The design of a house is crucial for our well-being. It is important to know how to combine aesthetics with functionality, because our home will be our refuge, the place where we recharge energy and enjoy good moments. This should not make us lose sight of an incontestable reality: if a good design will help us in the long term to save money, with a deficient one we will not only find ourselves with extra costs, but in the future we will lose savings. Actually, betting on a good design, rather than an expense it is quite an investment.
The first thing we have to do is identify what our needs are, what we look for or what we want, both globally and room per room. When we have the opportunity to start the project from scratch, that is, confronting the blank paper in which the Architect has not drawn a single line, this step is crucial, because the professional will not start his work blindly, but with a very useful guide.
Home for all
In the first scheme we draw, we have to try to have clear the number of rooms and their uses, as well as how we will move from one to another. Must become a home for all members of the family. The hallways have their advantages as distributors that they are, but it is true that they “eat” square meters that we could allocate to rooms where we need more space.
It is important to bear in mind that there are certain rooms for public use, such as the living room, kitchen or bathroom and other more private, such as bedrooms or offices, for example. Do not intersperse with each other, it is a more than advisable measure to preserve privacy. It is never advisable that the rooms and the dining room are adjoining, for example, although in the case of the bathrooms, placing them in a central point can be a success (in case there is no possibility, in addition, that the master bedroom counts with the its own one).
What we do not want
While it is true that it is not always easy to clearly specify what we want, most of the time we do have a clear idea of what we do not want. That can be the beginning of the way to make our house, not only a unique home, but also, to our measure. The common areas, in general, are the most complex to design.
In this sense, when we address how we want the kitchen, we have to think if, as in many homes, it is a neuralgic center of the family gatherings. If so, it is convenient to be spacious, perhaps with an island included, being also important that we review the American-kitchen option, or design it separately to avoid noise and cooking odors.
As for bathrooms, the trend is to include a window that not only provides natural light, but also contributes to improving ventilation. And, although the tendency in lighting, as long as we have good insulation, is to maximize natural light as much as possible, depending on the orientation and installation of the window, we can enjoy different types of light.
Also, think about whether installing shower tray or bath tub, will depend on our cleaning habits and the needs of different members of the family, because if there are older people, the logical thing is to lean towards an option as accessible as possible. In this same line, it is always advisable to make homes with the least number of architectural barriers possible.
Foresight and exterior
If we want to touch the excellence in terms of foresight and, in addition, we have terrain for it, it would be wise to leave open options for possible extensions, either on a higher or adjacent level. If we do not have that terrain, at least the house should be open to changes, such as the division of a room in two or conversely, the expansion of one of them by eliminating a partition wall.
On the other hand, if the interior is important, the exterior is no less important. Do not forget that, at least, you should reserve space for a parking space and, depending on the climatology of the area, maybe covered. At the same time, in cases where the dimensions of the plot allow it, we can enjoy green spaces such as a small garden that serves as a recreation or even a swimming pool.
When we have complied with this mental scheme, the ideal is to put yourselves in the hands of the professionals, because they will help us to adjust our budget and adapt ourselves to the regulations of the General Urban Plan of the area. Not only that, but they are the most suitable to establish a sustainable and efficient home from the energy point of view, something you will never regret.