In planning a home as a long-term investment , the designer must know and utilize fundamental principles of good planning , including the many elements which will dictate the dimension of the rooms , the functional use of space , and the relationships of different areas. Room dimensions are determined in part by the number of occupants to be accommodated , and the size and quantity of furniture required by personal taste , comfort and convenience.
The first step in considering home design is to determine the number and size of the rooms. Nothing is so frustrating as to move into a home only to find that the rooms won't accommodate the furniture.
The next step is to arrive at the proper proportion of length to width. A certain variety is permissible in room shapes , but they should not depart too much from the square or rectangular. Long , narrow rooms should be avoided. It must be remembered that rooms are not two-dimensional , as they appear on an architect's plan , but three dimensional. They have length, width, and height and are enclosed in walls. You must have sufficient wall space for the placement of your furniture and still provide the proper number and arrangement of doors and windows. Maximum privacy for each room and passage between rooms must be provided ( especially for bedrooms and bathrooms ) , otherwise the room will not really serve its purpose. Closets and storage areas are sometimes overlooked in early planning , only to be thrown in at last minute as an afterthought. The result is insufficient closet and storage space with all subsequent inconvenience of overstuffed closets , makeshift storage space in out of the way places , or the purchase of freestanding closet which clutters the room. Don't forget the convenience and comfort of the occupants - provide electrical outlets , shelves , window seats and fireplaces.
To serve the occupants to the best advantage , rooms and their relationship to each other must be functional. Rooms fall into two main categories : those used for living and those used for sleeping. Like their basic functions , their design patterns are completely different . The sleeping area is geared to limited movement , involving primarily privacy , access to the bathrooms ,availability of dressing areas and closets , and the like. The space designed for living must lend itself to freer movement and the activities related to the storage , preparation and cooking of food , dining , group and family functions.
The bedrooms require the largest grouping of furniture , so careful consideration should be given to pre construction planning. Corner bedrooms should be carefully planned with regard to placement of windows in the two exposed walls and a door in one inside wall , only one full wall area remains for furniture. The overall dimensions of the bedroom should permit a flexible furniture arrangement , so that , when the needs arises , double beds , twin beds or single beds can be set up with their accessory furniture. Wall surface in all bedrooms should be carefully planned in relation to the location of windows , exterior doors , furniture, bathrooms, closets and dressing areas. A three bedroom house should have minimum of one and a half bathroom and a four bedroom house should be designed with a minimum of two full bathrooms. Clothes closets in a bedroom for one occupant should be at least 1.00 m. long by 0.70 m. deep.
Living Rooms , family or recreation rooms , dining rooms or dining areas and kitchens , should be planned to accommodate the quantity and size of the furniture to be used. The living areas of the house generate a large amount of "people traffic" , thereof , the eventual circulation within these spaces and between them and the sleeping areas should be provided for. The living room should be as large as economic and functional considerations permit. A working relationship between the number of bedrooms and the number of table-seating spaces can give an approximate idea of the size of the dining room or sq.m. of the area needed. That is , a two bedroom home needs four spaces at a table , or approximately 9.0 sq.m. A three bedroom home , from four to six spaces at the table or 9.0 to 11.0 sq.m. of floor space , and a four bedroom house will require eight spaces at the table , or 15.0 sq.m. Of course , extra space should be provided for guests.
The Kitchen , depending on family customs and tastes , may act primarily as a "preparation area" with minimal utilization for eating ; it may be utilized for most of the family meals, or it may be only the central control area for storage , cleaning , preparing and cooking of food which is always consumed elsewhere. These varying factors will dictate the size and basic design of the kitchen , and its equipment. The more work surface provided near the sink , refrigerator, freezer, oven and top burners , dishwasher , etc. , the more convenience comfort and efficiency in the kitchen. Adequate cabinet storage space is prime requisite in a well functioning kitchen. There should be a sturdy counter space where you can deposit supplies; it should be conveniently near the refrigerator for immediate storage of perishables , and to cabinets for the storage of cans , bags and boxes. Besides perishable items sometimes need immediate washing so the sink ( with adequate work space on one or both sides ) should be also handy. Now , as you plan your kitchen , imagine yourself at the sink , ready to prepare a meal. The food stored in the cabinets and the refrigerator must be taken out and opened or washed - which requires work space between the refrigerator and the sink. The preparation will continue on a counter before cooking , which demands surface-top space between the sink and the stove or nearby. Counter space close to stove is also useful in serving the meal. Consider all these steps as you plan your kitchen. Easy access to other interior and exterior areas of the house , like the rear yard , garage , dining room , and entry should be carefully planned .
The rooms and furniture inside the walls are only a part of the home. The grounds outside the walls should also be designed as to be fully utilized by all the family. The "outdoor living room" , should be planned to include gardening , landscaped sections , play space , pleasant views and privacy. It must also be properly related to the interior layout , through placement of windows and doors , and lovation of porches , patios or terraces. All this requires detailed study in the light of family habits , tastes and cost.
The exterior design of the house is expressed in its style and form. The house should always be in harmony with its surrounding environment. Basic exterior materials which are convenient and easy to maintain such as wood , brick and stone are to be used