Our design philosophy is to maximize the functionality of our homes so it feels effortless to live in and love your home. Recently, we have seen some new condos that feel much bigger than they actually are on paper. This encouraged us to challenge the notion that smaller condos must come with less desirable functionality.
Designing Optimal Floor Plans
It would never be possible to design a one-size-fits-all home. We all have different needs, design preferences, and budgets. These considerations can vary drastically, especially depending on the number of people who will be living in the home. While we can’t make the perfect home, our team has created a list of best practices that are considered with each home during the architectural design process.
When our team is designing homes, we do our best to include the following criteria:
- Minimize hallways between rooms so the additional space can be used in the kitchen, living room, or bedrooms where you spend time.
- Add additional storage where possible, like maximizing the additional space above or beside your washer and dryer or having storage for towels in your bathroom.
- Have a logical flow between rooms based on daily activities, like having your kitchen and dining room reflect each other, or the orientation of your closet in your bedroom to improve your morning routine.
- Create functional spaces with the intention for a specific (or multiple) use(s), like desk nooks or a breakfast bar that’s also perfect for an evening glass of wine with friends.
- Reduce the unusable area required for door swings by having them open into areas that could not otherwise be usable space.
- Add features that make life easier, like lower cabinetry in the kitchen being pull out drawers.
- Allocate square footage to the places that are used by more people, like your living or dining room, rather than a large bathroom.
- Create spaces that allow for another purpose, like a reading corner in your master bedroom.
Optimize The Space In Your Home
There are some homes that just can’t be better optimized. Sometimes it’s the location of the building, or possibly an older home where a renovation won’t make a vast improvement. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t things that you can choose to do that will make your space feel more purposeful and add functional space. After all, aren’t those two inches behind your dresser a waste?
- Built-in furniture or custom millwork maximizes space and is safer for younger children to be around since they aren’t moving or going to fall over. Having these items custom-built for your space ensures that they are designed to make every inch count.
- Find furniture that has hidden storage, like ottomans that open up or beds that have under-frame storage. This can be great for items that you don’t need out very often, or for when you just want to tidy up.
- Using organizers for your cabinets and cupboards (we love the container store).
- Mirrors can be used to create the impression that a space is more open than it may actually be.
- Don’t be afraid to design multi-functional spaces in your home. A workspace in your house doesn’t have to be solely used for work if it’s well laid out.
- Choosing vertical over horizontal units/cabinets allows you to maximize your storage space while reducing the floor space those items will occupy.
- Wall-mounted flatline TVs prevent the need for overly bulky television stands and can be streamlined to use for cable management instead.
- If you’re lacking usable outdoor space, consider bringing the outdoors to you. Hanging garden arrangements can provide greenery without taking up any precious square footage on the floor.
The Extension of your Home
If your outdoor area provides enough functional space, the balcony or patio can feel like the extension of your home and usually offers some great perks like a view, a barbecue nook or a place to enjoy your favourite book on a sunny day. However, we look beyond your personal outdoor spaces.
Focusing on building communities truly means building a community within each of our projects. We are required to build shared amenity space for all of our residents to enjoy and we put a lot of effort into creating a space that you feel is an extension of your home. To the same effect as having a rec-room, basement or family room, our amenity spaces are designed to unlock more living with spaces that you might like to use, whether that’s daily or every so often.
As trends change, we are hearing from homeowners that they would like to have different amenities than what the typical spaces have been, historically. Some of those considerations include:
- Co-Working or Shared Office space for remote work
- “Messy Room” for kids activities or arts and crafts
- Outdoor spaces for entertaining groups and visitors
- Exercise space that is flexible and not limited to strictly traditional gym equipment
- Spaces that can be easily divisible to host multiple groups during holidays
Our goal is to provide as many logical amenity spaces as possible for our residents. After all, we are building our projects so that you get to call them home. We welcome your feedback on all of these ideas so we can confidently design our next project with your comments in mind.