Designing your own custom home means getting ultimate control over your abode. Whether your wish list is a mile long or you’re looking to downsize, the design process should yield exactly what you want. Of course, if this is your first time designing a custom home, your enthusiasm can override experience and result in major mistakes. Since years of enjoyment and your investment is on the line, it’s important that you don’t get swept away in the excitement of designing your own place. Be on the lookout for these common design mistakes that almost everyone makes their first time around.
Hey, it’s understandable that you’d be more excited about your dream master bath than you are a linen closet. But don’t underestimate the power of closets in your home design. Not only will they increase your home’s resale value, they’ll also help keep your showpiece rooms much cleaner and more organized. Think of storage as the supporting cast in your dream design and you’ll have a better idea of where closets, cabinets and cubbies will come in handy.
Ignoring Secondary Bedrooms
When it comes to home design, master bedrooms are definitely one of the more exciting rooms to create. You probably want a zen oasis where you can kick back and really love your home. But don’t spend so much time designing the master bedroom that you completely forget about secondary bedrooms. If those bedrooms are too small, have an awkward layout or are far from a bathroom, they could negatively affect the way you live in your home. Give secondary bedrooms a little love and you’ll love your place even more.
Putting the Plan Before the Land
It okay to look around and see what plans and layouts you like, but designing your dream home before you purchase a lot could set you back. Things like lot size and view could turn your plan upside-down, resulting in a complete redesign. Save yourself the time and wait to start on the design until you’ve chosen your lot and know how to position, size and plan your home.
Forgetting to Define Needs and Wants
Unless you have an unlimited budget, you’ll need to make some compromises as you work on the design of your home. Defining the difference between wants and needs can stop you from getting caught up in all of the ideas, features and finishes available for your home.
Not sure where to draw the line? Try writing down five things that you would need to purchase an existing home. Then, write down five things that would be nice to have. Reminding yourself that it’s okay to settle and compromise if it gives you the things you really want could be the key to sticking to your budget and coming up with the right design.
Forgetting the Flow
A well-designed home has what architects call “flow.” It’s the ease with which you can move from room to room. It might seem like a little thing (and maybe even a little like architecture mumbo-jumbo), but flow really affects the way you live in your home. Think about it: if your guests have to walk up a flight of stairs and down a hall to use the bathroom, could that affect entertaining? If your master bedroom is so close to the front of the home that you hear every noise on the street, will it be as relaxing? How will you, your family and your guests move around and live in your home? It’s an idea that definitely requires some thought.
Leaving Undefined Spaces
Everyone loves an open concept home, and why not? These houses are perfect for entertaining and just the right mix of bright and casual. But while you’re designing an open concept space, take care that you don’t forget to define spaces altogether. When spaces are left undefined, the end result can seem messy and leave you with areas that are underutilized.
Keep an open concept home airy and casual by using flooring, furniture and cabinetry to create distinctions between the kitchen, living areas and bathroom. That way, you preserve the flow while making sure each room really shines.
Ignoring Your Designer
You know exactly what you want, but that doesn’t mean it’s always the best option. You’ll work with a designer to come up with your perfect floor plan, so it’s important to utilize your designer’s expertise. If he or she expresses concern over a design element or floor plan feature, take the time to hear out your designer and make an informed decision. Let your designer’s years of experience and creative eye help polish up your plan and make sure it’s the best it can be.
The design phase is arguably one of the most fun components of building your own custom home. But don’t let your excitement get ahead of you. Taking a little extra time to avoid mistakes and think things through will give you somewhere you’re proud to call home.