Home Design | Home Plans

28Jul/14Off

Small Home Plans – Closets & Storage – Make the Best Use of Every Square Foot

Everybody has stuff. It seems that the only time we really get rid of excess is when we move. But, it somehow returns to us all too soon. How does it find its way back? Well, that's a story for another day.
 
When building a small home, our penchant for accumulating things becomes painfully obvious if we don't create enough storage space. It's not so apparent at first if we've followed our normal pattern of lightening our load when moving. It's not long, however, before a small home lacking closet and storage space is causing us real grief.
 
The Halls of Injustice
 
I could take a hard stand and say that hallways in a home are the lazy, uncreative way out of taking the time to design well. Halls can be a waste of space. But, the truth is, we grew up with hallways and love them.
 
Hallways can serve a function. The obvious function is to provide passage to rooms in the home. Additionally, they can hide doors to bathrooms, basements and other rooms we might want more private access to. But, is that enough of an advantage to keep them? Since there are other ways to achieve these objectives, I don't think so.
 
Bigger Closets & More Storage
 
Despite the difficulty in reducing or eliminating hallways in small home floor plans, the pay-off is substantial. What would you rather have; a big hallway to hang pictures in (where it's too dark to see!) or a big closet to hang your clothes?
 
Storage, like closet space, must be addressed. We all have things we just want to keep but without a spot, it becomes so much clutter. A good way to do this is to design accessible attic space in the house and garage. There are trade offs in every design but in a small home, you can't afford to waste a foot of space. Good design can eliminate or minimize hallways.

Quality of Life Issue
 
A little clutter can make a house a home, but in a small home, a little extra clutter can overwhelm you quickly. Pay close attention to the number and size of closets as well as where you'll store that extra "stuff" and your small home can feel spacious and comfortable.
 
Your quality of life might just depend on it.

23Jul/14Off

Cottage Style Home Plans For Simple, Earth-Friendly Living

Today the understanding of renewable energy and eco-friendly awareness are of the utmost importance to the future of our planet's survival. Many people are starting to realize that the way in which they design and live in their homes, and the products they use in them, need serious re-evaluation in order to prevent the negative effects of climate change. This includes re-evalutating the home as a place to live and grow in, rather than a showcase of one's income and social status to impress other people. The increasing awareness for the environment, combined with the economic uncertainty we face today, has made simple rather than ostentatious living the order of the day.

The Bauhaus dictum "Less is more" has become an article of faith among an increasing number of home buyers and builders. Cottage style home plans and other simple, eco-friendly designs are becoming more and more popular as people seek ways to work with nature rather than against it. Simple living also implies following one's heart rather than seeking to impress other people. A person's house is a projection of their self: people who are unsure of who they are need lavish luxuries to make an impression; people who are secure in themselves just want to relax and feel good.

In the first place, simple living implies a smaller dwelling (perhaps under two thousand square feet in size), which makes a small footprint on the earth without sacrificing the spaciousness needed for comfort. Smaller homes are easier and cheaper to heat and maintain. An entryway which is human in scale provides a welcome rather than an intimidating front. A warm, intimate interior - particularly one centered around a fireplace - makes its inhabitants feel cozy and relaxed. The exterior should make optimal use of local, indigenous materials. Log cabin home plans are an extreme - but quite ornamental and functional - use of this idea.

The point is that field stone or shingle sidings, and cedar shake roofs, are obviously preferable to earth-friendly living than vinyl siding. Simple living also implies letting one's imagination operate (without worrying about what impresses other people). Thus, well-crafted (and occasionally quirky) architectural details are favored over clean, sterile lines. Small, sashed windows help to provide a human scale to the dwelling from the outside, while giving a feeling of protection and security to those inside. Simple living also implies orientating the house to the sun and building site; also landscaping in an informal, laid-back style.

Exterior spaces such as decks, patios, and porches permit the house to engage its natural environment, so in nice weather living spills easily outside and back in. Other architectural details associated with simple home design include high-pitched roofs, low ceilings and cozy nooks, floors of bare wood, and built-in furnishings characteristic of California bungalow house plans. This "Small is big" philosophy is not just a matter of being quaint. Reducing the volume makes a building resource and energy efficient, which saves money and helps save the earth. The money saved can be spent on higher-quality materials and crafting artful, intimate details both outside and in.

18Jul/14Off

Feng Shui Home Design – The Home Buyers Guide

There are many factors in feng shui home design that should impact a person's decision to buy a house. When you go house hunting, it's important to have some basic knowledge of feng shui principles to help with the decision making process. There are a number of things to look out for, all of which will help you determine whether or not the house has good 'qi' or energy associated with it. If there are too many problem areas, it's an indication that you will be negatively impacted if you decide to live there.

Once inside the house, you must carefully observe the structure and entire floor plan of the house. Things to look out for include slanted ceilings, exposed ceiling beams, missing doors and corners. Other important structural features such as the position of doors in relation to windows, the location of the stairs in relation to the front door and more are all factors to take into consideration. Problem areas will very likely create bad feng shui, but keep in mind that there are cures for these problems. These cures can be very effective and they are accomplished by using simple tools such as crystal balls, wind chimes, water fountains and mirrors. The only reason to completely reject a house is if there are way too many problem areas.

There are also a number of outside influences that you need to be aware of. The surrounding community is just as important as the house itself. Go around the neighborhood to get an idea of some of the other things that can impact your life. Avoid buying a house that is located near cemeteries, police stations, hospitals, waste management facilities or any other sites that could adversely affect your home. Landscaping in the front of the house should be inviting for the 'qi' to flow right into your home. Make sure the lawn and shrubs are fresh and not wilting, and also check for trees blocking the main entrance.

Remember to keep these tips in mind when you are on the hunt for a new house. Another cool tip that should never be overlooked is to get to know the current homeowners. Find out the reason they are selling, this is a good indicator of how the feng shui will ultimately affect you if you choose to live there. It's a good sign if the current homeowners are leaving to move onto bigger and better things. If you already live in a home that you purchased, it's not too late to put these tips to use either. Find out more about the structure of your home and the environment around you, then use your findings to determine the correct remedies to use for a quick fix.

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