Breaking the NJ Architecture Rules with These Design Tips to Help Your Home Stand Out From the Pack

Master Bath Design Secrets Shared by Architects in NJ

Breaking the NJ Architecture Rules with These Design Tips to Help Your Home Stand Out From the Pack

Photography by Lisa Russman

Creating an inviting master bath is something you do for yourself, not guests or visitors to your home. Your master bath is an essential space in your home, enabling you to get your day started, providing a brief refuge from the daily grind, and giving you space for taking care of yourself when your batteries need a recharge. If you are considering a master bath redesign, here are some tips from an expert Architect in NJ to help you create the space you need. 

Start Each Day with Warmth

If you are building or remodeling your master bath, why not take advantage of this opportunity to install heated flooring in your space? No one likes cold tile on their feet early in the morning, and heated floors are practical as well as comfortable. When you heat from the bottom up, your space will feel warmer, and when your feet are toasty, the rest of you will feel cozy, too. Ask your New Jersey architecture specialist how to incorporate heated floors into your master suite. 

Tile Advice from NJ Architects 

Installing floor-to-ceiling tile is one way to transform a space from blah to high end, and you can achieve the look you want by picking stone, ceramic, or glass tiles that you love. When working with stone, you can opt to focus on just one or two walls rather than the entire space while leaving the other walls neutral, to bring out the natural beauty of the stone. Subway tiles are also a great choice, but you can get creative with grout colors, accent tiles, and layout patterns, too. An architect can be a second set of eyes to help you decide.  They are trained experts in design and functionality.

Create a Retreat Using Natural Elements

One way to improve the relaxation factor of your master bath is to integrate as many natural elements as possible into your indoor space. Natural light provides warmth while also making your bathroom an excellent home for plants and flowers. Using wood accents or details helps you connect with nature, and the more natural your space, the more likely your mind will be able to rejuvenate and focus on self-care. 

Get Creative with Lighting in Your Master Bath

Wall sconces, chandeliers, and pendant lamps aren’t just for the great room anymore. Your master bath needs plenty of supplemental light to create that welcoming effect after dark, too. Adequate lighting in this space is crucial, and there’s nothing that says you have to stick with traditional, around-the-mirror fixtures. New Jersey architecture firms are installing some interesting, funky, and functional light fixtures that create a beautiful statement in the master bath. 

Dual Vanities Means Dual Style

If you share your master bathroom with someone else, why not give each of you a space to call your own? Putting multiple vanities in a master bath is nothing new, but placing them in different parts of the room and incorporating distinct styles in each ensures that you both get the personal space you love. Make his countertop higher or yours lower, use different colors and materials or add other touches to customize each area. 

The Most Important Rule is That You are Comfortable

What is more apparent today than ever before is that, when it comes to the master bath or master suite, there really are no rules anymore. Because these are personal spaces in your home that are meant to meet your most intimate and private needs, the most crucial consideration is that it makes you comfortable and has everything you require. Throw out all your preconceptions about what a bathroom “should” be and create the one that gives you what you desire. Today’s master bath is breaking all the rules, so feel free to get creative when considering options for your next remodel or new home. 

Ready for Some Kid-Approved Ideas for Room Additions We’ve Got Them!

Ready for Some Kid-Approved Ideas for Room Additions? We’ve Got Them!

Ready for Some Kid-Approved Ideas for Room Additions We’ve Got Them!Adding on to your home is a significant investment. As a homeowner, you need to consider if your home addition plans will add value to your property. But, another crucial factor to consider is if your room addition will be valuable to your family. Is your new space creating areas that everyone will love? Sure, a new bathroom would be super helpful during that early morning crunch to get everyone to the bus, but what kinds of spaces would your kids really enjoy having?

Room Addition Ideas Your Kids Will Love

Room additions can serve lots of purposes, so how about one that is specifically geared toward your growing family? For starters, you and your kids can enjoy a game room together. Having a space to play electronic games, board games, pool, or other activities is an excellent idea for young and old. Game rooms do not need anything special in terms of the construction, and you can change the contents as your family grows and interests change. Include storage for board games, an entertainment center or computer station, plus comfortable seating, and you are ready to play! If you build it like an extra bedroom, you have increased the value of your home for future buyers, too. 

