10 Keys to a Well-Functioning House


THIS ARTICLE FIRST APPEARED ON HOUZZ.

Sure, looks are important. But practical matters like layout, storage and lighting directly affect your comfort

The design of a house can have a profound effect on how we feel, but we often attribute this to aesthetics. In fact, it’s about so much more. Good design should enhance our experience of a space, and the way a room looks is almost the icing on the cake. Here are 10 key tips for achieving a comfortable, well-thought-out home.

1. Get the layout right. The starting point for any kind of change in your home should be the layout and the way the space functions. Spend time looking at how you use and move around your home. Try to establish what is and isn’t working to get a clear picture of what you need to alter. If the space doesn’t work well and you’re finding it difficult to move around or be comfortable, the interior decoration isn’t going to make much of an improvement. Rather, you may need to knock down a wall between a kitchen and a dining room, for example, or steal space from one bedroom to create an en suite.

2. Be practical. A well-designed home is one that makes things easy for you, so it pays to make room for those everyday tasks like laundry. Not all of us have space for a separate utility area, but clever design may enable you to maximize the space you do have.

Here, the washer and dryer are stacked and concealed behind a bifold door, making them easy to access when required.

 

3. Use the dead spaceDo you have an awkward area you don’t know what to do with? Challenging spaces are often left bare, and bare spaces tend to attract clutter. If an unused corner in your home has become messy, it may take away from the enjoyment of the room.

Think about how you can transform the space, as there are clever ways of putting these awkward areas to good use. In this home, a nook by a door became a gorgeous window seat that’s both functional and cozy.

 

4. Future-proof it. Make sure that your design addresses more than just your immediate needs. It’s very easy to focus your attention on how you want to live right now, especially if you have young children. However, your needs will change over time, so it’s vital that you build in some flexibility.

For instance, the opportunity to create a separate living space in an open-plan home may be a good idea for when the children get older, since family members may eventually desire a calm room away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the home.

 

5. Designate storage.A place for everything and everything in its place” really is the mantra for a well-functioning home. When it comes to choosing the right kind of storage, you should let what you need to store dictate the kind of storage that you select.

Designated storage is far more efficient and useful than general storage. By having a specific place for each item, you’ll avoid the possibility of everything being thrown in haphazardly. Here, the designers created a study space with high-level storage in the alcove, plus a recessed unit for the TV with more concealed storage below.

 

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