appropriate and addresses many of the needs of people who wish to “age in place”.

Adaptable design is different in concept from universal design. Where universal design benefits people of all ages and abilities, adaptable design allows the home to be modified for a specific need. An example of adaptable design would be designing a two-story home with “stacked closets” (a closet on the first floor directly below and aligned with a closet on the second floor) so that a residential elevator or lift could easily be installed in the future. In contrast, a universal design item might be the installation of lever door handles that are easier to use for people who have lost the ability to grip a standard round door knob. These lever handles also benefit anyone who may have their hands full with groceries and want to release the door latch by using their forearm or elbow, for example. Children also have an easier time using lever door handles.

Distinguishing between universal and adaptable design may seem difficult at first, but when one realizes that these principles have less to do about the installation of specific items and are more about a designer’s perspective, it all begins to make better sense. And the designer’s perspective is heavily influenced by a thorough client assessment.

Does this level of service cost more? Yes, probably. But a couple hundred dollars up front to hire a qualified designer who will accurately assess your lifestyle and evaluate your future needs, pales in comparison to leaving your design to chance. The number one secret to good home design is to avoid cutting costs at this stage of your project and find a home designer who is an expert in assessing your needs and applying the design criteria that will make your house a home for a lifetime.

Owner Builders – The Most Common Design Mistakes Made in Custom Home Design!

In my professional experience as a Home Construction Consultant, Developer & Construction Loan Expert I have had the pleasure of touring and viewing thousands of homes all throughout this beautiful country of ours! It never ceases to amaze me when I encounter that home that is so unique that I wonder to myself “Wow… the owner of that place will lose money when he tries to sell that house!”

9 times out of 10, when I see homes that make me think this it is because they have made a HUGE mistake in the features and design of their home! As a savvy consumer and soon to be Owner Builder it is my desire that you never become an example or statistic of “bad design” so let’s jump right in.

1. Do not design a home that is too unique no one else can appreciate!

For example, the dome shaped or triangular all-roof houses are in my professional opinion too unique! And for the sake of this conversation, “too unique” is defined as anything so far from the general consensus of public opinion on home design that if you ever had to sell the home people would be turned off by it. Now don’t get me wrong, I love watching all of the really cool and hip tv shows that feature people and their wacky homes. However most of those people are fairly wealthy and for those that are not, they plan on living in these homes forever. Unfortunately for those who do not plan on living in the homes indefinitely they will be in for a rude awakening when it comes time to sell and the potential buyers are few and far in between.

Let me explain! Now by all means I understand that you want a unique home that to some degree is different than maybe what the tract homebuilders are offering and different than other stuff you have seen, I am with you on that! I personally love pushing the envelope on design and cutting edge features in the home projects I develop and/or build however there is a line that we cannot cross.

2. Not using a Landscape Architect to design the landscaping.

I can’t tell you how many times I have shown homes that looked horrible from the curb but once you got past the door you were blown away by the interior! Never the less, in most cases, the indelible impression made first by the curb appeal or lack thereof stuck in the mind and overshadowed everything. Such as the case for you when you forsake having a landscape architect design how your yard will look. Some families I have consulted with have viewed the landscape architect as an expense, but after counseling with them many come to see this as the investment that it really is. Homes that have nice landscaped, well manicured lawns sell faster and for top dollar as opposed to homes that don’t have that curb appeal and well maintained lawn. Landscaping in the last several years has really caught on with more people spending lots of time outdoors. Nowadays, I have seen cases where people have spent huge sums of money on their landscaping and outdoor amenities such as patios, gazebos, pools and outdoor kitchens.

3. Designing a HUGE home that is too basic and/or box-like in it’s architecture!
Just because a home is big does not give it a pass to be box-like with no character! In the workbook section of the soon to be released “How to Build Your Custom Dream Home for Less” Owner Builder System I show photo examples to really drive home this point. I am really dumbfounded when I see these really large box-like structures as I just can’t believe that the designer and owners actually like what they created! Maybe beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder after all, however unfortunately the beholder isn’t buying houses! (I digress…)

I can recall a home over 30,000 square feet and it literally looked like an over-sized tennis shoe box in the middle of a field. There were no architectural elements to give the home an identity, such as gabled roof lines, bay windows, brick accents or trim elements. It didn’t even have any landscape to dress up the exterior and break it up a little bit, just (4) perfectly straight walls and a roof, Yuck!

One of the most important aspects of building your Custom Dream Home is doing what I call grassroots research, which is visiting as many open houses and model homes that you can that are comparable in price to the home you are planning to build. This will provide you with a really good road map and point of reference for design standards and benchmarks in that price range so that you can compare that to what you would like to design and build.

4. Cutting corners on the material selection to save a few bucks here or there! It is said in business that 1 of anything is very bad; you always want more than 1 way of getting business, more than 1 replacement for an employee etc. Well in custom home design, nearly anything that is white is bad unless we are talking about trim, cabinets or similar areas. Do not cut corners to save dollars on your home by choosing cheap counter tops, flooring, light fixtures and other design elements. The key to building a Custom Dream Home that is really custom is having a sound plan from the start so that you can get the amenities you want and deserve without sacrificing the integrity of the home.

In many cases, it is better to build a smaller well-equipped home than it is to build a larger home that is plain! I trust that you have found great value in these tips and I look forward to providing you with more informative articles and insights that will help make the planning of your Custom Dream Home a breeze! I wish you the best on your Custom Dream Home project and here’s to great design…

In my professional opinion, if you are building a Custom Home then there are some basic prerequisites that the home should have like solid surface counter tops, really nice carpet, hardwoods, tile flooring and separate showers to name a few. I am amazed when I tour a 7,000 square foot custom home only to see that the Master Bathroom has an all-white ceramic tile shower and linoleum flooring! Give me a break! Now maybe I sound a little overboard here but unless there are medical reasons for these types of selections and/or other important constraints you are setting yourself up for failure if you ever have to sell a home that has these types of material selections.