The difference between a home that was designed well and one that was designed poorly is clear to the people who live in them. The secret to designing a good home is realizing that doing so is both an art and a science. Designing a masterpiece requires vision, but it’s very easy to run into problems by forgetting the basic principles of good home design. People who do follow those rules can combine them with their own creative vision to create something wonderful.
Respect the Environment
The best results always come from fitting the home to the environment. Sometimes, that means including elements of green design, such as fitting the home with windows that can heat a home that sits in a sunny area. In other cases, it means designing the outside of the home so that it blends in with the environment instead of sticking out from it. This is both a practical rule for making a comfortable home and an aesthetic rule for making a beautiful one, and it is something that every designer needs to keep in mind throughout the entire process.
Choose Materials Carefully
There are a huge number of building materials to choose from, and they are all appropriate for different situations. For example, homes built from rammed earth resist changes in temperature and muffle sound pollution, while wooden homes are relatively quick and easy to modify. Designers should strive to understand their objectives before they choose material so that they can select the right one. In some cases, using a mixture of materials will lead to better results than picking a single one. Always remember that the best results come from working with the natural tendencies of a material rather than by fighting against them.
Many designers try to work illusions into their homes to make them look more expensive. Tricks like vinyl siding that looks like an expensive material, nonfunctional columns, shutters, and other accessories, and dozens of other deceptions are common. They’re also a mistake. They create a conflict between the form and function of the home. They look good from a distance, but they often become irritations to the people who live with them for a long period of time. Instead of using tricks, try to sure that the home excels with whatever features it can actually offer to its inhabitants.
Keep It Simple
There are plenty of complex amenities that sound good on paper but turn into nightmares for their owners. Many fancy features require extensive maintenance to stay in good condition, which puts a burden on the home’s residents. It’s vital to remember that a home is a place for people to live as much as it is a work of art. Always keep an eye on practical concerns, and ask yourself if a feature is actually useful before including it in the design. If it is useful, try to find ways to make sure that it is as simple and convenient as possible for the owners to make use of it.
Use, But Don’t Abuse, Technology
Technology can add a lot of value to a home, but it’s important not to use it as a crutch to make up for a bad design. Even the best technology is incapable of making up for poor structural choices, or fixing the flaws in a home that isn’t suited to the environment. In most cases, advanced technological features should be viewed as an addition to a home rather than as a fundamental component. It’s certainly appropriate to include them if they improve the home, but they cannot be all that it has to offer.