Design Your Dream House with a Purpose
If you asked me what the single most important quality a good house design should have, I would have to say that there must to be a “purposefulness” to the plan. A key to this purposefulness is to be sure your house design has an understandable concept.
There are many good and effective organizing concepts, but probably the most common and possibly simplest of these concepts in a house is the classic “four-square” plan.
The primary rooms each occupy one of the four corners of a square plan. A central hallway and staircase provide the “connections” between the rooms and the upper and lower floors. Think of the classic Georgian-style house for an example. When you step through the front door of a house like this and stand in the front hall, you immediately recognize the organizing concept. Because of this recognition, the house seems orderly and properly assembled. You feel things are in their proper place. Although Georgian may not be the style of house you prefer, there is no denying that a house like this often “feels right.”
There are many permutations of this concept. Maybe the center hall does not go all the way through to the back of the house, or maybe the center hall is wider and there is a gentle curve or bend in the staircase. But if you look around at typical plans, you will probably see this underlying concept in many homes. At the same time, you will see the beginnings of this concept and then you might find unfortunate violations of the concept that make the design feel jarring and dissonant, like a singer singing off-key. That is a mistake you need to avoid!
There are many other organizing concepts and something more complex might be best for you. But no matter what concept works for you, it needs to be comprehensible and appropriate. Without an overall concept, your house design will lack integrity and it won’t feel quite right. If that happens, your mind and psyche won’t feel settled and comfortable, no matter house elaborate or expensive you house might be. It won’t be fulfilling it’s first obligation of being a perfect fit for you and your family.