Designing a new home can be exciting and daunting at the same time. Everyone wants to create a space that reflects their lifestyle, meets their needs, and functions well. In the process, however, it’s easy to overlook important details that could have a significant impact on the overall livability and appeal of the home.
Obviously, you are working within your overall budget and need to make a lot of decisions along the way. Once you’ve decided on the square feet of the home, you then need to breakdown where the walls go for the kitchen, living rooms, bedrooms, washrooms etc.
It’s easy to get caught up in the aesthetics and unique features like molding, trim, lighting choices, and style of cabinetry throughout. Are you looking for open concept or traditional layouts? You need decide will all your fixtures be bronze, silver, or black, what about wood tones, flooring, and paint colors oh my! It can be very overwhelming, and you may lose sight of what your family really needs to function in the home now and in the future.
We’ve collected some tips on some essential things to consider when designing your new home that others have wished they thought of after the home was finished. And we hope this is helpful to you before your home has been completed.
In this post, we’ll share 11 important things to take into account that will help make your dream home a reality.
Direction of The House
One of the most critical decisions you’ll make when building a house is deciding where to place it on the lot. Consideration needs to be given to how much sunlight each area of your lot gets throughout the day. Your driveway, for example, will need sun in the winter to melt ice, and sunny southern exposure for your living areas is preferred.
Remember, the northern sun is cooler and less intense, so consider the placement for bedrooms, bathrooms, and other spaces where a cooler temperature is desired.
Size of Rooms
Think carefully about how much square footage is needed for each room, and which rooms should be open concept. The current home design trend has been open concept for the kitchen, dining, and living room areas so parents have good site lines for watching children, and for entertaining.
Also consider that in the future, as children grow older or your needs change. Plan, accordingly, considering that everyone will eventually want privacy, and not just spaces like bedrooms and bathrooms. When building a custom home consider everything from the front door entryway to the master bedroom size, a home office space, and a dedicated family room.
By dedicating space for a Den or bonus room to have a second living room for reading, watching movies or gaming so down the road when parents and teens want separate entertainment, you’ll have the room.
Mudroom /Laundry Room
A mudroom/ laundry room is vital for a functional home. It acts as a catch-all space for outdoor gear and provides a separate area for messy laundry. A mudroom can help keep your entire home organized and prevent the spread of clutter.
This is by far a room you’ll wish you included in your home design plan. You’ll have dedicated space for storing sports gear, winter clothes, and guests coats etc. Plus, it saves your floors from dirty foot traffic and keeps the rest of your main areas neat and clean.
Add More Electrical Outlets
Electrical sockets are often overlooked, especially in the planning stages of a new home build. You should have plenty of outlets throughout the house, including in the kitchen, bedrooms, and the garage. Make sure that you have enough amps to service the need for electrical throughout the house and your power needs.
Think about what small kitchen appliances will need to be plugged in and their placement on the countertops. Look through every room and decide where the bed and nightstand will be located. What about an outlet for a window fan and outlets for living room end tables. Light switches in the bathrooms for hair dryers, electric razors etc.
Another area to consider is smart features, like security systems, home automation hubs, smart lighting, and video doorbells.
Work With A Designer
A qualified home designer can sometimes save the day. They can offer an extensive knowledge of design concepts and help you choose materials, finishes, colors, and textures that will best complement your lifestyle and provide a uniform look throughout the house.
Although we may know are own taste and styles that we gravitate to, but do we know if they will all look cohesive when it all comes together? Designers help you define a particular style and color scheme that has enough cool tones mixed with warm would tones that feels like a perfect mix.
After all you are making a ton of choices (that are expensive) for the home and as much as you like certain colors and styles you really want the end result to perfect and not eclectic when you’re intention was modern farmhouse or Scandinavian etc.
Placement of TV Wiring
The position of your furniture, your television, and lighting in your home can make a huge difference in lighting condition and functionality. When designing your new home, choose your television’s placement early on in the design phase. Draw it on the wall and look at where you’ll be seated for good viewing etc.
Consider wiring options for ceiling fixtures, speakers, and surround sound systems. You don’t want to have outlets installed to later find out that their not symmetrical or look off centered with your furniture, ceiling lights or ceiling fans.
Design For Your Family’s Future
At this stage, consider what life changes may occur in the next few years. What are your family’s needs now and four to six years from now? Additional bedrooms and guest rooms, offices, or playrooms may be necessary in the future. Keep in mind that life unfolds, and flexibility is key.
You might consider adding daylight or egress windows in the basement for future bedrooms or guest room expansions. With that in mind, you may opt to have a walk-out basement for easy access to the backyard or a separate entrance for an in-law suite. It’s easier to add the windows and doors into the foundation now rather than having to cut into concrete down the road to add windows.
Adequate storage space is an essential aspect of good home design. It can be tempting to forgo storage space for aesthetics, but it’s critical to resist this urge. Make sure to allow ample closet space and cabinets throughout the home, including the pantry, utility closets, Vacuum and broom, and a trash compartment. Because, where else would they be stored?
Think about how many cabinets you’ll need for dishes, glassware, pots and pans, spices, small appliance storage, baking supplies etc. And a Food pantry is a top contender for the: I wish I thought to add a bigger pantry.
If you opt to keep bedroom closets standard size, then consider attic storage solutions by adding a stairway access to the attic. This can be a traditional stairway or a pulldown stairs that self-store in the attic.
Bathroom Storage & Fixtures
Bathroom storage can make a huge difference in the look and feel of the space. If everything has a space to be stored, the bathroom will look and function better. Especially if guests will also use the space.
Another aspect that may be overlooked it the height of the shower head or doors. Taller family members don’t want to bend over to shampoo and wash. And if the shower head is placed extra high up, then also raise the height of the shower door to keep the splash inside the shower.
Consider adding built in towel rails, a niche in the shower for storing shampoos and soaps. Double sinks with plenty of drawers and cabinets are essentials, but don’t forget a linen closet to hold all your towels, toilet paper and cleaning supplies like mops and brooms.
High-End Appliances & Products
When you’re building a custom home don’t overlook spending a little more money for upgraded appliances and products. With every custom detail that goes into your home design, you’ll wish you looked into buying that dream Viking kitchen package or the Quartz countertops with waterfall edge profiles, under cabinet lighting, and touchless kitchen faucets.
And what about the curb appeal? Would you regret not using James Hardie siding with cedar accents, or a beautiful Brosco exterior door? Enjoy the outdoor entertaining area with a custom composite deck with built in seating, and a natural outdoor gas firepit.
Compare product costs, longevity, and overall design appearance for the custom home you’re designing. It wouldn’t make sense to purchase a bargain kitchen package in a new custom home built to last for many years. And higher end products are often more energy efficient and offer a taste of luxury in your new dream home.
Outdoor spaces are often overlooked during the design process, but they are key features of any well-designed home. Consider adding a deck, screened porch, or outdoor kitchen to create a sanctuary that your family can enjoy. A beautiful landscape can add value to your home and create a space for relaxation and reflection.
You’re driveway also falls into this category for outdoor spaces. How many cars can fit in the driveway? Is street parking available? Will a teen be getting a car soon? Do you have enough space to turn around or would you have to park tandem? All good things to consider in the home design.
A well-designed home is a treasure that can enrich your life, your relationships, and your sense of well-being for years to come. By taking time to carefully consider each of these essential elements of home design, you’ll help ensure that you end up with a home that not only looks great but feels great too. Remember, when it comes to designing your new home, it’s the little things that count – and make all the difference in the end.