5 Modern Ways to Reduce Wasted Space in Your Floor Plan

by Greg Dodge 23. June 2014 07:34
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Part IV in our series - Avoiding Common Regrets When Building Your New Home.

5 Modern Ways to Reduce Wasted Space in Your Floor Plan

 

Building a home is exciting. You get to create your perfect space - a place where your family will make lots of wonderful memories. However, this can also be a stressful time, too. You don’t want to make decisions you will soon regret, and need to make sure the home comes together perfectly.

 

All the little design details in a home can be changed, but the floor plan will remain constant without some major renovation. So, before you get too worried about what paint color to choose and which light fixtures to buy, let’s focus on the layout of the house Whether you are building a 2,500 square foot home or one that’s over 12,000 square feet, you need to consider how to best use your space.

 

Not every square foot is created equal. Your floor plan can and should be created to make the most out of every single square foot. Many home designs can lead to a lot of wasted space, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You can take control of the floor plan and use every inch effectively.

 

Knock Down the Walls

 

Some home designs have multiple small rooms. If it is not imperative to your lifestyle, knock down a few walls and open up the area. Open floor plans are the way many modern home designs are leaning and are on the ‘must-have’ list for many homeowners.

 

Knocking down some walls can increase the size of high-traffic areas, so you use the space more effectively. If your family spends a lot of time in the family room, knock out the wall separating the family room and kitchen. It will open up the space and make the main room appear larger. If the house plans show two rooms where you only need one, take down the divider to make one room larger.

 

Ditch the Dining Room

 

Every older home has a dining room. It was part of the lifestyle of the time. Husbands were home from work at 5:00. Wives had the house clean and supper on the table. The children gathered ‘round and dinner was served in the dining room.

 

Modern families are more likely to have each parent working, kids with after-school activities and extra-curricular events and no one getting home until 7pm. Even then, family members are trickling in at different times. The days of eating in the dining room every night have come to an end for many families, and this large room is only being used two or three times a year for holiday dinners.

 

If the floor plan of your home

includes a dining room and your family lifestyle has no need for a formal place to eat your meals, Why not take this opportunity to rethink the entire room and dining experience. You can omit it completely or you can repurpose the space.

 

This room can be turned into an office, a playroom, a craft room or just about anything else you would actually use on a regular basis. The key to not wasting space is creating spaces that you will actually use.

 

Put Square Footage Where it Counts

 

In most modern families, a lot of time is spent in the kitchen and family room, so you should expand the available space. The kitchen is a natural gathering place, so feel free to add some square footage. Extend the wall in the kitchen a few feet, even if it makes the guest bathroom a little smaller. Widen the family room, even if it cuts into the entryway.

 

Most square footage should be used in the main living areas of the home. It is okay if your rear-entry foyer is just big enough for a bench and some lockers for coats and shoes. It is okay if your bathrooms don’t have enough space to host a fashion show. Cutting square footage from secondary spaces makes the high traffic areas more open and enjoyable.

 

Consider your Needs

Picture Courtesy Mother Nature Network


Every family’s needs are a little bit different, and certain requirements can result in specific changes. If you have young children running around, you may want to add a little width to your hallways. If you have teenagers you may want to add an additional room for watching TV and playing video games. If you are the king and queen of entertaining, you can add space to the family room or a guest bedroom.

 

The key to each room in your home is purpose. If a room serves no real purpose, it is a waste of space. If you think you will use a room, but aren’t sure what for, it may languish untouched for years. In order for space to be well-used, it must have a function.

 

Think Outside the Box

 

Many floor plans are strikingly similar. If there is something you’d like to change about the traditional layout, change it. Don’t be scared to step away from the norm. Just because a floor plan has a certain number of rooms or distribution of space does not mean it is set in stone.  Feel free to personalize it and make adjustments. After all, it is your home.

 

If your lifestyle doesn’t need a certain room, take it out. If you require more space to make an area more livable, add it. The biggest key to not wasting space is to cater your floor plan to the needs of your family. If a space has a purpose, keep it or increase it. If it doesn’t, kiss it goodbye and use the square footage elsewhere.



Tags:

Decade of Change | Design Trends | Home Styles

6 Master Tips for the Master Bedroom - Part II in our series Avoiding Common Regrets When Building Your New Home

by Greg Dodge 24. March 2014 14:27
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Part II in our series - Avoiding Common Regrets When Building Your New Home


 

In case you missed our first post about what to consider when designing your kitchen you won't want to miss it. Read it here.

