The Family Home: Designing it Right
When you have a growing family it can very often seem like your home is shrinking. There’s just not enough room for the kids, their toys, shoes and clothes. Actively participating in designing your home will give you a chance to adapt it so it fits perfectly with your family’s needs and designing it allows you to express your creativity and style.
When designing your home, keep in mind that it should be practical, functional, comfortable and durable, but it should also be fun. Design it according to your own taste and needs, not according to potential future buyers’ preferences. Aim for a bright, inviting and cheerful design and have fun. If it means installing a slide instead of the staircase from kids’ bedrooms to the kitchen, then go for it!
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Entrances and exits
With functionality in mind, it’s extremely practical and useful to create a large porch and roomy hallway, since kids love to go in and out all the time, and it works wonders when they come home from school and need a place to kick off their shoes and drop their bags and gear. It also makes everyday life much easier if you can squeeze in a mudroom and a large built-in closet close to your door. It will help keep things cleaner and more clutter-free.
Open plan design
This is an ongoing design trend that’s really sought-after, and there are a lot of different ways you can create it in your home that don’t involve banging down all the interior walls. The idea is to create a multifunctional, open and flowy space in combination with a few closed off, private areas. Kitchen and dining rooms do function very well when connected, but utility and laundry rooms are best relocated to an enclosed space in the back corridor or the basement.
The reason why open spaces are so popular is the fact that you can see all areas from the main living areas. It gives a sense of both control and connection. Plus, it allows you to keep an eye on kids more easily. Separate office and playrooms are great if you need a secluded space away from distractions, but you can also turn a simple niche into a cozy working area by adding a desk and a comfortable chair, or a corner with a big built-in toy cupboard into a play area.
Creating a study nook near the kitchen can also help parents supervise the kids’ computer use outside their bedrooms, and give them insight into their school calendar and obligations. There are many ways to achieve this combination of functionality and style, and if you have any misgivings, these fine examples of luxury homes might give you the inspiration that you’re looking for.
The heart of the home
One thing that modern family homes still need, besides the contemporary amenities, is heart. Flexible open plan spaces enable families today to have a great social interaction as they combine a kitchen, dining and living area plus a study. So, while everyone is cooking, eating, studying, working or simply watching TV, social discourse functions unhindered. This is what makes the heart of your home: a space where everyone gravitates towards and shares the joys and sorrows of the day.
Tastes are different and design trends shouldn’t be considered a rule but a guide. When creating this focal point in your home, you’ll want to personalize it and give it your own touch but also let it channel the energy and make all family members feel pleasant and comfortable.
Bringing in the light
Light is another key element of a functional and comfortable home. As the research shows, health and well-being significantly improve when there’s a ton of natural light. That’s the magic ingredient that we’re most often unaware of until we’ve lived in such a space and experienced its benefits. It can help everyone by decreasing mood swings, increasing productivity, lessening eye strain, minimizing mistakes and improving overall health.
Another advantage of natural light in homes is that it also saves on your energy consumption. In a normal home, lighting makes up from 25 to 40% of total energy use and energy bill. So, more windows that let in natural light throughout the day means less hours under the artificial lights. At the end of a year, this can considerably affect your budget.
What really has a large impact on the quality of your life in your home is the space and flow, so investing in it is always a sensible thing to do. Pick a home design that feels great and makes everyone feel great, too. Choose materials and finishes based on their durability. And don’t forget that bigger is not always better and that quality comes before quantity. Rather, make a long-term investment by organizing the space, than a short-term one by filling the space with stuff.
Equipping it right
Once you have properly designed your family abode, you should finish the project by choosing adequate appliances. And by ‘adequate’ I mean ‘energy efficient’, naturally. When getting a new appliance, people somehow tend to consider its upfront cost, without taking into consideration the so-called “hidden” price tag, i.e. the estimated operating expenses of an appliance during its lifespan.
Energy-efficient models are usually a bit more expensive than their traditional counterparts, yet reduced energy requirements (up to 25 % less on average for an Energy Star refrigerator, for example) will save you significant amounts, especially in the long term. If case you still have some doubts, these 8 tips for buying energy-efficient appliances will help you choose the right ones for your new home.
What really has a large impact on the quality of your life in your home is the space and flow, so investing in it is always a sensible thing to do. Pick a home design that feels great and makes everyone feel great, too. Choose materials and finishes based on their durability and efficiency. And don’t forget that bigger is not always better and that quality comes before quantity. Rather, make a long-term investment by organizing the space, than a short-term one by filling the space with stuff.
Author Bio: If one thing is true about Lillian Connors, her mind is utterly curious. That’s why she can’t resist the urge to embark on a myriad of green living/home improvement projects and spread the word about them. She cherishes the notion that sustainable housing and gardening will not only make us far less dependent on others regarding the dwellings we inhabit, but also contribute to our planet being a better place to live on. You can check her out on LinkedIn.
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