Now we have to dig into what you really need in a home based on your daily life habits. We need to uncover how you see yourself living in your new home. Functional design is all about creating a floor plan that works for you not against you. Problem: Do you like to take your shoes off at the door? Solution: Storage for shoes at the front door. It is truly as simple as that. You can easily start by listing all the little annoyances in your current or past homes. I can guarantee that many of them have to do with appropriate storage solutions as in my own home!
In my own home all the coats were hung on the post of the banister, though we had a huge coat closet 5 feet away. This irritated the heck out of me, because all fall and winter, we had a dozen coats on the rail and it just looked cluttered and ugly. The real problem was that we hated to open the janky bifold closet doors and the hassle of hanging coats and smashing them into the already full closet. And after you wrestled with the coats and jackets, inevitably one of them would get stuck in the bifold and we couldn’t close the door all the way. It was beyond frustrating. I knew from past homes we enjoyed using hooks to hang our coats, but our foyer did not lend itself to putting a wall of hooks for coats. It really came down to the fact (based on habits) we were hookers, not hangers. The solution was to turn the closet into an open mudroomish area with coat hooks and open shelves with baskets for gloves and hats and other paraphernalia. We even have a bench for putting on our shoes, with a pretty cushion and pillows.
So now for your needs! When I am working on a floor plan review I dig deep into my clients lives. I want to learn what frustrates them the most about their current house. I also want to know how they envision their new home being different, and why. Many times people can tell me what they don’t like much easier than telling me what they do like. The reason: we don’t know what we don’t know. You have never experienced what it is like to have that need met, so you might not know what the “solution” could be and how it could positively impact your daily life.
It is all in the little details, the ones that make our lives easier and more enjoyable by supporting our physical and emotional needs. For me, it is just as important to make sure that the rocker recliner can be placed in the optimal position to watch all the games as the chair in the corner has an outlet for a reading lamp to serve the one that prefers to read with their noise canceling earphones in. This allows families to be “together” or in close proximity to one another (even if they aren’t all doing the same activity.) I found out long ago that although not all couples enjoy the same things, they still often want to be together and know someone is right there enjoying themselves as well.
Now that you know what a Floor Plan review is and why it is so important (if you don’t, go back and read “Stock Floor Plans vs. Functional Design”), there are a few things you need to start thinking about when you decide to have one done.
How do we see ourselves using our new home?
Do we want a home to gather and connect or a place to disconnect, rest and relax?
How do we see ourselves using the individual spaces?
What kind of feeling do we want these rooms to share?
What furniture pieces will be placed in each room?
What activity is the space going to be used for?
How many people will be using the space?
Do you entertain or like to gather with friends in your home?
What are small habits (or problems) that frustrate you now because your home does not accommodate a solution?
These are just a few of the many questions that I ask when I initially talk to my couples before reviewing their floor plan. As a gentleman said to me today, “you get into our heads”. Though I have been trying to hone my skills as a mind reader for quite a while now, I have figured out that I could never make it in Vegas. What I really do is listen to a couple’s individual needs, wants, and just as important what they don’t want in a new home. I then use the art of consideration and compromise combined with experience to help couples figure out how they can develop a design and a strategy for building home they both love to come home to.