Rate Your Spaces. Consider how and where you spend most of your time at home. If you love to entertain, an open floorplan with a large kitchen and eating areas are must-haves. Have (or plan to have) children? Then it most likely is important to have visibility into most areas of the main floor from the kitchen so you can keep an eye on them. Many stay-at-home moms also wish for a large space where they can spend time painting, crafting, playing music etc. with their children.
Work from home? A large home office with a door that can be completely closed is critical. You may also need an entrance directly into your office if, for example, you practice massage therapy or professional coaching. You’ll be most productive in your new home when you have a private space that guards against interruptions. Be sure to evaluate how you will use all of the square footage to ensure you choose a floorplan which provides the flexibility you and your family needs.
Specify storage requirements. Most people are acutely aware that they need more space, but fail to consider exactly how much and for which items. An auto enthusiast may need a third and even fourth vehicle bay in which to place a vehicle that is being restored or just plain stored. An avid scrap-booker may desire a room with large windows and plenty of cabinets for storage, and long counters on which to create scrapbooks or crafts. Parents of three active sons most likely need a large area to contain sports equipment and outdoor ‘toys.’ A person who loves to refinish antiques probably requires a dark, dry storage room in which to store all of the treasures she finds before she actually finds time to work on them. A photographer needs a dark room with a sink, and plenty of room to store photographs.
The point is, think about everything you use and collect. How often do you use it and how important is it to have access to it? Does it need to be protected from light, humidity, etc.? By creating an inventory of the storage spaces you need, you will be armed with the info required to ensure that your dream home is designed according to your exact needs.
Stay tuned—in the final steps, #3 and #4, we’ll explore how American family dynamics and activities are changing, and their impact on ideal home floorplans.
Article by: Jennifer Elkow
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