A new home is the most exciting, and undeniably biggest, purchase that you will make in your lifetime. Unlike most other purchases, it is a purchase that you will keep for a significant period of time, if not a lifetime. It is not something that you can return the next day if there are things that you find that you do not like about your new home. One way to prevent this from happening is to design your new home so that it suits your lifestyle and that it is designed in a way that perfectly fits your needs and your personal style.
A home that is perfectly suited for one family may not work for another. What a family needs in a home surely differs from what an individual buyer is looking for. Likewise, the needs of a retired couple will be vastly different from newlyweds.
The Right Size
Most people do not spend too much time figuring this one out but it is still worth having the discussion to make sure that your partner wants the same size house that you do. Most of the time family size will be the deciding factor in this one but that is not always the case. There are big families who would not feel comfortable in a sprawling estate while some couples who might feel that a two-bedroom home is just not big enough for them. If you frequently open your house to family and friends, you might want to plan for more bedrooms and bathrooms than you would typically require. Regardless of what size house you choose, it should be your first consideration.
Determine Your Needs
When you are designing a home, make sure to take into consideration the area where you plan to spend most of your time. Those that enjoy entertaining might want to plan for a spacey living room area with a fireplace and comfortable furniture. Or perhaps the kitchen is the focal point of your house because it is where your family gathers together most frequently. In that case, you might prefer a big sunny kitchen. If you enjoy cooking and frequently cook for family members and friends, you might want to make your kitchen as convenient for entertaining as possible with plenty of counterspace and well-placed appliances. An area for storage space might be a priority for those packrats out there or perhaps you need a large open basement area for a home gym with a bathroom close by. You might want a large private area on the top floor for an office or studio. If you have kids and need a place to leave those muddy boots and wet coats before they come into the house, then a mudroom is pretty much essential.
Finding the Right Floor Plan
There are many different tastes out there when it comes to floor plans. The traditionalists out there might prefer a floor plan where rooms are separated by walls while others might go with the more modern open floor plan. When planning the style and size of a room, consider how furniture placement will affect the overall feel of the room. If you opt for the open floor plan, you will also need to consider how the rooms will flow from room to room and carefully choose colors and furniture that will accommodate this particular floor plan.
The Right Location
The concept of home takes on different forms depending on personal preference. A couple or individual might prefer a split-level condo or brownstone that is in close proximity to the city. A split level can makes designing a home easier in that you do not have to put as much planning into the flow of the rooms. A single-family home might allow you more privacy and space for a backyard. If you prefer a big garden, an area for the kids to play or a large deck, the single-family option might be best.
Stick to What Is Right for You
Designing a house can be very exciting but it can also be overwhelming. There are so many floor plans to choose from and it is easy to be distracted with all the flashy finishes that can be found in a model home. It is too easy to look ahead to new rugs and countertops but forget that you would rather have the living room positioned closer to the entrance area. Take a deep breath and focus on what is most important and that is sticking to your initial layout that works best for you. Remind yourself how important it is to have the master bedroom on the same room as the children’s bedroom (or if you have a couple of teenagers, maybe the master bedroom might be on an entirely different floor). You might see several floor plans that appeal to you but try and remain focused on what you first pictured your dream house would look like.
Don’t Forget the Furniture
It is all too easy to overlook furniture when there are so many more exciting things to think about. However, it is important to stop and ask yourself whether your floor plan will accommodate your existing furniture. Review your floor plan and consider how furniture placement will affect the overall feel of the room. Measure your current furniture to see how it will fit into your new rooms. Take into consideration how much walking space you will need to get around the furniture and whether your windows could potentially be blocked by your furniture. Be wary of large furniture pieces that will reduce the size of your rooms. While you may want to outfit your new home with new furniture, keep in mind that buying new furniture is a major investment and the thought of buying new furniture may not be so appealing after what you have spent on your new home. If you do buy new furniture, make sure to plan for how it will fit into each room.