Younger kids would love to have an indoor adventure space for play. Creating a playroom for your small ones gives them room to be creative that does not interfere with the rest of the family space. And a place all their own means they can decide how to express themselves through their imaginations. Include extensive built-ins to wrangle the clutter and turn your playroom into a flexible space when guests come over. A Murphy bed is perfect for this type of area, which can double as a guest room from time to time.

Are your kids into hobbies? Or do they play musical instruments? Why not give them a room for their pastimes? Some hobbies require a lot of gear or equipment that you do not want taking up space in shared areas. Musicians will appreciate a room where they can practice without disturbing the whole house and a place to store their instruments. And the rest of the family will appreciate any soundproofing you install!

Why not think outside the box (literally) and add an outdoor living area to your home for the whole family to enjoy? While technically not an addition, outdoor living spaces do add livable square footage to a house and are becoming more sought after by buyers. Give the kids something they will love, like a treehouse, playhouse, or play area, and include a fire pit and outdoor kitchen for the whole family to enjoy. 

Finally, if your kids are getting a little older, what they really want is a space to hang out with their friends, watch movies, and chill. Adding a teen space as a room addition can be as simple as finishing your existing basement, but you could also add a room over your garage or build an outdoor studio or shed in your yard. Once your kids are gone from the house, these spaces can turn into places for your personal hobbies, guest quarters, or even a room to rent to tenants or travelers. 

Do Your Home Addition Plans Meet the “Kid” Test?

Remember: room additions do not have to be dull and stodgy, so get creative when considering home addition ideas. Ask your kids what kinds of spaces would make their lives better and be willing to hear what they have to say. After all, they live there, too!

Opt for an Interior Design that Creates Flexible Home Work Space

Opt for an Interior Design that Creates Flexible Home Work Space

Opt for an Interior Design that Creates Flexible Home Work Space

Photography by Lisa Russman

While the trend toward fully remote or part-time work-from-home jobs is rising, the home office is also enjoying a revival of sorts in the design world. Interior design plans from the past several years have seen a decrease in dedicated home office space. As interior design and use of space have evolved, homeowners are looking to make better use of flexible spaces for work, play, and family activities. 

New homes increasingly have open-plan layouts that allow for flexible use of shared spaces, which can be utilized in many ways by those who work from home. And because homes are getting smaller, forgoing a dedicated office frees up valuable square footage to devote to other family priorities. 

Home Design Plans That Create Flexible Space
For many people who work away from the office, all they need is a place to sit, a reliable internet connection, and their thoughts. This can easily be accomplished in a wide variety of settings, including some away from home, like your local cafe, library, or park. Those with a more flexible workflow may decide that all they need at home is a desk to store documents and manage the clutter, or a place they can use from time to time for phone calls or video chats. 

In instances where you still want a dedicated space to work but do not necessarily need an entire room, a home office nook is becoming a popular trend. Everything from secluded corners to larger landings to space under the stairs can be enlisted to serve work needs. Or, how about repurposing the wardrobe your daughter has outgrown as a workspace? All you need is 20 square feet (or less), and voila! Instant office.

For couples that co-work as well as cohabitate, creating a shared workspace can be space-saving. And at the end of the workday, kids can also use this same space to practice music, do homework, or work on hobbies or crafts. A large island or farmhouse table, dedicated shelves or storage bins, and lots of outlets for portable electronics will suit everyone’s needs. 

When you need to be able to transition from work mode to family time quickly, hideaway or convertible furniture is a good choice. By day it is a desk, but after school, it folds away into a bookshelf or cupboard. You have the benefit of a space to call your own when needed which isn’t a permanent structure in your home.

When your home is small and bustling with noise from pets, kids, and media players, it is helpful to have a retreat that you can use from time to time to gather your thoughts, too. Some couples are embracing an office nook inside the master suite, which allows the adults to work in private while the kids have free reign of the rest of the home. This is the perfect interior design plan for when your teens and their friends seem to be everywhere all the time. 

The Future of Home Office Interior Design
As the generation of Millennials increasingly become homeowners, and the older generations reach retirement age, a different population is dictating home design trends. The rise of the gig economy, the ability to work from anywhere you have a reliable WIFI signal, and the shifting demands of “work” in general all have redefined what it means to “work” and “work from home.”  

