Custom Home Design

Six Tips for Better Half Bath Planning

It’s the smallest room in the house – maybe that’s why it never seems to get the design attention it needs to make it truly functional, and not just a pretty place to powder your nose.

And while a typical half bath might be no more than 25 square feet in area, it has more parts and pieces than most of the other rooms in your house. There are at least twelve different finishes you need to choose for a half bath including a faucet, countertop, cabinet, sink, toilet, mirror, towel bars, light fixture, trim, flooring, paint…you get the idea.

Which is why, on a per-square-foot basis, it’s one of the most expensive rooms in your home.

So before you spend all that money in that tiny space, here are a few tips to help you get the planning and design right.

Do You Need to Choose a Style Before You Design Your New Home?

When you begin working with your Architect to design a new home, you might think you need to start out by choosing what “style” your new house should be.

That’s not a bad place to begin if you’re dead-set on a particular architectural style: together you can discuss what you love about it, and figure out how to make that style fit your needs.

But choosing a style first isn’t always necessary. In some cases, it might actually might it more difficult to design the home you’ve been dreaming about.

How To Measure the Area of Your House

One of the most confusing and misleading metrics in the home building and home selling business is area – the “size” of a house.

The problem is that there’s no adopted standard – everyone measures it differently. There has been a move in the last few years to create a universal standard like the one architects use (specified in AIA contracts), but it isn’t mandatory, and isn’t yet widely used.

contemporary home office

Good Design is Energy-Efficient Design – Just like the 1970’s

If you’re not yet giving much thought to how much energy your new house is going to use, and how much it’s going to waste, then it’s time you started.

It should be one of your top priorities – if for no other reason than your own pocketbook.

Energy used for heating and cooling homes is going to continue to get more expensive and as we’ve seen recently, world politics can quickly and dramatically affect your access to cheap energy.

The Difference Between “Symmetry” and “Balance” in Home Design

My clients occasionally ask me for symmetrical home designs. Sometimes that’s because they appreciate the elegance of symmetry, and sometimes it’s because symmetry is easier to understand.

Symmetry is found in all kinds of artistic composition, but so is asymmetry. What’s more important is balance – balance between the colors in a painting, the elements of architectural design, or the lines of a popular song.

I wouldn’t have the slightest idea how to write a song, but I can’t help but notice some similarities between what I hear in music and what I see in architecture.

10 Reasons Why I Love Old Tudor-Styled Homes

I’ve always liked Tudor Revival-styled homes, but it seems I’m in the minority. In more than two decades of Residential Architecture practice, I’ve had one client express an interest in English Tudor style.

One.

I’ve mentioned it to a few other clients over the years, but the reaction I typically get is something along the lines of “yuck”, “ewww”, and “I hate Tudor”.

I hear similar sentiments from real estate agents and homebuilders, too.

That’s too bad, because once upon a time, Tudors were loved.