When clients come to me and ask me to design a new home or a home addition, most have an idea of what they want to do, but don’t know how to design, organize, or understand the elements which makes a house look “wow”…and you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a “wow”. There are many things which make your house look bigger for the same amount of square footage.
Some of the design concepts you can do:
1. Use an “Open Plan”–reduce the number of walls, doors, etc. and make one large room instead of many smaller rooms. Combine the Kitchen, Living room, Great Room, Dining Room into 1 large room. In the Master Bedroom Suite, combine the Master Bedroom, Master Bath and Master Closet into rooms that flow into each other rather than separate rooms.
2. Use roof trusses to create cathedral ceilings– you can frame an 8′ tall wall rather than 9′ or 10′ just by using scissors trusses. Get your roof peaks at 14′, add light or plant shelves. Roof trusses don’t have to be flat or triangle, but can have a lot of different shapes to get the desired effect.
3. When using cathedral ceilings. keep your wall separators at 7′ tall–don’t take your walls to the bottom of the truss. Instead stop them at 7 feet tall. You can visual space from both sides of the wall, and all the rooms feel much bigger.
4. Use lots and lots of windows–don’t skimp on windows Place as many windows as you can on the walls, low, medium, and high on the walls. The purpose of the window is to eliminate the visual part of the wall, and make you feel part of the outdoors. An example–for anyone who’s built a home, right after framing the house, the wall studs are exposed. When drywall is installed it seems like all the rooms get smaller. That’s because you’re losing the visual space into the next room. Windows regain the visual space. As a cost saving measure, not all windows need to be operable. Use a lot of fixed windows and only a couple of operable windows.
5. In the cathedral ceilings, use skylights–especially near walls, which reflect the light off the walls and ceilings to disperse light in the room. Make a skylight channel as large as it can be, from the ceiling peak to the edge of the room. The channel can be much bigger than the skylight itself, and will throw more light over a larger area of the room. Don’t be bashful with skylights. You can use more than 1 skylight in a room.