 

 

6 Master Tips for the Master Bedroom


When you begin looking over the plans to build your brand new home, you will experience a lot of emotions, and excitement is probably one of the big ones. You (and your significant other in many cases) get to help create a home to match your wants and needs, how could you not be!?! 

 

If you are like most, you will probably begin to feel a little overwhelmed as well. With all the decisions you get to make, your builder will be looking for direction on this room and that. Which upgrades do you want? Where should you place your vents? What kind of lighting do you want in your master bedroom?

Understanding what is available to you before you have to make these decisions will help you when it comes time to make decide. Not only will this help you avoid that overwhelmed feeling, but it will decrease the stress and make the whole experience more enjoyable.

With that said, lets get into what you are all here for:


Six Masterful Tips for Your Master Bedroom!

 

The master bedroom is yours! Its your space to retreat, sleep, relax and feel at home. Taking the time to make it a place you will enjoy and find comfort in will go a long way in helping you love your home. So, what should you consider when putting your master suite together? How about we start with the following six areas:

 

1.   Focal Point

2.   Comfort

3.   Lighting

4.   Color

5.   Ceiling

6.   Storage


Focal Point

 

Deciding where (and what) your focal point will be before hand, will help you create a master bedroom you will be able to enjoy for years to come. You may have a number of options to choose from, fireplace, large window, doors leading outside, but no matter what the options may be youll want to begin by looking at the layout of the room.

 

Where will you place your bed, dressers and any additional furniture you may be planning to add? Having this in mind will help you visualize what you ultimately want out of your master suite. Once you have an idea of what will be going into the room, you will be able to determine where you focal point will be.

Depending on the builder and house plan, you may have a few add-on options to choose from, the fireplace, double doors leading to your deck or maybe even a large bay window. Any of these options would make for a beautiful focal point. If these arent available to you, you may want to consider the placement of your bed and/or the inclusion of the large painting.

 

Comfort

As you settle in and begin to discuss the layout of your new bedroom, I recommend keeping comfort in mind. As I stated earlier, this is your room! Make it a sanctuary to yourself (and significant other.) Make it a place where you will be able to getaway, when you cant getaway.

 

This could include simple things like the placement of your bed to enjoy the beautiful view outside to which upgrades will help you feel more at home. Imagine how the setup will help calm you, and provide a relaxing space to get the rest you need.

 

If you do have a significant other, make sure that both of your voices are being heard. This should be a room you can enjoy together.

 

Lighting

You've probably already been thinking about this, you may have thought about wall sconces, chandelier or how the natural light will come into play. If so you are on the right track!

 

Not only can you look at how the lighting will brighten your sanctuary, but you can add a touch of you with the style in the fixtures. You may want to take a look at a site like Houzz.com for ideas.

 

As you explore windows and the benefits of natural light.   Transom windows are usually smaller and placed high in a wall allowing daylight and at the same time, privacy.  When set atop other windows, they extend views and sight-lines.  Where appropriate, you may also want to include a blackout liner for when you need to rest during daylight hours. Additionally, I would recommend adding a dimmer, so you can adjust the brightness during the evening and late night hours.

 

Colors

Similar to the lighting, you may already have a few ideas in your head. If you already have bedding, furniture or even art picked out, I recommend taking the time to understand how it will look with the color schemes you have in mind.

 

If you are struggling to choose the colors, check out these tips from the Decorating Files. Remember the colors we choose will affect our modes.

 

Ceilings

 

Will the master bedroom be on the 1st floor? Will the ceilings be angled because of the roof? How will the ceiling compliment the walls? As you can see this is only skimming the surface of choices you will have when deciding how to ensure the ceiling will compliment the goals you have for this important room.

 

Far too often I see new home builders skimp over the ceiling, and miss out on a tremendous opportunity to add some character to a room where they will be spending so much time on their backs. Spend a little extra time to add a little bit of yourself to the ceiling. Check out these fun ideas from HGTV to get started to get your creative juices flowing.

 

Storage

Maybe you have planned for a large closet or have a few dressers youll be counting on and feel youll have plenty of storage. If so you could be missing out on a great opportunity to get creative and ad some additional storage you may want or need in the future.

