10 errors to avoid when designing your sustainable home plan layout: part 6
First-time modern home builders soon realize that, while their spaces look great, they have nowhere to put stuff. From Le Corbusier's first fancy modern buildings until today, the problem of home storage has been avoided by architects in favor of sleek design. Apart from basic usage areas like kitchen, sitting area, office, every house needs those additional spaces specifically purposed for storage. Built-in storage is also a great way to avoid hallways. Any mismatch in the way walls meet up can become the perfect storage room. But watch out, built-in storage becomes a fixed feature of the room: try to keep your layout flexible enough that you can still use the room if its function changes.
10 errors to avoid when designing your sustainable home plan layout: part 5
Head bumps at the end of the staircase.
I live in such a house with my very tall boyfriend, so I speak from the heart. When drafting in 2D, some elements seem obvious, but when you build them, surprises occur: the space above the last steps of the staircase is very often the main culprits here. The trick is to simply be aware of this when drafting stairs and, if you can, draft your plans in 3D to be sure you have enough space to get upstairs. (she whispers in your ear: "come, book a session")
Quick visualization exercise: imagine you have all the money you might ever need. You also have your dream house.
It's a big Mediterranean villa overlooking the sea, with an enormous pool throwing ripples of sunshine back at you while you sip on a Martini. OK, piña colada if you prefer.
There's a gardener coming every week to manage the rose garden. Inside, there's a double ceiling over the living area, with a passerelle (fancy word for bridge) for bedroom access. You've always wanted a passerelle. It's a sort of suspended bridge above the loft. Fancy.
The high-tech kitchen has all those gadgets you've drooled over when watching cooking shows, like double ovens and rotisserie devices with many settings. The dinning room overlooks the garden. There's floor-to-ceiling glass panels. The air conditioning is running constantly in the summer heatwave.
The heating runs all winter as well. The glass panels are sucking all the heat out. All the heat rises in the double ceiling, so the passerelle is the warmest place in all the house.
The pool is wasting water from the communal reservoir, even though this season has had worse droughts than ever. In the winter the chlorinated water will be flushed and the pool walls cleaned. It's so hot that the gardener is using chemical solutions once a month to get rid of the algae. It smells weird. You don't bathe in it.
It always ends up like this for me when I do this exercise. My ecological anxieties just bubble up …