The most important advice you can consider is to make sure that your home office space, whatever it may be, meets your needs and those of the others in your family. That’s your most important priority.

Tips for Building a House When You’ve Never Owned a Home Before

Tips for Building a House When You’ve Never Owned a Home Before

Tips for Building a House When You’ve Never Owned a Home Before

Photography by Lisa Russman

So, you are a first-time homebuyer, AND you want to build your own home? When you are sure that you are ready to become a homeowner, building your perfect home may be the best choice for you. While the process of building can be a bit different than buying a pre-owned home, it does not have to be scary. Knowing the most important things to consider when designing a house will help, which is why we have compiled this concise list of tips for building a house as a new homeowner.

Home Building Tips for First Time Homeowners

1. Do Your Research
If you have never owned a home before, you may not know what options are available or which type of design elements suit you. Start by looking at lots of houses. While online research is a great starting point, it is often much more beneficial to walk through homes, to feel what it is like to be in these spaces. Visit open houses and ask friends whose homes you admire to poke around a bit. Look for layouts you like, design ideas that catch your eye, and details that interest you. Take photos and keep a detailed list of your thoughts. The clearer you are about what you are looking for in each room of your new home, the easier it is for your residential architect to help you create a design that works for you.

2. Consider Your Needs Now — and For Later
The home you are building will last for decades, so you don’t only want to think about what you might want right now. Are you planning to start a family, or will your family someday get larger? Do you have lots of out-of-town guests, do you entertain a lot, or will you eventually need to care for an aging parent? All of these are factors that you can plan for when you initially envision your home. The list of things to consider when designing a house includes much more than your current lifestyle and needs, which is why creating a home with flexible spaces or the option to add on later could be necessary for some people. 

3. Hire the Right Pros
Building your first home is not the time to go it alone or figure it out along the way. Hiring a residential architect and, later, a contractor will be two important decisions you make when building your first home. These experts will be able to guide the process and give you the best advice on building a new home. Building a house is an immense undertaking, so you must have the best guidance possible. 

4. Plan, Plan, and Plan Some More
The most successful home builds and satisfied homeowners are the result of careful planning before construction even begins. Your architect will work with you to plan for the layout of your home on your lot, where the windows and doors will be, and how many square feet you will have. But these are just the basics. Get out your big list of design ideas (see Step 1) and start planning for all the details of your new home. Lighting, flooring, outlets, switches, flow, storage… everything needs to be concretely decided. Your contractor (and your budget) will thank you when you do not need to make changes after construction has started. 

Building a home is an exciting time that gives you many choices and allows you to create a house that meets your needs. And as first-timers, you have a lot to be excited about! Enjoy the process and be willing to listen to the advice of others, and you will end up with a home you adore!

Why the Open Kitchen Design is Here to Stay

Why the Open Kitchen Design is Here to Stay

Why the Open Kitchen Design is Here to Stay

Photography by Lisa Russman

There are always design trends that come and go, but some seem destined to remain a part of the design landscape. The open kitchen is one design trend that has a long history and is not going anywhere any time soon. Why is this design so popular? And what are the best new open kitchen design ideas being used? And what do we mean, exactly, by “open kitchen” anyway? 

What is an Open Kitchen Layout?
In general, open-concept spaces, whether they be a kitchen or another room, are defined by their elimination of barriers that separate them from other functional areas of the home. In most houses, the open kitchen combines with a dining area, a living room, the outdoors, or some other configuration of space that allows the family to be together whether they are eating, meal prepping, cleaning, or doing other activities. Today’s open kitchen design is often the heart of the “great room,” which usually is some mash-up of a family/living room, eating area, kitchen, and possible other multi-purpose spaces. 

Why this Design Trend Has Lasted
One of the reasons the open kitchen evolved is because the notion of formal dining spaces has been replaced by less-formal, more family-friendly and social-friendly rooms. Families today want comfortable cooking spaces that allow them to interact with others, and the open kitchen is perfect for keeping an eye on homework while preparing lunches or for chatting with your little ones while you clean up after dinner. 

