A Love That Lasts: Tips For Designing And Building A Home That Fits Your Current And Future Needs

Posted on | July 18, 2014 | No Comments

It’s easy to get swept off your feet by a charming and beautiful home, and to fall in love at first sight. But if you plan to live in the home for years to come, it’s important that your love is more than a fleeting fancy. Designing a home that will stay functional, beautiful and relevant is a tall order, but Houck Residential Designers, an award-winning Winston-Salem residential design firm is up to the challenge. As a firm that has designed  its share of exceptional custom homes, vice president and residential designer Barry Wilson explained to North Carolina Design how they ensure that homeowners don’t suffer from “builder’s remorse.”

Images Courtesy of Houck Residential Designers ©

Barry notes that homeowners must set priorities in order to ensure that their home truly meets their needs. “If you don’t know what your priorities are, we know how to ask the right questions. What rooms do you need? Do you want formal spaces? Do you need a big pantry? Do you want a getaway space all for yourself? Do you want all the rooms to be on the same level?”

For a house to accommodate a homeowner’s changing needs, priorities need to be set not just for now, but for the duration. “It’s important to stay flexible and think long term about the spaces in your home,” Barry stresses. “For example, a lot of people design around their kids, and that’s fine. But kids aren’t going to be five or ten years old for the rest of their lives. You won’t need a playroom forever. You have to think about what you will do with that room in the future.”

Thinking long term also affects the type of investment homeowners should make in their home. “Maybe you’re a 48-year-old with a job that makes you move around a lot, and you only plan to live in the house for 10 years. Or maybe you will be there until you retire, then you’ll move to the beach. Or maybe you’re going to live there for the rest of your life. You have to build to your appropriate time period.”

“If you plan to sell your home in the near future, you’re going to want to invest in something someone in your position now is going to want to buy. If you plan to stay long term, you have to invest more in your own priorities, and think of how to build in flexibility so that it will satisfy you now and later on as you age – keeping in mind that you shouldn’t make choices that are too taste-specific or inappropriate for the neighborhood, in case you do need to sell it.”

An enduring aesthetic is also important to a home’s design, but Barry concedes that it’s a bit more challenging to plan for than practical needs. “It’s hard to design for a projected preference later on. Who knows what people are going to want to see in a home in the future? As a designer, you have to go with what appeals to the homeowners now, while corralling them toward something you know will last.”

“Lasting design is proportionally correct and aesthetically pleasing,” Barry notes. “If it looks good now it will look good later; good design is good design. There are always ways to update the home’s look in the future.”

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