North, in this interview with The Calgary Herald says, I think the boom of the big-house era is coming to an end. So those houses will be less desirable and valuable as time goes on. Expect a shift to smaller, more energy-efficient homes, North says, and a move away from homes on the fringes of cities. A decade ago, a 5,000-sq.-ft. home sounded like a dream to some. These days, that much square footage sounds like a noose around your neck. Theres uncertainty about the energy cost to heat your house. Slowing down to design a space that is functional, long-lasting, meets the needs of the family now and later, and is, of course, stylish and comfortable - thats the aim of the slow home movement.
Distinguishing between universal and adaptable design may seem difficult at first, but when one realizes that these principles have less to do about the installation of specific items and are more about a designers perspective, it all begins to make better sense. And the designers perspective is heavily influenced by a thorough client assessment.
Most home designers will have some type of discovery process that will help identify the basics for your home design. It will start with the configuration of your lot and proceed through items such as privacy requirements, work areas, outdoor spaces, etc. Although this process is critical to your project, it rarely drills down enough to transform your design into a home that will serve your needs for a lifetime. Here are two keys of good home design that must be addressed up-front: a) assessing the homeowners current needs; and, b) anticipating the future needs of people living in the home. Before you say Yeah, yeah...Ive heard this all before! lets take a closer look at what current needs entail.
There are a couple of tools that a designer can use to evaluate the needs of their clients. One of those tools is the Comprehensive Assessment and Solution Process for Aging Residents (CASPAR). CASPAR was designed for healthcare professionals to evaluate their clients ability to carry out routine activities in the home. This is also useful in determining the requirements of people who have disabilities.
Each design they offered would be focused on your specific needs, whether it is for one room or your entire home. Even if you want to furnish a room with your own major pieces, a furnishing design service such as this can recommend the occasional furniture such as individual rockers or coffee tables, and even offer help with the accent pieces such as mirrors, vases and so on. In fact, you can make use of a free home design service even if only to choose the most appropriate fabric for your sofas and chairs to match your existing room décor.