Walking into a new home is always fun, that’s why almost all of us, at one time or another tour homes we don’t intend to buy. New homes appeal to our sense of family, tranquility and of course ego. When trying on a home, we often imagine ourselves entertaining, showing the house to our friends and watching our kids play with their friends. When we envision these activities, homes with an elegant entry, formal areas, wood floors, granite counters, a spacious family room and a backyard show very well.

But, a house we live in sees these activities for just a few hours a week or sometimes just a few hours a month. A house we live in most likely sees older kids doing homework, younger kids with toys scattered all over the floor, families grabbing a quick meal before or after a soccer game, tired parents in their pajamas sipping coffee in the morning or a rare occurrence when everyone gathers in front of the TV for a movie. A “living” house is quite different than a “showing” house. So which do you choose? A house that works for a few hours a month or for most hours every day? I’m not a fan of making that choice. I think homes need to do both and do both well.

Elegance comes from materials and visual layout.  Livability comes from the floor plan. When you combine these elements, you have a home that is both great to entertain in and to live in. Proper design and detail enhances elegance and livability. Well-designed cabinetry can hide the clutter of living while still presenting a striking impression to guests. The right sized rooms provide space for family living without chopping the house into small areas that will not see much use or large areas that will be seldomed used. Art spaces provide room for showcasing taste while also protecting items from young hands.

The next time you visit a new home ask yourself some real-life everyday questions: 

  • Where can I keep an eye on my kids while they do their homework?
  • Do I want everyone to see my coffee maker and blender?
  • Can I get to the kitchen in my pajamas without showing my outfit to the neighbors?
  • Where are we going to eat pizza after the soccer game?
  • Where is everyone going to kick off their shoes and drop their backpacks, purses or briefcases?
  • Where do I charge my iPhone?

When there are good answers to these questions, the house is a pleasure to live in.

Interested in building a new home or remodeling your existing one? Give me a call, I’d love to discuss how you can have a home that shows well, entertains well and lives well.

William S. Briggs, Architect, PLLC