The open floor plan is also favored by those who like to entertain, providing a casual but connected feeling that invites people to enjoy your home and feel at ease. As home footprints are decreasing in size, the open kitchen layout and great room model makes even more sense, as rooms serve many different functions throughout a given day. 

The Latest in Open Kitchen Design Ideas
One of the problems with having an open-concept kitchen is the need to keep it clean and tidy, especially when you are entertaining. When you can see the kitchen from every part of the great room, it becomes a necessity to have space for messes, food prep, and other tasks you do not necessarily want the world to see. Walk-in pantries, butler’s pantries, and other “behind the scenes” areas are perfect for maintaining the open-concept feel while keeping clutter or prep work out of sight as well as out of reach of little fingers.

Many modern open kitchens are also doing away with upper cabinets, which allows you to have more windows, decorative design pieces, or open shelving. With innovations in lower cabinetry, including much more practical use of drawers and shelves that maximize every inch of space, and as more people are learning to live with less, the added storage is not as necessary as it once was. Sometimes called an “unkitchen,” which is characterized by a lack of upper cabinets, your open kitchen may have no built-in cabinets at all, and a feeling much more akin to a living room than a standard kitchen.

Instead of linking your open kitchen to the family room, why not consider opening it up to the backyard, a wall of windows, or a sunroom? If you live in a climate where your outdoor space can be used a good portion of the year, why not make it part of your living and cooking area? And a sure way to get more use from your yard is to link it directly with your kitchen. You will get the benefit of more natural light as well as an open kitchen that changes with the seasons. 

What’s next in open kitchen design ideas? The sky seems to be the limit, but one thing remains clear. The open kitchen layout is here to stay.

We Uncover The Best Room Additions to Add Value and Livability to Your Home

Wonder No More! We Uncover The Best Room Additions to Add Value and Livability to Your Home

We Uncover The Best Room Additions to Add Value and Livability to Your Home

Photography by Lisa Russman

Our lives are always changing, and sometimes, our homes need to change with us to make them more livable. So, which room additions are going to give you the most bang for your buck? And what home addition ideas can increase your home’s value while also giving you the square footage you need? While you have many options when choosing home addition plans, not all will be a good investment for your family. Here are the best room additions to add value and livability to your home. 

Add a Bathroom
In terms of livability and value, adding a bathroom is often your best choice. If you don’t have enough bathrooms in your home, it can significantly influence your resale value, and no one likes to be the one standing on the other side of a locked bathroom door. 

You can sometimes find the space you need for an additional bathroom by “stealing” from other parts of the home, but adding a new room or bumping out an existing one to gain square footage is also an option. A full-size bathroom with a tub can add at least 35 square feet to your home, but imagine the peace and comfort that space will bring to you and your family!

Adding a bathroom will vary widely in costs depending on your materials, the size, whether you need to pour any additional foundation, and a number of other factors, but you can expect to recoup the majority of these in the increased value of your home later one. Talk with your residential architect about your options for adding one to your home. 

Expand the Master Suite
If your home is older or does not include a master suite, then adding on to this part of your home could not only increase your home’s value but also allow you to create the serene getaway you crave. Master suites were not standard in previous decades, but new home buyers expect large closets, ensuite facilities, and plenty of room in their primary bedroom. 

If you are just adding to the bedroom, a master suite expansion can be relatively inexpensive. If you start adding or moving a bathroom, prices can start to rise. But often, just bumping out one wall a few feet and rearranging the space inside is enough to give you the luxurious master suite you long for. 

Extend Your Kitchen
When it comes to your return on investment, it’s hard to go wrong with a kitchen expansion. As the hub of any family home, the kitchen is used daily and becomes the gathering spot for everyone, even the family pet. When your kitchen is small or lacks sufficient storage or counter space, it affects the livability of your home every day. By extending your kitchen, you not only increase your enjoyment and the usability of this room, but future buyers will appreciate it as well. 

