In today’s market, five trends have emerged to help home buyers maximize the space in their homes — whether it’s 1,000 square feet or 10,000 square feet. Wayne Visbeen, AIA, IIDA, of Visbeen Architects explained these trends, including examples from their own projects, during their IBS educational session, “Floor Plan Solutions: Minimum Waste & Maximum Space.”
“Right sizing is about giving you the spaces you need and that you’ll enjoy living in, without putting money into the things you won’t,” Visbeen explained. That could include shrinking a master bedroom to create a nicer closet, enhancing technology features instead of creating an entire home theater area, or incorporating smaller touchdown spaces in lieu of a dedicated home office. One space in particular that has gone by the wayside is the formal dining room, in part because people rarely use it. “In 90% of our homes, we’ve taken the dining room out,” Visbeen noted, adding that it’s usually more cost efficient for buyers to take their friends out to a nice restaurant three or four times a year (which is how often they’d likely use that dining room).
Outdoor living spaces are essential in New England when you have such a short time to enjoy summer. At Groen Construction, covered patios, sunrooms and 3-season porches are a staple design feature. Covered patios can be enhanced with materials such as concrete and features such as shades. Sitting walls can create natural seating areas, and operable screens can help separate rooms when needed.
“Think about how to use fire to add beauty to any area of your design,” Visbeen encouraged. Linear fireplaces allow designers to get more creative with placement — including innovative spots such as the bathroom, garage or even an exercise room — and more flexibility for TV installation.
Fireplaces can also be used to create transitional space between rooms, or enhance a room’s aesthetic with color and texture.
When you have a small footprint, you have to be smart about how you can create more of that storage. Examples include taking advantage of nooks for customized mudroom benches or shelving, expandable kitchen tables that nest within each other, and unique his-and-hers closet designs. Small spaces are no excuse for clutter and unorganized rooms. But no matter how big your house is, you always hear clients saying that they never have enough storage. Built-in storage units are a savior for any home, large or small. Custom-built pieces sit flush with your existing walls and furniture, so they're sure to fit any style. At Groen Construction, we can customize shelves and bookcases, build a window seat, create a recessed shelf, and make a Pinterest worthy custom walk-in closet organization system.
Difficult to define and even challenging to decorate, these transitional spaces are often left vacant. "Instead of forgetting about these areas, we help potential home builders plan ahead for future needs," says Joe Groen our in-house designer. Clients are often confused about what is a transitional or flex space. "Literally, it joins one place to another or a point of connection." During the design process, we sit down with our clients to carefully understand how they live and how these spaces can better fit your needs. We want to build a home that is functional with spaces our clients will actually use. Majority of the time, our clients really want a cozy and inviting place to relax. A place to read or gather for conversation over beverages and light appetizers. Ideas for transition spaces can include:
Flex spaces can utilize even more space by providing additional functionality. This may be a TV room-turned-guest room, or a sitting room accessible from both the living room and the master bedroom as a relaxation space for anyone to use.
If you are ready to start the process of building your new home - give us a call. Let us help you navigate the building process and experience the Groen Difference.