 

You may want to consider adding some shelving, built in doors or maybe even an alcove for a little more creative storage space. Dont limit yourself just the traditional, get creative and check these storage ideas from DigsDigs for more ways to add to your storage needs.

 

Whatever your needs (or wants) are, we can all get a little creative and make our master bedroom a place we can truly enjoy with a little bit of planning and preparation.

 

What ideas and tips do you have? I would love to hear about how youve made your master bedroom a room that reflects who you are and what you need.


 

Tags:

Design Trends | Master Bedroom Design

Avoiding Common Regrets When Building Your New Home

by Greg Dodge 25. February 2014 09:51
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The moment you’ve waited for has arrived, keys are in hand and your builder is eager to show off the finished product. You are flooded with a mixture of emotions, relief, joy, exhaustion and you can’t wait to finally move into you brand new home!

 

Three months later, and for the most part you couldn’t be happier…well except for…

 

We’ve all been there, whether it is our first car or picking a major in school; we wish we would have done something a little different. When it comes to building a new home, what we thought we wanted doesn’t always end up meeting our needs.

 

So, whether you’re building your first home or you are a recent empty nester looking to downsize, join us as we take a look at how to avoid making some common regrets in your dream home.

 

First up we take a look at the kitchen.

 

 

5 Areas to Consider When Designing Your Kitchen

 

Depending on where you are in life, can make a big difference not only with what you need in the kitchen but what you want as well. If you love to cook and you have a large family, you might want to double up on the ovens. Or you may be recent empty-nesters, and you are downsizing your collection of bowls and plates. Whatever the case, here are the 5 most important things to evaluate and pay close attention too.


1.  Size: Storage space, cabinetry, pantry
2.  Placement Sink & Appliances
3.  Appliances
4.  Flooring
5.  Colors, lighting (Not enough light)

 

As you begin reviewing options for your kitchen, keep in mind the following 5 areas to avoid any major regrets.

 

Kitchen Size & Storage Space (Cabinets & Pantry)

 

Scholz Design's Siena Manor B 135, Home Plan 56139 Kitchen

 

Getting the kitchen size right can go a long way to avoiding any potential regrets lurking around the corner. Nobody wants to start cooking in a kitchen and feel cramped, nor do you want to look around at your massive room and feel as though you missed out on an opportunity because of your gargantuan kitchen space.

 

Take some time before you sit down with you builder to discuss with your spouse what each of you is expecting out of your kitchen. You’ll be deciding the overall size as well as storage space (cabinets and a pantry.) Getting the size and space right is key to feeling happy with your finished kitchen. 

 

How many dishes will you need? How often will you be entertaining? How many meals will you be preparing each week? Although it can be hard to hit the sweet spot when it comes to storage space, it is usually better to err on the side of too much storage space.

 

Layout

 

Design 42057 Kitchen. As built by Sam Bradley Homes in Springfield, MO.

 

We all want to get the most out of the kitchen. One thing I hear often about building your own home is,

 

“You don’t always get what you want but you get what you ask for.”

 

I think there is nothing in the house more applicable to that as you are considering the size of this space you’ll want to think about the layout as well. Addressing simple questions such as functionality, design and placement of appliances, can help you get the most out of your kitchen. Especially if you are looking at one story home plans, this decision is even more important.

 

Take some time to really understand what you like and don’t like in the kitchen. If you’re like me and enjoy spending time in the kitchen, you’ve probably already been making mental notes of what you do and don’t like about your current kitchen. Don’t stop there! Write down any ideas you have, spend some time in your family and friend’s kitchens, and consult with your builder.

 

Sinks & Appliances

 

Design 42048.  A kitchen with a view.  Extra storage in the enlarged island compensates for the loss of cabinets on the outside wall.  Lots of windows allow for tons of natural light!

 

Sink location and the number of sinks in a kitchen has evolved considerably the last couple of years. As the beautiful sink above illustrates.

 

While you’re deciding on what type of sink to get, you may not be spending as much time thinking about where to place it. We recommend giving a lot of thought into where your sink will go. Deciding on the type of sink and placement of that sink should be a joint decision. Look at the positives and negatives of the positions you are considering and talk to family and friends about what they like and don’t like about their sink.

 

Ditto for your appliances! Getting placement right the first time will help you avoid possible headaches down the road and help you enjoy your kitchen to its fullest.

