The Most Common Layout Mistakes

The Most Common Layout Mistakes

The Most Common Layout Mistakes Made By Homeowners

Homeowners are responsible for the interior design of their homes, but what is often misunderstood is the impact that the layout of the property can have on the lives of those within. While you may assume that once you buy a house you’re stuck with the layout it’s been designed with, this isn’t quite the case.

While most properties will have some limitations structurally, there’s often a lot more potential in your home than you may have considered. However, this isn’t to say you should start knocking walls down and extending or adding to living spaces without thorough consultation and analysis. Expert involvement is always encouraged, but where it doesn’t happen, these are the top mistakes homeowners make with their house layouts…

Mismatching a Floor Plan and Lifestyle

The biggest factor that should influence the layout of a family home is the life being led by those within; as it’s this that the house should facilitate. Aiming for a new layout of the home without considering this will result in a mismatch that could make things more difficult in the long run.

If you host lots of guests, or have young or old people in the house, ensure WC facilities are on the ground floor and are easily accessible. If you have an outdoor space that’s used often, ensure access to it is through a public area rather than a bedroom or home office. These little details will make all the difference in how your home is used and will make sure that the flow through it is easy for all.

Unbalancing Form and Function

Many layouts look great on paper but don’t work quite as well when you’re living in them – which is why specialist intervention is required when designing something that balances both form and function. Both must be considered and weighed up to find the right solution.

For example, many houses place a kitchen at the back of the house to hide it away behind a more picturesque living area – but this can result in difficulty carrying heavy groceries from front door to unpack them, and without a dining area in between can make for a risk of food spillage en route. Another issue frequently enacted (presumably unintentionally!) is to create a walkway in front of a television or other screen; blocking the views of those trying to watch it. Balancing form with function will help ensure that the layout looks great but works practically; never compromising on style or situation. A layout designer will help nurture you through this by encouraging you to envisage your routines in the new space and work with them to create something bespoke.

Allocating Space Poorly

A few centimetres wasted in a room can make a significant difference to a living space, even in larger properties and so space should be utilised in the best way possible. Optimising walkways and nurturing the flow through the home also feeds into the form vs function balance as discussed above, but must often consider safety concerns such as emergency routes too.

Saving space will not only provide more elsewhere but can also transform the look and feel of a room; shifting from cluttered, crowded and claustrophobic to welcoming, open and airy.

Forgetting Smart Storage

An open-plan minimalistic layout makes for great photos in an interior design magazine, but doesn’t always translate directly to busy family life. The inclusion of a few shelves and storage units can change everything and reduce clutter later on.

The type of storage best suited to a home depends on who lives within it and what items they’re likely to have, as well as where it should be located. For example, bicycles, skateboards and shoes need to be stored near an entrance, toys in the room within which they’ll be played with and files and documents close to a phone or laptop for quick access. Adequate storage is priceless and there’s lots of clever storage solutions that conceal items without taking up too much room; just ask your designer for options!

Neglecting to consider Furniture

Realistically, the last thing you tend to consider in a home layout is the furniture you’ll place within once complete; but this shouldn’t be treated as an afterthought. Furniture must be placed theoretically within designs, particularly when working with open plan layouts, to ensure that it works with the flow and usability of the space.

It is generally advised that you either plan your layout with larger furniture pieces in mind or hold off until your layout has been installed in order to fit it in. For open plan layouts, less wall space often means less places to ‘naturally’ place furniture and so homeowners must carefully balance the size and stature of pieces throughout.

Planning On-The-Go

Home layouts require careful advance planning and should not be worked on ad hoc. Making design decisions with expert intervention upfront helps optimise space usage, streamline flow and take advantage of opportunities that only a professional would spot.

Without the design conception and planning taking place before work begins, more fees will be incurred along the way. Although it may seem intimidating to seek out specialist architectural advice, this will save on time, money and stress later down the line – and will ensure you’re well aware of any potential risks or obstacles well ahead of time.

Ignoring Existing Infrastructure

Much of the structural infrastructure of a home is hidden, such as the load-bearing apparatus of walls, chimney supports, wiring and drainage pipes. This can limit what is safe in terms of repositioning layouts.

Specialist support can help you identify the best place to relocate and shift spaces in the best possible way without inadvertently causing issues further down the line. Working with your existing environment will help avoid spending too much time and money later on and will ensure everything is done as safely as possible; futureproofing your home in the long run.

VERS Pro can help you investigate and instigate layout changes to your home, navigating you out of the pitfalls along the way. Get in touch with our design team to learn more!

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