By Daphne Nathanael. Floor Plan. Published at Tuesday, May 08th, 2018 - 10:26:05 AM.
Many of us dream of building a new home or changing an existing house to make it truly “ours.” With a bit of practice the secret language of architectural plans will become clear and the surprises that sometimes come from misunderstanding plans will be replaced by the joy of seeing a personal, imagined experience become real. When reviewing prospective contractors' reference projects, ask if you can review the plans and see how the space compares. Carry a tape measure and note the dimensions of rooms that “work” and those that feel wrong. Pay attention to the placement of windows for light and views. It is fun and a with a little practice you will be able to “read” a floor plan like a pro.
Soaring window walls and framing overhangs dramatize the court, turning it into a true outdoor living room at the center of the house. From the street, it’s impossible to tell what lies ahead — you see only the garage and a ribbon of walkway to a sheltered entry. That remarkable stone-paved residential piazza is the grand surprise just beyond the front door, on the other side of a small sitting area. The elegant U-shaped house puts the bedrooms on one side and the great room on the other. Light floods into the house from all sides and the courtyard glows at the center.
From the front door go to the kitchen, living room or great room and then to the bedrooms. Imagine opening all the doors on the plan. Is there a graceful easy, and efficient flow between rooms and spaces? Below is a good example -- the circulation has no dead-end spaces. Furniture on the plan helps give scale to each space. Amenities are important but if the traffic flow is awkward the house will not live comfortably. Think about how the kitchen connects to the dining room or family room, where most people live.
Imagine how the plan will feel and work when you are doing the things that define your life. When planning your dream home, there is a tendency to value the unusual occurrences (greeting important guests at the entry, hosting a wedding dinner…) and less about regular daily use (taking off muddy boots, paying the bills). A truly successful home feels great every day. Think clearly about what your current (and past) house did well, not just where it falls short. A new house can add what is missing while providing many or all of the experiences that you appreciate in your current house.
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