Ah, Spring. This time of year I love to sit outside, ignore the housework piling up and dream over magazines of home plans. Plan viewing in my house often brings on lively discussion, debates and laughter. My daughters think they each need a master suite of their own, complete with dressing rooms, private bath, closets the size of most garages, and lots of space to hang out with their friends. My husband and I think they need a home of their own, but since they aren’t legally adults there isn’t much we can do about it!
The problem with looking at home plans is I can never find that perfect plan to suit me, my lifestyle, my needs, and my land. Plus, my wallet is only so fat! Thus my daughters will never have their dreams realized in my home – for that, they’re on their own. In order to find the perfect house for me, I have decided I will need to design it myself.
Designing your own home is tough. Face it, there’s much to think about but great resources do exist to help you along the way. Home design programs abound and if you are not so tech-savvy, a pencil and graph paper still works. But where do you start?
Great home design starts with you. What have you liked about homes you’ve had in the past? What do you like about your current home? Okay, now what did you hate? What are your NEEDS? Needs are very differernt from wants. If you need it, you have to spend money on it. If you want it, chances are too many WANTS and you’ll break the budget. So that’s the easy part. if you’re still having trouble, check out Room By Room: Designing Your Timber Frame Home by Tony Hanslin and Tina Skinner. For less than $20 you have a workbook to help you think all this through.
Now I have to put it all together somehow, so I continue by considering how I will live in the home. Will everyone congregate in the kitchen? Will I entertain a lot? Will I spend a lot of time outdoors? I have to think of how the house needs to work. At this point, I grab that pencil and paper, or napkin or whatever, and start drawing out a rough sketch of what I want. Remember, I am not a home design professional so no one expects architectural drawings from me! This is a good thing as it looks like a drawing one of my friend’s children drew for me once!
I have gone through this phase many times over the years so by this point I have lost a bit of steam; but not hope! All this planning and drawing has not been in vain. I tuck my treasures away in a safe place so I may revisit them another day. I WILL get my dream home one day and when I do, I’ll be ready with plans and drawings. In the meantime I guess I will go in to clean the home I have and daydream about the great housekeeper I’m going to hire when I build!