 

Flooring & Countertops

 

Home Plan 2174 the Cordeaux

 

We all have preconceived ideas on what we like and want. When it comes to flooring and counters, most of us probably have a preference, whether it is hard wood floors and marble countertops or bamboo floors and soapstone countertops.

 

Whatever your preference or preconceived ideas are, you should take some time to understand what options are available to you and fit your budget. In most cases this will help you avoid regretting your floors and countertops.

 

Lighting & Colors

 

unexpected color!

 

Far too often lighting is one of the last things new home builders worry about, especially in the kitchen. Invest additional time and research into understanding how the light fixtures will play in your space. You’ll find that most experts recommend using a mixture of fixtures to layer the light in the kitchen.

 

As you make your lighting decisions don’t forget to factor in the color of your walls, floors, cabinets and countertops. How will these colors affect the overall look and feel of your kitchen? How will they appear in each layer of lighting? While you can change the colors of our walls and cabinets on a whim, it can be more of a challenge when it comes to your floors and countertops.

 

Prepare Now to Avoid Any Possible Regrets

As you begin planning your kitchen, come prepared with your ideas. Know what you want and need. Don’t leave the decisions up to the builder.

 

Spend some time looking at the kitchens of your family and friends, and keep track of what you like and don’t like. You are building a home for you and your family, and the time you spend investing in understanding what you want and need, will pay off in limiting if not eliminating regrets and making you a happy new home owner!

 

Sooner or later after building a home you will say “I wish I had thought of that!” Sign up to our HER Home Thought of the Day to make sure you don’t say that (as often) after building your next home.

 

Resources:

 

Tags:

Decade of Change | Design Trends | Kitchen Design | Products for the Home

"The Great Closet Debate"

by Paul Foresman 18. February 2014 13:14
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A debate rages over Owner's suite closet position and access. Some buyers prefer the convenience of entering the closet(s) directly from the owner's bath area, as shown in plan #50023. This approach minimizes noise and disruption in the bedroom when, say, one spouse is getting ready while the other is trying to sleep. It also allows the combined bathroom + closet areas to double as dressing areas. Yet, many buyers fear excess bathroom humidity will damage clothing in the closet(s). Seemingly the same layout in reverse, in Scholz Design's plan 55177 the homeowners walk through the closet area en route to the adjoining bathroom.

 

 
50023
50023
55177
55177

 

Homes That Flow design 29802 provides abundant separation between the closets and the bathroom. Concern over excess humidity is eliminated, but there is the aforementioned disruption in using a part of the bedroom as a traffic way. Carmichael and Dame plan 9210 presents a short hallway that keeps the doors to both the bathroom and the closet out of the bedroom itself, yet they are just a couple steps apart.

 

 
29802
29802
9210
9210

 

From These examples, which do you prefer?

 

Home Design Links

55177
50023
29802
9210

 

Tags: , ,

Design Trends | Organization | Storage

Doubling up in the kitchen

by Greg Dodge 28. January 2014 06:44
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Designing the perfect kitchen is a matter of personal style. Everything from your household size to meal preferences to how you like to entertain needs to be considered.  

 

 


If your new kitchen has sufficient cabinet space, many people are eliminating a base cabinet and adding a second dishwasher. You may be surprised how little the difference in price is. And for individuals who set the table right out of the dishwasher (hey, they're clean dishes!) it's almost like you didn't give up any storage!

 

 

Tags:

Design Trends | Destressing | Kitchen Design

The Kitchen Pantry is Evolving

by Greg Dodge 6. January 2014 16:46
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Pantries got bigger reflecting our appetite for prepared foods. Then they got bigger again as we filled them with mixers, crock pots and small appliances. Now many pantries are being designed as food prep areas.  Women challenged and inspired our designers to create a food prep area separate from the kitchen to keep the kitchen's aesthetic appeal during entertaining. Practical considerations meant it had to be  close to the kitchen with easy access to everything you need. We dubbed the solution the "work-in" pantry! Pantries have not only gotten larger, they're often becoming more discrete. Increasingly popular are kitchen pantry designs where the storage is not visually open to the kitchen. The layout may have a door from the kitchen with storage around the corner, or locate the pantry door itself around the corner from the kitchen. The pantry may even have dual access, with a door from the rear foyer meaning groceries can be stored in the pantry without having to first unload them in the kitchen before putting them away!

