Your individual requirements, your wants and needs are going to have an influence on the total concept, format and look of your home.
Your lifestyle, whether it tends to formal entertaining or to casual outdoor barbeques, your hobbies and interests and whether you may be just starting a family or at the retiring stage of your life, will dictate your personal requirements and preferences.
This passage is a lot easier in practice than it is for me to explain it, so bear with me.
By taking pen to paper, write a list of requirements and then work your way through it, critically examining each item to validate it and then to prioritise its importance.
Some items you may feel are a foregone conclusion, but list them anyway. - You may have definite ideas. If you're married or you have children, everyone needs to sit down and have input.
The corner bar in the Lounge room that you've always wanted may not be a priority to your spouse when the budget dictates a decision between it and the new microwave oven.
For example your list may start with a main heading of Lifestyle -
Casual outdoor entertaining. Family orientated activities.
Occasional friends over for meals.
At this particular moment and stage in your career these may be correct and valid. Two years down the track when you're up for a managerial position, the dining table in the Family room to cater for occasional visitors may not be suitable for having business associates over for a meal.
The removal of a formal dining area from your list may have been a mistake.
Next, your list should start from the outside of the home and then progress inside, listing each individual room, the requirements and furnishings for the room and its relationship to other rooms (and outdoor areas).
Outside. Garage - 2 cars, workshop area 3m*3m, room to store bikes, lawn mower, whipper snipper, garbage bins.
Fernery next to BBQ area outside family room. . . . . . . .
Inside. Entry area - double entry doors, single door coats cupboard, room for plant or planter box, mirror behind plants.
Office - computer, fax machine, telephone, filing cabinet, book shelf with drawers under or drawers somewhere for documents, close to front door, bedroom??, big window for plenty of light, glare on computer monitor??, etc. . . . . .
Lounge room - open fire & wood box to outside, outlook to hills, near to entry, stereo cabinet with room for cds & records, coffee table, double seater & 2 singles, 3 or 4 indoor pots with palms or ferns, bay window with seat under??, windows up off floor. . . . . .
Laundry - double trough for soaking, trough in bench with room for basket, ironing board to fold out of wall, 2 door cupboard for brooms one side with shelves and lockable, space for dirty clothes basket, drainage outlet in floor, close to kitchen but away from bedrooms.
Having worked your way through the entire home listing every conceivable item, sit back and study your list.
Within each room, place priorities on items - Laundry - 1. Double trough, 2. Clothes basket, 3. Ironing board etc.
Bedroom 2 - 1. Space for 2 single beds, 2. built in wardrobe half hanging half shelves, 3. study bench with computer & shelf above & room for printer, etc, etc
Discuss each area jointly to have everyones input.
At the end you will have a reasonably in depth list of items which will also provide a reference as to how much space and possibly the shape, that will need to be allocated for the various areas.
As your design progresses additional items may become apparent, but at this initial stage you have developed a solid starting point for designing your rooms.
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