If you’re building a custom home in Saskatoon, designing your floor plan is one of the most exciting parts of the process. This is where you get to start putting your dreams and visions on paper and really start understanding what your future home could look like. For some it can be a daunting task but working with the right team and understanding how everything fits together can help the process. There are some automatic things that you should keep in mind while designing your custom home (i.e. budget, square footage, style, etc.) but I wanted to breakdown a few other things that you should highly consider to make sure that your home turns out just the way you envision!
Every Day Function
People always talk about the fact that when you’re designing a custom home you need to consider your lifestyle. While that is true, I wanted to define what that really means for us when we are designing layouts.
Everyday function is a better way of explaining lifestyle in my opinion. The reason being is that most families operate similar from day-to-day. Meaning that if you are a family of four, most days look the same. Wake up and eat breakfast, getting ready for work/school, leave the house with laptops and lunch bags, return with mail and backpacks, cook and eat supper, spending time with family, then eventually get ready and go to bed. You want to make sure that you design your home so that how you and your family want to do those everyday functions suits your lifestyle. If you want to make a habit of eating breakfast at the island, then make sure your island will suite that. If you work shift work and your spouse is a light sleeper, consider putting the walk-in closet on the other side of the ensuite. If you have two kids that are close, consider something like a Jack and Jill bathroom. Where are you going to put the mail? If you’re going to come home through the garage and into the Mudroom, have you made a spot for it there? Is it going to go on the island? Is it going to go in a drawer somewhere? Those are the little things that if you think about ahead of time can save a lot of frustration once the house is complete and you’re living there.
Those are the types of things that I think about when talking about everyday function. One of the best parts about building a custom home is that you can and should customize it exactly how you want your life to function. If you’re going to spend the money on a custom home, you may as well make sure that it makes your life easier. So, make a list of what your everyday function looks like, where you’re going to spend the most time and consider those things right from the beginning as you start designing!
Another automatic thing that people always talk about is storage. The one thing that people can sometimes forget is that storage does not always have to mean closets or mechanical rooms. You can always plan for built-in storage or future storage in your home. In fact, in some cases built-in storage can add to the functionality of your house as it comes together especially in areas like playrooms, offices and kitchens. You also should consider what stage of life you are at when you’re thinking of storage. If you have two kids under the age of five right now, your storage needs are going to look a lot different in 10 years. Right now, you’re going to need storage for small toys, jolly jumpers, and highchairs whereas in 10 years you’re going to need space for sports equipment, bikes, and homework. Those storage spaces aren’t going to look the same, so if you plan on permanent closet storage to solve your need today it may not solve your need down the road.
Those are the types of things that I like to think about when designing a home and thinking around storage. That is where some of the built-in storage can be advantageous. Those built-in’s that are used for toy storage today can be removed and replaced with desk storage for home stations down the road. Thinking through things like that can help with the functionality of your home not only today, but into tomorrow so that the home fits your lifestyle throughout your family’s life span.
Cubic Feet vs. Square Feet
Moving on to something a little more out-of-the-box is the idea of cubic feet versus square feet. Often times people get caught up on the square footage of their house, but I would argue that thinking through the cubic feet of your house is a sneaky way to make your house feel bigger. By creating more cubic feet throughout your home can make it look that much grander and trick your eyes and mind into thinking that it is bigger than it is.
So how can you add cubic feet to your home? The best ways that I have found to accomplish this is by adding vaults or dormers to your major spaces. In bungalows this could be to your living room or entry whereas on two stories it could be to your second level bedrooms. Alternatively, you can also add height to your walls. With most homes having 9’ walls you could consider 10’ instead. This extra foot throughout your entire home will make a substantial difference. That being said, it doesn’t have to be throughout the entire home either. You can pick specific rooms that you’re going to spend the most time in and focus these types of features there so that where you spend the most time will feel bigger and grander. In fact, right now we’re working on a plan that is a two-story where we are adding cubic feet to the Living Room on the main floor as well as the Master Bedroom, secondary Bedrooms and the Study on the second floor. These added features will completely change the feel of the house and make it feel much larger than it is.
The other thing that will make your house feel much larger is bringing in natural light. This means big ole windows! I am a sucker for natural light and most times try and get windows as big as I can. There are downsides to large windows when you’re building a custom home in Saskatoon, but from a pure design an feel standpoint I would recommend making the windows as big as you can without compromising the design that you were looking for. If you combine this with the orientation of your home along with the cubic feet trick, your space will feel much bigger than the square footage says on paper!
Lastly, consider sightlines when you are designing your custom home. For the most part you want to consider sightlines in the main living areas of the house. When you are standing at the kitchen sink doing dishes, what do you want to look at? Do you want to be looking out the window at your kids playing in the yard? Do you want to be looking into the living room watching your kids? Or do you want both? While you’re sitting at the dining room table, do you want to be able to see the TV or not? While you’re making supper or watching TV in the evening with your family, do you want to be able to see people as they pull up to your house? Or do you want it to be more private? These are sightlines to consider. When you’re in certain rooms in your house, what do you want to see? And equally important what do you not want to see?
Like I said at the top, designing your custom home is fun and is one of the most exciting parts of the process. You get to play with concepts with no consequences or repercussions. Don’t be afraid to try things, even if you think they might end up silly. The great thing is that if they do end up looking silly you can just change it back to how it was! By putting ideas that are out-of-the-box on paper that’s how you can create a unique floor plan that has its own personality. Even if it’s only one or two unique features, that is what will make your home your home.
If you are interested in sitting down and talking about your new custom home in Saskatoon, feel free to contact us and we would love to set up an initial consult!