I see quite a few blueprints in my work day, many fabulous home designs cross my desk that make me say ‘wow’ and then a few are met with ‘why’?
Some floor plans just beg for a little tweaking and it is always a dilemma for me whether to suggest changes to the client or to keep quiet.
I will always check the status of a home being built and if we are already at framing stage then I will keep my opinions to myself. Clients are usually grateful for the suggestions but contractors are often NOT grateful for my creative input!
Flow and function are vitally important when planning a new home and if it doesn’t hurt the budget too much, it is okay to request that a few spaces be moved around and adapted to your lifestyle.
One home I helped design had a door entering the front foyer off of the garage when it would have been just as easy to create an entrance into the kitchen through the laundry room. Once the plan was re-drawn the clients were thrilled at the idea of not having to drag groceries and have boots and life clutter in their front foyer.
The new plan worked well for them, they had just not considered a deviation from the blueprint.
It is important to consider your lifestyle now (kids, pets, soccer practice) and to look forward into the future if you are planning to be in the home long-term (entertaining, caring for elderly parents, home business). Planning rooms which are not used everyday but have flexible purposes will ensure those rooms are used more often.
I am currently working with a client on a renovation that has a home office with a huge built-in desk. This room is not needed as a home office anymore and when the time comes to sell, potential buyers may not want the room for a home office.
If the room is designed with a Murphy bed and moveable desks and bookshelves then it has a multi function and can easily transit from one type of room to another.
Quite a few blueprints show wasted space which seems overlooked.
Many underused rooms are too big when the adjoining bedroom closet could be enlarged or better use of space could be considered. I have seen giant laundry rooms next to master bedrooms with tiny closets which could be altered with a few strokes of a pencil or entrances into rooms which take up precious space and leave the homeowner with nothing but an awkward empty walk through.
Consider the spaces you will use the most in your home based on your current use and look at your new home plans through that perspective to be sure you have utilized the space to your best use potential.
When looking at a new blueprint, layer over it the requirements for your lifestyle. It is easy to be awed by a new house plan and have all practical thought fly out the beautiful picture window but if you are careful to view the plans with a critical eye I know you will be able to move into the finished home and enjoy your personalized space.
Kim Wyse is an interior designer with Carpet Colour Centre in Red Deer.