I met with a potential client the other day. They had just built a new, New England colonial style home from the ground up and moved into it about two years ago. As I drove up the street, I noticed how great it looked with its classic shape, proper windows, and cute portico at the front entry. In addition, the white painted exterior looked pristine, with just the right amount of trim work required for this type of home.
The owners greeted me at the side door and brought me into a clean and simple interior. Without a doubt, taste was not an issue for this couple. The interior was warm, with a comfortable modern feeling. However, something was off.
Soon it was apparent after the first few minutes of our conversation that the homeowners had designed the home themselves. They found several exterior images of classic colonials and quickly discovered that this was their collective dream. Next, they sourced house plans online (it’s easy to find all sorts of colonial style plans online) and several of the plans stood out. So, the homeowners created floor plans based on melding them together. They then found a great builder, who took the plans and built the home of their dreams.
The Dream Home – Not So Dreamy!
So, why was I there? I asked them straightforwardly, “Why did you call?” For a few moments, silence. Then, the floodgates opened. Both started describing how – in sometimes very descriptive words – the home did not work for their family. The open plan was noisy; there was no place for the kids’ (2 children, 4 and 6) toys; no place to watch TV without disturbing the whole family; no pantry space; everyone knew when someone was using the powder room; no mudroom or place to drop stuff coming in the side door. The reasons just kept coming.
Be Careful When Buying Plans
Those floor plans – the ones we download from online – are convenient and easy to find. In fact, there are literally millions of plans that we can search through. But, here’s the big secret: not one of those plans was designed specifically for your family, for your needs, and for your future. Actually, good design is a very personal thing. And, good design gets to the heart of who you are, what you love, how you behave, and where you are heading. If done right, the design of your home has the power to enhance the way you want to live and not undermine it. So, spend the time to make sure your home is designed to work for you, not against you!