Thursday, Sep 27, 2012

Plan better, not bigger
By ANDREA RADKE, Calgary Sun

Designing a home can be an exciting and overwhelming journey -- especially if function and efficiency are priorities.

We asked the experts: How do I design a floor plan that meets my needs regardless of square footage?

More square footage isn't the only solution to maximize space, says Charron Ungar, vice-president of product development for Homes by Avi.

"The idea of maximizing space is most times confused with increasing space. When a homebuyer wants to maximize space, thought should be given to how we live within our homes. Do we need a den or will a computer nook do the trick? It will allow for a larger great room or kitchen. The size of the home didn't get bigger, the layout got better."

Design your home to maximize your storage options, suggests Chris Lu, marketing manager for Sabal Crafted Homes.

"Always go high when you are thinking of storage options. For example, design your kitchen cabinets to extend all the way to the ceiling. That eliminates any wasted space and gives you some extra room to store things. It's really key to think ahead when you are designing your home and figure out just what your needs are."

Take advantage of the sales and design team's expertise and don't be afraid to ask about storage solutions, says Ungar.

"Adding a bank of drawers to bathroom cabinets or a linen cabinet nearby can generally solve most storage issues, however, sometimes more is required.

"Kitchens have more flexibility through different cabinet configurations including door and drawer combinations, taller cabinets and counter storage.

"It is imperative that we impart to our clients all the experience we have gained building thousands of homes."

Fight the urge to design your home based solely on its resale potential.

"Design the home for the way you live. Resale is a concern but living comfortably should take priority.

"Measure your furniture and decide on placement before you select the final floor layout. Open floor plans are great for entertaining but do little to corral noise or messy areas. Bonus room plans and flex areas are great for the needs of changing families."

Many times, a change in the ceiling height can make all the difference.

"While you would assume that nine-foot ceilings would make a space look larger, in a smaller room, it can be quite the opposite. An eight-foot ceiling can help a small space look bigger. The higher ceiling actually draws your attention to the size of the room because it extends up but not out."

Renovation archive

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