Example Floor Plans

 

 

Tags:

Design Trends | Kitchen Design | Storage

HER Home Thought of the Day - Best of 2013

by Greg Dodge 30. December 2013 07:40
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Published Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, HER Home’s Thought of the Day is derived from our audience feedback as well as real-life experiences of the Her Home staff. This email series is designed to answer the question -- "I wish I had known about that!" This Monday, Wednesday, Friday email places in your inbox, solutions to common home building questions, design ideas, and insights into products to put into your new home or remodel project.


 

We had some great responses to our topics in 2013.  Here is the 'Best of" for 2013.  

 


Enjoy.  Be safe. See you in 2014.

 

Subscribe to HER Home at Thought of the Day here


Tags: , ,

Decade of Change | Design Trends | General

It's all about the view!

by Paul Foresman 3. December 2013 10:49

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A man and woman walk in the front door to a model home.


What do they see?


Most men will focus on a singular, long focal point (such as a wall of windows at the back of the great room.)  Most women will see much more, with women's heightened peripheral vision.  From the flooring to the ceiling details, colors, textures and other amenities, she takes it all in.

As a general rule, for men think "spotlight".  For women, think "floodlight".

The view from the front entry foyer sets expectations for the entire home.  That's why so much emphasis is placed upon creating interesting entry views.

Take, for example, Design Basics' Kenneth plan.  Though just 2351 square feet in size, the home presents a spacious entry foyer leading to a stunning see-thru stone fireplace and great room with cathedral ceiling and dramatic windows!  

Upon entry, your home can visually say it is something truly special!

View Kenneth home plan.  

The Many Great Benefits of Rear-Entry Foyers

by Paul Foresman 23. October 2013 10:39

 

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MORE ABOUT REAR-ENTRY FOYERS

 

 


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Decade of Change | Design Trends | infographic | Organization | Rear entry foyer

What do the Colors on your Walls Say about You?

by Paul Foresman 13. August 2013 07:19
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The color you choose to put on the walls of your new custom home can speak volumes about your personality. Certain colors can portray different feelings, and visitors and residents can quickly pick up on these clues when they step into the room. If you are going to repaint or are moving to a new home, give the new colors some extra thought and decide what they say about you.

 

The color you choose to put on the walls of your new custom home can speak volumes about your personality.

Your favorite color may speak to your personality, but it can also help you create a specific feeling or atmosphere. Here is a guide to help you pick your color scheme and create the feeling and mood you desire for your home.


 

Yellow and Orange

 

If yellow is your first choice, it shows that you enjoy learning and sharing knowledge. You tend to live on the happier side of the spectrum, and have a lot of sunshine to share. If you choose a warm color in the yellow and orange family, you will create a welcoming feeling. These are the colors of sunshine. They are bright and happy. The brightness is inviting and makes people feel welcome in the space.


 

Cool Blues

 

Blue tones are for people how are reliable, sensitive, and strive for harmony. You tend to think of others and prefer things neat and tidy. It is easy to make the comparison of a cool blue with the blue sky. The colors you use are often associated with where they can be found in nature, which is why the comparison of a cool blue paint to the blue sky easily creates a calm, tranquil feeling. The space feels open and often larger.


 

Brown

 

Brown is the color of earth, and it shows that you are a good friend and work hard to be reliable and dependable. You’re not terribly interested in glittering, glowing things in life, and prefer the simple, direct route. Browns are also a warm tone which can provide a calming effect on you and your visitors.


 

Black

 

Black can be a bold and stark color and can instantly add drama and elegance to a room. A lot of people are scared to paint black because of its’ boldness, but when done right, it creates an elegant and formal look. People who choose black are also very artistic and sensitive. They are commonly a little more closed off than others, but will share personal details when they’re asked.


Red

 

This is the color we most associate with passion and other intense feelings. People who choose red tend to be very active and like to live for the moment. They can be very determined or very stubborn, depending on how you look at it. This is also not an easy color to use in a room, but with care it can be very attractive.


 

White

 

White is a difficult color. It can say a couple things about you. First, it might say that you are very organized and logical. You don’t care for clutter in your life and prefer a clean appearance. On the other hand, it may just say that you haven’t gotten around to personalizing you home yet and are fine with the stock color. Be careful with this one and make sure you are sending the right message.

 

It doesn’t matter if you are building a small home or luxury home.  The right color of paint can really set the mood of your home.

 

 

 

Tags:

Design Trends