Design Solutions 101: Foolproof Floor Plans

Whether you lived in one or just tried to navigate it while looking for a future home, everyone’s experienced a house with a  poorly organized floor plan. 

From needing to walk across a private bedroom in order to access a common area, to kitchens and dining areas on opposite ends of the home, a home with bad “flow” is a risky investment and a very expensive fix. 

Fortunately, this is an entirely avoidable problem. For this installment of our Design Solutions 101 series, we’re talking about common floor plan issues and how to avoid them in your future home.

Floor Plans for Beginners

Residential floor plans tend to adhere to a set of basic standards. Kitchen and dining areas are typically placed near one another for easy access, and the bedrooms are oriented away from common areas in order to maintain a sense of privacy. 

In locations with long periods of temperate weather (like Hawaii) common living areas indoors often open up onto an outdoor living area like a lanai or covered patio. 

While floorplans do change over time, i.e. the rise of the open concept trend and the decline of closed concept floor plans with walls or partitions separating each space, most homes are designed to maintain a sense of flow or continuity throughout the home. 

When designing or remodelling a home, consider whether or not your floor plan allows people to easily move between spaces, and if you could successfully manage your daily routines within the space. 

For example, is it easy to bring in groceries from the garage to the kitchen, or does it require a long walk? Is the outdoor living space easily accessible to everyone, or will you be requiring guests to go through your bedroom in order to reach the patio? Do you need to climb an extra flight of stairs to get to the guest bathroom?  All of these things are worth considering when designing a floor plan. 

Find your Floor Plan

While basic standards for floor plans exist for a reason, it’s still  important to create a layout that works for your lifestyle—both now and in the future. And while open-concept floor plans remain incredibly popular, a modified open or “broken” concept home might be best for your circumstances.

If you’re planning on staying in the home after you retire, or anticipate elderly relatives moving in with you in the future, building a single-story home is likely a good idea for your circumstances. Stairs can be a major hassle for aging in place, and accessibility should definitely be a priority. 

However this means you’ll need to find other ways to distinguish between common living areas and private spaces, which may involve a floorplan that separates the home into different “zones,” such as grouping bedrooms into one area and kitchen, living, and dining in another. 

On the other hand, if you’re building a home for a growing family, you’ll maybe need to add an extra bathroom to your floor plan or increase the size of your common living areas instead of adding in a home gym or other single-use space. 

Whatever your floor plan needs, finding the balance between the logic of established floor plans and making modifications based on your individual needs is the best way to ensure you’re not making major changes to your new space.

Don't Try this Alone 

A well organized home with good flow is easy to live in, maintains its value, and is relatively easy to update, since future homeowners are unlikely to need to tear down a wall or move a room for the sake of better convenience.  

And finding that balance between tradition and personalization is a lot easier with the right professionals—especially an experienced interior designer who can work with your builder, contractor, and architect to create a floor plan that works now and in the future. 
We make finding the perfect team for your future home simple and convenient, and our free online estimator makes creating a realistic budget easier than ever. Contact us today to get started, and we’ll put you in touch with the right professionals to answer all your floor plan questions and concerns. 

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200 N Vineyard Blvd.
Ste A325 - 5145
Honolulu, HI 96817

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