Depending on the state of your current kitchen and the size of the expansion, costs for a kitchen upgrade can vary widely. Costs for building a 200 square foot addition that is to be all kitchen  can range from $100,000 to $200,000+, but the good news is that investment will also increase your home’s value significantly if you make smart choices. Gutting an existing kitchen and renovating the space into a new kitchen is a great way to increase home value. It also responds to the way families live today; what was a space meant for one person a hundred years ago is now meant for multiple cooks and their family and friends to hang out. The cost to renovate a kitchen in its current footprint is usually around 10% of what the house would list at in the market. Working with a residential architect will help you make the best choices for your family as well as for the lasting value of your home. 

Make the Right Choice for You
Understanding which room additions can improve your home’s resale value is essential, but if you plan to stay in your home for some time, it is more vital that you make decisions based on your family’s needs, because livability has value, as well. A residential architect can advise you on all your options for home addition plans that give you the square footage you need while also protecting your investment.

6 Tips for Building a House When You Have Young Kids

6 Tips for Building a House When You Have Young Kids

6 Tips for Building a House When You Have Young Kids

Photography by Lisa Russman

Your home is where your family will create lasting memories, including the everyday moments your children will cherish for the rest of their lives. Advice on building a new home is full of tips about budgets, timelines, and management, but what are some of the things to consider when designing a house for your new, growing family? What works for your young ones now may not be the best choice in a few years, when teenagers are ruling the roost. Designing your home with a few basic principles in mind can ensure your home continues to meet your needs for many years. Here are six tips for building a house for anyone considering designing a new home for a growing family.

1. Focus on Staying Connected
We are all juggling many responsibilities all at once, and this is also true when we are at home. Focus on open-concept spaces that help you keep an eye on your kids while preparing meals, allow the whole family to use a space for different needs, and provides space for everyone to cohabitate comfortably. Open-concept is a design principle that is here to stay because it allows you to create flexible spaces that can shift over the years, as your needs change.

2. Remember Privacy and Security
Keeping your family safe and protecting your privacy from others is an essential function of home design. Can you see your kids playing outside while you are inside working or doing chores? How far into your home can someone see when you open the front door? How quickly could you reach young ones in the middle of a late-night emergency? Creating paths, sightlines, and access points for safety are vital with little ones, but as they get bigger, being able to monitor their comings and goings will also be necessary.

3. Make Every Inch Count
Smart designs make use of every square foot in your home. Storage should be incorporated in every room in your home, including making use of wasted spaces and underutilized areas. Use the corners and edges of rooms to create small nooks and more intimate spaces that can change as your kids grow up and out. Don’t limit one room to a single purpose, either.

4. Bedrooms Should Stand the Test of Time
Your kids are big a lot longer than they are little, so while tiny bedrooms may work for a while, they aren’t the best option down the road. Plan bedrooms to accommodate at least a double bed to ensure that the room serves many purposes later on. If you want to create an office, craft space, or multi-purpose room in the future, it’s easier to work with a larger area. Even if your kids stay in twin beds the whole time they live with you, larger bedrooms will help you sell your house later, too.

5. Flow is Just as Important as Space
While having enough room is essential, so is how the space works together. You can have a huge house that doesn’t feel comfortable or work for your family if the rooms do not work together to create a cohesive space. The space of the shape matters and a residential architect can help you make the most of whatever space you have.

6. Choose Materials that Will Last
When you have small kids, you want materials that are easy-to-clean and rugged. As they get older, you still want your home to look beautiful and stand up to years of use. Invest in materials that are built to last and will require less of the kind of maintenance that will force you away from enjoying time with your family.

If you have any questions, would like to know more about working with an NJ architect or want to discover more tips for building a house, please reach out to our team today.

Breaking the NJ Architecture Rules with These Design Tips to Help Your Home Stand Out From the Pack

Breaking the NJ Architecture Rules with These Design Tips to Help Your Home Stand Out From the Pack

Breaking the NJ Architecture Rules with These Design Tips to Help Your Home Stand Out From the Pack

Photography by Lisa Russman

If you are building a new home, you want your house to meet your family’s needs, but does it also have to look like every other house on the block? New Jersey architects have lots of great ideas for creating a home for you that is functional as well as fun and shows off your style. While many NJ architecture professionals like following design rules, perhaps you are in the market for someone that enjoys breaking a few, too?

Design trends and rules are great for guiding and inspiring you, but who says inspiration must come from other houses? Or that you can’t be a leader in design instead of always a follower? When choosing from the many architectural firms in New Jersey to design your home, consider looking for one that will give you a design that stands out from the crowd. 

