After hearing many clients say they couldn’t find their dream home, I listened to what they said they wanted, and then we designed and built it for them. We value and solicit your creative input, and seek to know, your likes & lifestyle, so we can design the perfect place created exclusively for you!
Wise people know the importance of the planning phase, before the proverbial pencil is laid to paper, during the design phase. They also understand the wisdom of involving us - as the firm who Designs & Builds their perfect place - before considering and searching for the type of property that can fulfill all of their needs.
They know this streamlines the process, and provides the information we need in order to find them the ultimate site, suited to the design that is perfect for them; one that ultimately requires only minimal revisions to any preliminary plans. Of course, all is not lost if some of this is taken out of order. . . .
To assist you in finding the perfect site and designing the perfect place for you, as well as saving you time & money, we ask you to answer the following questions, and more, before you begin searching for your site or property:
1) What kind of property or estate are you considering?
2) Is this a primary residence, vacation home, or estate?
3) What kind of tax implications do you need to consider?
4) What is your budget?
5) How long will you keep the home?
6) What seasons will you be spending in your home, and how will you use it?
7) Will you rent the home? Long term or short term?
8) What types of activities do you enjoy?
9) Are you a morning person, or a night owl?
10) How do you structure your day?
11) What are your family requirements now, what might they be in the future?
12) How many friends will you bring?
13) How frequently will they visit, and for how long?
14) Do you have any recreational equipment requiring special considerations?
15) Are there any environmental concerns, allergies, special needs or access issues?
16) Are you interested in any features such as a family room, den, office, steam room, sauna, ball court, BBQ, bunkhouse, boathouse, wine cellar, horseshoe pit, etc?
17) Ask each person in the family to describe their ideal day for each season.
The answers to these questions, and others, will determine what kind of property, its orientation, and the location in which you should be searching for your perfect site. They will determine how and where your home is situated on the property; the quality, layout & design of your home, and its finishes, all in a manner that suits your individual needs and preferences.
We begin the layout using the answers to the questions we’ve gathered from you. When we work well together, by gathering and determining your lifestyle and preferences - the home begins to design itself. Typically, homes are divided into three basic zones or areas:
1) Communal spaces which are comprised of the following rooms and areas - living, family, recreation, office, den, decks, patios, art studio, back yard.
2) Privacy areas, which are comprised of where you sleep, bathe and dress.
3) Work spaces, which include the kitchen, laundry, pantry, gym areas, ball courts, lap pools, shop space, and more.
A) The private zones should be noise insulated from the other two zones, and one should be able to move between the sleeping, bathing & dressing areas without being seen from the other areas of the home.
B) A noise and visibility barrier should exist between guest or main entry and the privacy areas.
C) The main entrance is best when it leads directly into the center of the home, with direct access to the living areas.
D) The guest entry is best when it can lead directly into the kitchen where it and the other entrances can be managed.
E) The family entrance should lead directly from the garage into the kitchen, or from a traffic area with direct access to the kitchen. From this entrance, one should be able to move through the work triangle in the kitchen to the other areas of the home.
F) Household activities in all the zones and areas are best managed from the work areas, typically the kitchen.
G) Movement and traffic from zone to zone and the main entrance are to be accomplished without going through the living room or the work triangle in the kitchen.
H) Office spaces are best when they are separate from the main home, have a separate entrance, or are immediate to the main entrance, without having to pass through any of the other areas of the home.
Some pitfalls or elements of design important to avoid in the home’s layout are:
I) A front door opening directly into the living area.
II) No closet in the main entrance.
III) No direct access to the kitchen, bath, or bedrooms from the front door, without going through the other rooms.
IV) The rear door not readily accessible to the kitchen or from the street, driveway, or garage.
V) No comfortable space in or near the kitchen for the family to eat.
VI) No easy access from the dining room to the kitchen.
VII) Stairs leading from a room instead of from a hallway or foyer.
VIII) Bedrooms & baths that are visible from the living room or foyer.
IX) Poorly positioned recreational or family room – not visible from the kitchen.
X) No sound barrier between bedrooms – bedrooms separated by a hall, bath or closet accomplishes objective.
XI) Outdoor living areas not accessible from kitchen.
XII) Snow shedding onto walkways, driveways or decks.
XIII) Excessive valleys or snow blockage areas on the roof or exterior, especially on the lee wind and north side of the roof or home.
All this may sound overwhelming to those unfamiliar with the process. However, after 40 years of experience, we put peace of mind in the creative process for you by distilling the Artful process of Design into its elemental parts, so you can see how it fits together nicely for your lifestyle and preferences. Once your dream home’s design comes together, our team seamlessly transitions the Building of it into a Science for those in the industry.