What if we told you there are some common room layout mistakes to avoid and ways to eliminate them? Would it inspire you to jump on that new build or renovation project you’ve been dreaming of?
Here, we reveal five of the most common open floor plan mistakes made – and suggest tips to help you avoid these in future.
1. Bigger is not always better
It’s simple – bigger homes cost more to build, are harder to keep cool, and in turn, have higher running costs.
Consider how big each individual room needs to be to serve its purpose, and make sure each space is generous but not oversized. This will help eliminate ‘dead space’ and reduce the operational running costs of the home.
2. Neglecting site constraints and orientation
One of the most important but often overlooked factors when designing your home is the site itself. Orientation is key; you want to ensure living spaces are orientated to maximise natural light, windows are orientated to capture predominant breezes and promote good cross ventilation. If you have a steep site ensure the design responds to the slope accordingly.
Top tip: Consider a split-level design to minimise costly excavation and retaining works.
3. Forgetting functionality
Think about how you will live in your home both now and in the future to ensure the layout will complement and enhance your lifestyle. If you have a young family, for example, consider separate living spaces or multi-purpose rooms that can be utilised as a rumpus room by young children or as more of a teenage retreat as they grow up.
Consider bedroom locations and proximity to the master suite or entertaining areas both when the kids are young and as they grow up. For anyone who is downsizing, consider zoning off those areas of the home that will be used daily from those that will only be used occasionally.
4. Underestimating the importance of storage
Have you ever heard anyone complaining that they have too much storage? Storage is often overlooked or added as an afterthought. Storage is very important and can be a key factor in reducing the clutter, chaos and stress of day-to-day life. Consider these questions:
- What do you need to store?
- Where is the most logical place to store it?
Then we can start to find ways to build in clever storage solutions that can be both functional and double as a design feature.
5. Not factoring in furniture
Furniture placement is also often overlooked when considering floor plans. It is critical to consider how a room will be furnished during the design process. Take the living room, for example. With today’s trend of open-plan living and expansive glass doors and windows, where will the lounge suite go? Where will the TV go? Will you have built-in or free-standing furniture? This can have an impact on the size and location of windows, the overall size of the room and how it will flow with the rest of the home.