What features should you seek in your design?
Open plan, Traditional, Contemporary or Classical - the choices are many.
This type of planning gives a spacious feel to a small home, and the feeling of grandeur to a large one. However, open plan homes must have zoned living areas to allow for privacy, formal, informal living and outside entertainment.
Open plan living is well suited to contemporary designs, especially those with raked ceilings and split-levels.
Large family areas grouped around the kitchen are a feature of open plan living, along with combined living, dining and open entry areas.
Formal living, formal dining, enclosed kitchen, family areas and separate entry are all hallmarks of this style. Family areas are smaller and living areas larger. The more formal planning of this style lends itself to classical designs and single storey homes with flat ceilings.
This combines the best of both styles, providing traditional formal living areas and open plan informal areas.
Avoid dark corridors as these require energy to light, and provide a dismal interior to the home. These are 'hidden' in display homes, where they have ample electric lighting to provide a warm fuzzy glow to the home. In a house design, large corridors equates to large unusable space, and adds to the final cost of the home.
Your home should be designed to take advantage of potential views from family, living or dining areas if the block you choose offers this potential. It is important that your family and kitchen areas have good views to the outside entertainment areas. This allows parents to watch over the safety of their youngsters when they are either playing outside or in the pool.
A covered entry porch is essential for our environment. It not only provides a safe waiting area for guests during inclement weather, but also for yourself as you fumble for your keys on a rainy winter's night. A covered access to either laundry or family is also an advantage, but not nearly as essential as the front porch.