Experiment with Interesting Angles
Some of the most exciting and forward-thinking designs for homes today include a focus on geometry and the use of interesting angles never before seen in residential architecture. Who says a house should be a rectangle or square? Using curved or angled walls allows you to take advantage of the natural surroundings, exploit natural light, and provide privacy to different areas of your home. Plus, funky angles make for exciting indoor spaces that delight kids and adults alike. 

Embrace Bold Colors
Color can transform the look and feel of your home dramatically, but most people shy away from using bold colors on the exterior of their home. Using bold colors, though, doesn’t have to be a risky move if done well. Small houses, for example, can take a bright or vibrant color without becoming overwhelming. Using vivid tints on the trim or to accent a particular architectural design is also a great option. Paint doesn’t have to be scary, and your house does not have to resemble a crayon box for it to stand out. Color can be used to add drama and sophistication for any home’s exterior. 

Use Recycled Materials
Homebuilding has expanded a great deal when it comes to materials as well, as more people are interested in sustainability and choosing local materials whenever possible. Using recycled materials allows you to build a new home with a smaller carbon footprint, and when you reuse construction materials, you can create interesting design elements that catch people’s attention. From reusing timbers to repurposing doors and windows to using new materials made from recycled plastics, rubber, or concrete, you have a wide variety of options from which to choose, and NJ architecture pros can help you make the best choices. 

Create a Healthier, More Efficient Home
When you are considering home designs, the health and welfare of your family should be  priority number one. Things like air quality, the safety of various materials in your home, and the use of chemicals in its construction should not be an afterthought. More homeowners are considering green building options, more natural materials, and water and air filtration needs and including these as part of their home designs. 

Energy efficiency is also more critical than ever before, as fuel costs rise and greenhouse emissions continue to damage the planet. Home designs that take advantage of larger windows to capture more natural warmth can create a bold statement while reducing heating bills. Homes with living roofs are also starting to pop up, providing insulation as well as design interest. Including solar panels and other forms of energy production also helps your home become less dependent on the electrical grid. 

If you are interested in designing a home that combines health, style, function, and flair, you have many NJ architecture professionals from which to choose. Unconventional design doesn’t have to be just for the uber-rich, and your next home could become the inspiration for your block.

Need More Space? Home Addition Plans That Work Now and For Decades to Come

Need More Space? Home Addition Plans That Work Now and For Decades to Come

Need More Space? Home Addition Plans That Work Now and For Decades to Come

Photography by Lisa Russman

Deciding to add on to your home is a big decision; it can even be a little scary. After all, with how much some house additions cost, wouldn’t it be better just to buy a different house? But adding more space to your home doesn’t have to be daunting, and with the right advice and support, your home addition plans can add value and comfort to your home both now and well into the future. 

Depending on your needs and budget, several home addition plans could help your house become your dream home, one that will allow you to stay where you are. Home additions enable your kids to remain in their schools, your family to stay close to friends and neighbors, and for you to realize the full potential of your current home. Adding on to your home can be the perfect solution in tight markets or when relocation is not an option. So which type of house expansion project will work best for those looking to hang on to their home for many years to come? Here are a few options. 

Add a Second Floor
Arguably the most ambitious of home addition plans, creating a second story on your home is a perfect choice for some families. This type of addition can cost anywhere from $125,000 to $250,000 for a full, mid-grade design. As another option, adding dormers to an attic level can convert an unoccupied space into more habitable space and the cost is closer to $15,000  to $25,000 per dormer. Prices will all depend on the size of your home, your location, and your design choices, but a second story addition can add tremendous square footage to your living area while greatly increasing the resale value of your home.

Working with a residential architect will help you design a second floor that blends seamlessly with the other parts of your home, reimagine current spaces, and dream of what you could do with a house that nearly doubles in size. If you have the budget, adding upwards is the house expansion plan that will most significantly improve your current home while increasing its value. 

Finish That Basement
If you have a basement, finishing it can, like adding a second story, add significant square footage to the livable area of your home. You can use a finished basement as a small apartment for aging parents, older children, or even tenants. It can also become the living room/home theater/game room for your growing family. The right architect can transform your basement from the dingy, dark space we all love to hate into the livable area you need. 

