How to Get It Right the First Time
How many times have you heard “You have to build at least 3 houses to get it right”. However, most of us are fortunate if we have the opportunity to build a new home once in our lifetime, so it is really important to get it right the first time. The best way to avoid costly mistakes or annoyances we have to live with is to do lots of planning and ideally, hire expertise to help along the way.
It’s All About You –There are many steps in the design process but, most important, is for you to think about what makes a home special to you. Everyone is different so think about your daily routine and how the spaces within a home can make your make your life more efficient. Secondly, think about your aesthetic – the styles and materials you like.
Trends come and go; be true to yourself and honestly evaluate your likes and dislikes – it’s OK to not like current trends. Ask yourself if you will like your choices in 10 years or will it just look dated. Homes of your friends and family are often good sources of inspiration and allow you to get a sense of the spaces you like; take notes, pictures and measurements. Even your closet can reveal a lot about you –the colors, textures, and styles that make you feel good. Creating an environment you innately love will become your own personal sanctuary, energizing you as well as calming you.
Be Prepared for Compromises – We all start out with a long list of “must haves” for the perfect home, but budget, the building site or other limiting factors soon bring us back to reality, forcing us to make compromises. Again advanced planning will give you time to explore options (e.g. to find a less expensive product) and allow you to focus on your priorities when you need to make a decision. Your new home or remodel may not have everything on your wish list, but you will know why and it will be easier to live with. Planning gives you time to think about these compromises and the “I wish I had done this…”becomes “I know why I did this…” when the project is finished.
Decisions, Decisions and More Decisions – Perhaps one of the biggest challenges when building a new home is selecting finishing details; the options are seemingly endless and it is very easy to select materials that are uncoordinated or even clash with each other. Again this is where getting it right the first time is really important as few can afford to replace fixed items, like a granite countertop or tile flooring. The photo below illustrates how difficult it can be to coordinate colors – using 3 exterior wall colors is not recommended and in this case, the bottom layer is a pinkish brown which does not mix well with the gold colored fireplace and upper level walls.
Designers Can Help – The role of an architect or designer is to facilitate the process of self discovery and transform your information into a home designed specifically for you. They also have the skills to address the design elements that humans innately respond to, such as color, scale and proportion. For instance, have you ever been in a room that made you feel uncomfortable without knowing why? Next time analyze the space – does it lack natural light, are the wall colors jarring or uncoordinated, are the backsplash, countertop and tile floor all screaming for attention; does the high ceiling make you feel dwarfed?
Designers can also help with selecting finishing details to ensure a well designed and coordinated home. Even hiring a designer for a several hours or half day to review your material selections is a worthwhile investment if you are unsure of your choices.
A Guide to Get You Started –”Designing Your Home: Getting it Right the First Time“ is an e-book I prepared to introduce you to the design process and help you begin the journey of self-discovery. There are also 2 accompanying worksheets for documenting your requirements and analyzing storage needs. They are not yet available for download, so please send me an email or call (506-365-0547) if you would like a copy.
Thank you for reading this post. I hope to hear from you soon.
Have a great day!