A few months back, I had been to a close friend’s home for dinner. He had this chic new duplex house design under planning and was discussing concepts incorporated by this architect.
And till last week, I used to believe that all those “contemporary amenities” were mere extra overheads. But since I attended his house warming ceremony, and spent some time around his new fully furnished abode; I couldn't keep myself from comparing with my duplex home. My duplex, constructed a decade ago, clearly reflects how important it is today to plan for “contemporary amenities” and future requirements while going for a new house. I am sharing my thoughts here; and maybe you would love to consider some ideas.
1. Maximize Space Efficiency
Popular in those days; closed floor plans used to separate every section of the house. Traditionally, separate rooms were thought to be more attractive, compartmentalized, and functional. But this separation took away more usable living space and reduced the square footage.
However, today seeing the new open floor plan that my friend chose; has changed the whole scene. It presented a seamless transition from the indoor space to an outdoor veranda. It gave the illusion of a bigger space, provided more natural sunlight and outdoor views and created a more safe and social environment.
2. Interiors By Professionals
Just like many others I too was very particular about interior designing. So, as per my wish and taste I had done the interiors of my home some years back. But here, at this new impressive structure, I could really make out the difference. The beauty of the interiors was accentuated at every perspective; something only professional architects can do.
3. Beautify with Exterior Landscaping
Beautifying exteriors at those times mostly involved applying good color. Even I did the same and had a few potted plants additional placed in front of my home. The little space left was used for gardening and ornamental plants.
On the contrary, my friend has invested in landscape gardening. He used lighting that enhances the home's appearance. These being solar lights, there was no wiring to wall-mounted lighting fixtures. Landscape lighting also made the architectural features of the home stand out. Moreover they increased functionality of the outdoor spaces.
Moreover, plants added to the exterior spaces took center stage, as the exterior lighting added both aesthetic and practical benefits.
4. Future Planning for Expansion
While I had my duplex home built, I just thought about my family needs at that time. Hence rooms constructed were comparatively small as was the space for parking. Now as my growing family and their lifestyle needs have moved on; the spaces today are feeling cramped. While what I saw at my friend’s new dwelling was spacious.
Thus it is very important to consider future plans if you construct your home. It’s always better to construct a few more rooms and keep provision for more spaces that can be adjusted as per future needs.
5. Security needs
A joint family always has someone or the other at home. So at that time I didn't pay much heed to security issues. But at present I do feel new security gadgets are a must as most of the time family members are out of home.
I saw this friend of mine has installed chic wireless security systems. And he gets all updates in his cell phone when he is away from home. Adopting this simple way is to stay assured of the family’s safety, isn't it?
All in all, I was really impressed with this new home. And while I plan to invest in a new, larger residence, I will keep these observations in mind for long term advantage.
Nageshwar is into the software industry and has been courteous enough to share his observations about his friends new home designed by Ashwin Architects.