Welcome to another edition of New House Diary. I’m in the thick of my Function-Driven Interior Design Course with creativeLIVE and it has me thinking about the function of my new home a bit more than I already was.
Last week I gave you a glimpse into my floor plan and a sneak peek at a few things I am thinking about changing. Today I thought I would give you a bit more insight into why these decisions are right for my family and me.
In my creativeLIVE course this week I taught a segment on Lifestage+Lifestyle+Layout=Livable. And if you haven’t seen the course this week, you just might want to grab it while you can because this section alone is worth the price of the entire course. It’s all about making your home work for you, to fit your needs, or shall we say to tell your story.
It helps us understand that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to the design of a home. It needs to be personalized to fit your specific needs and those of your family at the specific age or phase of life you are in while also accommodating your unique set of interests, habits, and hobbies. And I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely in the stretchy pants and wifi stage.
Nate Berkus says it best. Our homes should be uniquely suited and designed for us, housing our personal collections and representing who we are and what we love. For my family, some of the changes I am planning to make are perfect for us, but understandably could be different for many of you if you were to live in this very same space. So just for fun, here’s a little more insight into what I am thinking and why several of the decisions I am making are customized to our needs and our home. The plan is for these adaptations and customizations to make the home more livable and functional for us. Here we go…
1. Swapping the dining room and the study is the best-case scenario for my family in this space for a number of reasons. First the existing dining space is currently holding my round dining table and there is barely any room to move around the space. The room just isn’t large enough and we actually want to increase the number of people we can seat. So a new dining space that is larger and a new dining table that is either oval or rectangular will allow us to add 2 more seats at the table. Since both spaces (the existing dining room and the existing study) are adjacent to the kitchen there will really be no change in traffic flow for food service. I am adding a swinging door to the corner of the new dining space and Voila! The kitchen will be just a few steps away.
2. The existing dining room will now be the new study. Part library, part TV room, and maybe even a dash of man-cave, this is a space my hubby intends to take over. By removing the door to the living room, we will be able to have a great wall for the sofa on one side and on the living room side we can now have deep enough cabinets to hold all the AV equipment which was a problem with the existing doors leading into the study. Cabinets existed on the living room side already, but they’re not deep enough to hold equipment and the doorway prohibited us from going any deeper. Additionally, opening up a double doorway from the new study into the hallway will allow great access to the wet bar which my husband will love. Plus it will add a bit more ease of traffic flow through these spaces.
3. Enlarging the kitchen by 3 feet by taking in the existing laundry closet is a priority for me. It will allow more function and storage in the kitchen and remove the less than functional laundry closet from the hallway. I will also remove the peninsula/bar in the kitchen and replace it with a center island. I designed a similar oversized island in my last home and really loved the added counter space and room for additional appliances like a microwave drawer and wine cooler. I will be bringing those appliances to this new island, too.
4. I’m going to enclose the very dysfunctional and awkward mudroom area off the garage entrance and make it a part of the new master closet. A stacking washer and dryer will come into the master closet with a second laundry area upstairs near my daughter’s room or at least the option for adding one there later so we don’t have to tote her clothing up and down the stairs forever. The existing master closet is very small for a house this size so by taking in a portion of the breakfast area, the entire mudroom, the existing bathroom linen closet, and the existing master closet, a sizable master closet will take shape…hooray!
5. And I’m going to be making several other tweaks to the bathroom including a smaller water closet with added bookshelves or a small closet on the bedroom side. Removal of the large garden tub in lieu of a freestanding version, and a larger master shower are all in the plans. I am also hoping to add a window in the bathroom for some natural lighting and fresh air access.
And these are just the most significant structural and functional changes I will be making to the space. Of course there are hoards of decorative ones to make the entire place super chic.
So I hope this insight helps my floor plan ideas make a bit more sense. Or at least give them a point of reference to the way we live and our family’s priorities. It’s always great to know the method behind the madness, right? I am excited to meld this home with remarkable “bones” into a plan that works well for the activities and needs of our little family of 3.
What ideas have you used in your home that are unique to your bunch? Let me know by leaving a comment. I would love to hear your function-driven design ideas, too, and ways you’ve tailored your home perfectly to you.
Happy Thursday, Friends. And be sure to catch my final FREE day of my 3rd creativeLIVE course today in conjunction with House Beautiful magazine. We’re having a ball solving some of the most frustrating design challenges. We’d love to have you join in the fun by enrolling here.