Almost all discovery processes used by home designers focus on the use and space requirements of the rooms in the house. This is good, but too little attention is given to the personal needs of the people actually living in the home. Without performing a comprehensive assessment of the clients functional abilities, identifying areas of the home where modifications are necessary is often overlooked.
Adaptable design is different in concept from universal design. Where universal design benefits people of all ages and abilities, adaptable design allows the home to be modified for a specific need. An example of adaptable design would be designing a two-story home with stacked closets a closet on the first floor directly below and aligned with a closet on the second floor so that a residential elevator or lift could easily be installed in the future. In contrast, a universal design item might be the installation of lever door handles that are easier to use for people who have lost the ability to grip a standard round door knob. These lever handles also benefit anyone who may have their hands full with groceries and want to release the door latch by using their forearm or elbow, for example. Children also have an easier time using lever door handles.
This article is not your basic primer on selecting your dream home. Nor does it contain the list of items to ask your designer - these things can be found on any designers website or Google search. As important as those items are, what we are going to do here is drill-down into the design a little, bypass the fan-fare and talk about some specific concepts that will really make a difference in your life. Matching your house to your lifestyle begins with an exploration of your needs and wants.
This is particularly the case if you have purchased a new home and want to decorate it to your own tastes. In such cases you can choose your style, begin with the wall-coverings and carpet, and then seek furniture to suit - or do it the other way around. Would it not be best to combine the two and use a furniture design service to select your furniture and home furnishings so that the results looks natural, well matched and balanced?
What is slow home design? Basically, it is the principle of slowing down to design homes and spaces that are sustainable, practical and functional. The slow home movement began in 2006 when John Brown, Matthew North, and Carina van Olm wanted to create a critical response to the poor design practices that pervade the mass housing industry. Our intent is to advocate for a more thoughtful approach to residential design that improves the quality of our daily lives and reduces our impact on the environment. Slow home design strives for a more considered, calm and intuitive approach to residential design. The concept is to use well-considered design principles to create smaller homes that will be both environmentally sustainable and literally so, in the sense of being built to endure. The practice also includes remodels of existing, appropriately sized older homes that need updating.