A basement project, depending on size and scope, can be much more affordable than second story additions. The average cost of finishing a basement starts around $20,000 and goes up from there depending on if you need to add plumbing, electrical or other major components. If you plan to have a bedroom in the basement, remember to include a walkout or emergency windows for safety. Your architect and contractor can help you ensure you are meeting all local codes, as well.

Turn Your Porch into a Sunroom
If you enjoy spending time on your porch or patio, then transforming it into a sunroom can provide you with year-round access as well as supplemental living space that could be just what your family needs. A sunroom is an excellent alternative to a conventional home addition as it is more budget-friendly. And this space can be used for many purposes over the years. While your kids are young, this room could be used for homework or as a place to practice hobbies. As your family’s needs change, the sunroom can become a library, a reading room, or a hangout space for your older children.

Sunrooms are not meant to be used as permanent bedrooms nor do they usually include plumbing, so their building requirements differ from more traditional room additions. Talk with your residential architect about the benefits of adding a sunroom to your home, as well as the potential resale value in your area. 

Adding more space doesn’t have to be daunting. These home addition ideas will give you the space you need and provide the dream home you’ve always wanted.

How Residential Interior Design Choices Can Give You the Family-Friendly Yet Stylish Home You Crave

How Residential Interior Design Choices Can Give You the Family-Friendly Yet Stylish Home You Crave

How Residential Interior Design Choices Can Give You the Family-Friendly Yet Stylish Home You Crave

Photography by Lisa Russman

Designing a home that meets the needs of your family does not mean that you have to sacrifice style or flair. The right residential interior designer can help create a custom home that combines family-friendly architecture with kid-friendly home design. If you want to create a space that can change directions and meet the evolving needs of your family, you don’t have to sacrifice beauty for function. You can have both. 

Thoughtful Design Brings Families Together
Choosing your interior design style should include creating spaces that are meant to foster togetherness and connectivity, not divide your family. Today’s residential architects can help you design a custom home that allows one parent to be helping with homework while the other prepares a meal nearby. Separate rooms are a thing of the past as modern families want to spend more time together. The right layout and interior design will help ensure that you don’t miss out on essential moments together as a family, and communal spaces and open-plan areas are perfect for achieving this goal. 

Design with Noise in Mind
Home design isn’t just about how things look. Sound is an important consideration, too. How will your home function when kids want to play video games, listen to music, talk with their friends, or watch tv? Are there flex spaces, where louder activities can occur, which can still be used for other purposes by the rest of the family? Can the home office during the day serve as a game room after hours? Is there space for a playroom that transitions to a hangout space when the kids get older? Keeping these things in mind will ensure that everyone has room to do their thing while others can still enjoy quiet moments. 

Always Include Storage
Kids have a lot of stuff. And if you don’t want your home to look like a war zone constantly, then you should adopt residential interior design styles that include places to store all those gadgets, games, books, and toys that come with having a family. Building storage into the room’s structure, in the beginning, means everything will have a place, which keeps your house looking great no matter the occasion. 

Pick Durable Materials
Some of the best, kid-friendly materials are also the most beautiful ones. For example, hardwood floors are the easiest to keep clean and maintain, plus they stand up to just about anything your kids can dish out. While carpet may be great when they are learning to crawl, that is only a short window in the long life of your house, so choose materials that are built to last and will look great even after four kids and three dogs have had their way with them. 

Pick design elements that are not fussy and are easy to clean. Leather furniture is easy to clean and rugged but also adds warmth to your space. Cordless blinds are simple, stand up to abuse, and are safe around little ones. Wood, solid surface counters, and tile are excellent design choices that add beauty as well as longevity to your home. Your interior designer can help you select the best options that will be made to last. 

Don’t Neglect the Outdoor Spaces
Kids love playing outdoors. Including outdoor living spaces in your home improves its family-friendliness. Give your family a natural, safe environment to enjoy the outdoors while spending time together. Patios, porches, rooftop gardens, and decks are just a few ways you can include the outdoors as a part of your home, and planning ahead for this will ensure you still have the functional spaces, like driveways, garages, and tool sheds, that you need.