How to Create a More Open Feeling House
Even if you're just reorganizing, here are some important rules that you should try to stick to when you're trying to create a more open-feeling house.
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Whether you are planning home renovations or just decluttering your house, it’s best to think about how each room will be used.
If you have a family, that means that you have to consider the kids and put them at the heart of your design. Designing a family home is a lot different from designing any other home and there are a lot of specific things that you need to consider.
Even if you're just reorganizing your family home, here are some important rules that you should try to stick to to create a more open-feeling house.
Create Large Multifunctional Spaces
Open floor plans are ideal in family homes for a few reasons.
Firstly, if you have a large, open space, and you set it up in such a way that you can use it for multiple things, you make better use of your space.
For example, a large entrance way with some good storage can be used as a place for kids to put their shoes and bags when they get in from school. A sectioned off corner of the living room with some storage boxes for toys makes a great alternative to a playroom. When you have a growing family, it’s so important that you learn to be efficient with space like this. (Having said that, you do need some smaller rooms that are separated, like a home office, for example.)
As well as using the space effectively, large open floor plans increase visibility through the house and into the garden. Kids like to come and go and it’s important that you can always keep an eye on them, especially when they are younger. Having more visibility and fewer walls in the home will make this a lot easier.
How do I make my house feel more open?
Here's a quick list of strategies you can try:
Declutter. Seriously, if you haven't used it in 6 months, you probably want to donate it to your local Goodwill.
Rearrange Furniture. Most of us have our furniture right where we threw it when it came off the moving truck. This is totally normal, but may not be the best place for it to live. Think about what you can change around to maximize your space.
Smarter Storage. If you are keeping lots of toys, doodads, knickknacks, or whatever out in the open, it makes your house look cluttered. Try thematic storage containers to hold your lesser-used items.
Create Open Space. We tend to fill up our houses, but don't forget the aesthetic value of an empty counter, a simple, open floor, or a sparsely-decorated room. Less is often way more pleasing to the eye.
Focus On The Kitchen First
The kitchen is the heart of the home for most families, so you should always focus on that first.
It’s where you cook and eat meals but it’s also a place for the kids to sit and do their homework or for you to entertain friends and family. When you are looking over your budget (whether you're budgeting renovation money or cleaning time to spend in what areas), make sure to dedicate a good portion of it to a kitchen makeover and try to make cutbacks elsewhere in the house.
If you invest in a well designed, modern kitchen, it serves as a great multifunctional space that the whole family can enjoy.
Choose Materials Wisely
It’s always important to make informed decisions about the materials that you use in the home, but it’s especially important when you have a family.
You need to remember that kids are messy, and they spill things, which means that soft furnishings and carpets can be a risk. Carpets also wear down in high traffic areas, so it may be best to go for wooden flooring in most rooms. You don’t want to spend too much on home maintenance, so it’s important that you choose kid-proof materials.
It’s important that you keep these 3 rules in mind when designing a family home, so you can make sure that it meets your needs.
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Liz (or Dr. Mommy, as her toddler started calling her after learning what a PhD was) is the happily sleep-deprived mom of a baby boy (and professional raccoon noise impersonator), a sparkle-clad toddlernado, a teenage stepdaughter, the canine embodiments of Pinky and The Brain, and a rabbit of unusual size. During nights and naptimes, she uses her PhD in business psychology as an author, speaker, and consultant. She also serves as an executive and principal for three companies, two of which she co-founded with her very patient (and equally exhausted) husband.
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