One of the trickiest things about designing a home is being able to take advantage of and/or eliminate extra space. Many home plans are quickly drawn to get the home in the ground, without giving much thought about how to use the space, and make it not only appealing but functional to live in. For example, when designing the home I currently live in I tried to consider the placement of furniture and traffic patterns, but also the lifestyle of my family. As a result I have a great room area that I feel is not only architecturally pleasing, but also meets the needs of my family. We have a nice built in entertainment center that can easily be hidden behind cherry cabinet doors when guests arrive, but is centrally located so that when we're casually hanging out together, those in the kitchen or dining are also a part of the activity. We also have a great computer nook that raised a lot of questions during construction. Its just a little 4' x 5' box off the side of the room with built in cabinets and shelving. It's perfect for organizing our family paperwork, or checking emails while still being a part of the conversation in the great room. You can take advantage of small areas that aren't great for furniture placement, and not necessarily a traffic area and build in shelving or storage areas to keep your life organized. One of these days I'll post some pictures and show you what I mean. If you can plan ahead and maximize the use of space, you'll not only enjoy the look and feel of your home, but its functionality as well.
August 16, 2004