Tag Archives: dream house

Re-Thinking The Contemporary Laundry Room

The pull of convention affects us all. Sometimes we just get so used to things being a certain way that it takes a strong wind to redirect our visions to something better suited to our needs. But this is the beauty of working with a custom design for your dream house: the options are truly limitless!

My favorite expression of this lately has been the rise of the contemporary laundry room in unusual places. No longer relegated to the mud rooms and basements of American houses, washers and dryers are starting to make an appearance in the more highly-trafficked rooms of the home: bathrooms, walk-in closets, or laundry rooms placed on the second story between bedrooms.

Ultimately, the chore of maintaining your family’s laundry is time consuming and tedious. The clothes basket can get heavy, the folding gets interrupted, sometimes there isn’t enough space to spread out. Regardless of whether there is one person in your family responsible for the laundry, or if its a rotating chore, having a contemporary laundry room set-up designed for function rather than tradition will make a huge difference.Contemporary laundry rooms

And with the advent of front-loaders, you can now feasibly put a washer and dryer anywhere that makes sense to your routine. Build a nice long counter top above the appliances and you’re all set with a folding area.

I think my favorite so far is the laundry room in the walk-in closet. How easy would it be to remove dirty clothes right into the wash basin? And then, once the dryer finishes its cycle, clothes go right onto hangers or into the bureau? Genius.

contemporary laundry room

 

 

 

 

Another popular option is locating the washer and dryer into a closet slightly bigger than the traditional linen closet on the second floor of the home. Situated between bedrooms perhaps occupied by older children who are responsible for their own laundry needs, this set up is highly functional for a busy family and is an efficient use of space.

contemporary laundry room

 

However you move through your home, consider the spaces that could be designed differently, or could work better for you. This is the single most important benefit in choosing to build your home: the ability to create spaces based on what works for you, rather than being tied to the standards of the masses. Talk to your designer about your ideas; they are excited and willing to help your project manifest into the perfect home for you and your family.

 

In Praise of the Small House

Too often the dream of building a custom home is catered to those with a growing family. Spaces for children and/or aging parents and in-laws dominate ads and idea boards, and the vision of home owners is guided to a bigger-is-better mentality.

But the dream of building a custom home is suited for everyone, no matter the size of your family, the lot you purchase, or the location you choose. Smaller homes make sense in areas with dense populations and high property taxes. For the working professional, or the retiring couple, or the investor interested in long term returns, building a small house can be approachable, efficient, and lucrative.

Modern small houses are marvels of clever creativity. There are a million ways, it seems, to maximize space and visually expand it so you can have the best of both worlds: a collection of rooms magnified for airiness and light, yet without the burden of superfluous space. Function drives the vehicle of decision-making but not at the expense of aesthetics. For many, then, sometimes the preferred solution is to limit available space to only that which is required. This forces a thoughtful discretion when purchasing items for the home, and urges a careful vision when designing the space.

By considering building your dream home in subtle proportions, possibilities are opened up that are difficult to manifest with larger homes, like the option of building on lots in urban spaces, already perked, and zoned for residential construction A larger home requires a larger lot and, with today’s exponentially growing populations, this will often relegate your property purchasing options to the periphery of a large city. And while the suburbs are wonderful areas for families, there are many who would build their dream home much closer to the epicenter of activity.

As you sift through house plans and imagine the home you will someday build, try to remember that there is room in this process for every vision. Whether you seek to build a large home or a smaller one, you will find unique floor plans and advice from architects for dream homes of every size.

6 Ways to Save Money Building Your Dream House

Building your own dream house can be a daunting task. There are many details to see to and countless decisions to make and the whole thing can become overwhelming quickly without a good plan to guide you through the process. And when it comes to staying within your budget here are a few tips to keep your plan on track:

  1. Choose your builder carefully. This may be the most important decision you make after you purchase your house plan. This relationship will be very important through the building process and a good builder will be able to advise you on many elements of the project.
  2. Work with your architect to ensure efficient building proportions. Plywood and drywall come in sheets 4 ’ x 8’, and structural lumber often comes in 2’ increments. Consider this and other standard material measurements when fine-tuning the design of your house plan. Odd shapes and lengths have the potential to create a considerable amount of scrap- and thus wasted- materials.
  3. Utilize any discounts you can. Be savvy when it comes to purchasing supplies. See if you can use your builder’s discount. Look into remnants and left over supplies for things like flooring and countertops; a previous construction project might have created loads of left-over materials that could be perfect for your space and design.
  4. Keep the roof pitch to a maximum of the standard 8/12. The more dramatic the pitch of the roof, the higher the labor cost a construction team will be able to charge. Or, if a steeper roof is desirable, consider using more than one pitch to minimize the amount of time and materials used on these more decorative elements.
  5. Design your home for low maintenance. Consider that skimping on some materials now will cost you more in the future. Things like windows, doors, roofing materials, and foundations are places where it is advisable to choose quality over low-cost. The process of repairing or replacing these elements in the future can be prohibitively expensive; better to build your structure with quality from the start.
  6. Use fancy materials where it counts. A stonework façade is a stunning improvement to the curb appeal of any home, but can be quite costly to create. Consider that perhaps the back and sides of the house are not in quite as much need for the dressy stonework as the front. Utilize high-quality materials where they will be appreciated.

The key to a successful home building project is to stay organized and keep your visions in mind as you move forward. Taking things one step at a time and utilizing all of your resources can keep you well within your budget and minimize unexpected set-backs.