Design and Inspiration

The Perfect House – For You

Published on

November 7, 2023

The Perfect House – For You

If you’re considering building a new home or renovating an existing property, Salling & Co. has come up with some guidelines to get you started.

Define your home’s program

Determine how many bedrooms and bathrooms you want. Think about the spaces you need as well as the rooms that would be nice but aren’t required. At this stage, it can be fun to dream big. Is having a flower arranging room a luxury or a necessity? The answer will differ for different homeowners.

Think about your lifestyle and how you want to live in your home. Questions you might ask yourself include:

  • Is a formal dining room or living room required?
  • Is an “open” floorplan right for you?
  • Do you entertain often?  If so, is it for an intimate 2 or a festive 20-plus? Or both?
  • Do you want to incorporate outdoor living? A deck or pergola can extend your living space beyond the walls of your home.
  • How do you use your Kitchen – do you try every NYT Cooking recipe published or do you prefer reheating Uber Eats deliveries?
  • Do you have pets? Is a designated dog wash space important? Or would a cabinet incorporating a litter box change your life for the better?
  • Is this the home in which you plan to “age in place”?
  • Check back here often for more Journal posts on these and more subjects.

 Get inspired!

Visit local neighborhoods and Open Houses;

Look at shelter magazines, websites and social media posts. See our Journal posts, “Our Favorite Design Websites and Social Media Profiles” and “Our Favorite Design Books” for a peek into the various and varied resources we visit for inspiration.

Think about architectural styles that appeal to you and what might be appropriate for your neighborhood.

Do you favor the symmetry and order of a Georgian manor over a rambling Shingle style home? Or is a Cape Dutch Revival home with its ornate gable more your style? With the large number of architectural styles out there, it can be hard to narrow down your favorite.  Try making a list of pros and cons of all the styles you like. Study each one and consider its history, key features, and the emotions it evokes. If you find a few styles you like, discuss your findings with your architect to gain further insights.

Context is important! Although you may have loved the Mediterranean villa where you stayed on vacation in Sicily, its open loggias and clay tiled roofs may not work in a New England town. When thinking about your home’s architectural style, look around you. It’s important to strike a balance between your personal taste and contextual aesthetics.

Think local when deciding on a materials palette for your home!  Materials found in your area not only respond better to the local climate, they can also enhance your home’s sense of place.

Look beyond trends.  Posts by design influencers flood our social media feeds, and it’s all too easy to “pin” all those sexy images that pop up on Pinterest.  But it’s important to remember that while fashion trends change seasonally, you can’t change your home’s architectural style as easily as changing your skirts’ hemline to reflect the latest trend.

Establish your critical priorities.

We’ve identified 5 priorities that clients often have when building or renovating a home. Identifying your top priorities can make the process smoother and help alleviate unwanted surprises.

  • Quality – if you don’t want to sacrifice quality but budget is an issue, it can be smart to build smaller and simpler but better.  Make a commitment to only do what you can afford to do well!
  • Function – if getting the most out of your living spaces is a priority, talk to your design team about establishing a functional home design approach.
  • Aesthetics – if you’ve dreamed of having a Classically correct Georgian country house, make sure that you work with designers who are thoroughly familiar with the style’s design elements and on board with your visual goals.
  • Costs – is there a budget that you want or need to maintain?  If so, be upfront and firm with your design team on your financial expectations and make keeping costs in check a priority.
  • Schedule – do you have an anniversary, birthday or other big event that you want to celebrate in your new home?  If so, mapping out a design and construction plan that adheres to a strict timeline might be a top priority

Select your design team.

Engaging an architect early in the process can help you answer the questions above and narrow down your critical priorities.  At Salling & Co., we start every project by getting to know our clients and developing a thorough understanding of their goals, aspirations and limitations.

Your architect can also help you identify other consultants that may add value to a project, like an interior designer, landscape architect, lighting designer, mechanical engineer or audio-visual consultant. Working with our clients and consultants to refine and optimize the design, ensures that the character and function of the home meets the owners’ taste, personality, and needs.

Getting the right general contractor on board is key to a smooth construction process.   At Salling & Co., we work with clients to find a builder who is the right fit for their budget, design and lifestyle needs as well as personality.  We work with contractors by providing clear and concise drawings and specifications so they can provide accurate pricing, scheduling and ensure an efficient construction process.  We continue working with them throughout the construction process to ensure the design intent is understood and executed as well and efficiently as possible. We enjoy working with dedicated builders to deliver a superior home for our clients.

Stay Involved

With its myriad of decisions to be made, building or renovating a home can be stressful.  However, we’ve noticed that clients who remain engaged in the process and provide thoughtful and timely feedback often have the best experience.

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