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10 Steps for Designing Architectural Detail in your Home 

Throughout the process of designing your new home, various opportunities present themselves which create a significant difference in the architectural quality and character of space your home will provide for years to come. Your consideration of these design factors will greatly affect both marketability and resell value. 

Detail1. Add window area throughout the main living spaces. Focus on locations of transoms, sidelights and French or atrium doors. These will not only brighten your home and accentuate interior space, but add detail, relief and interest to the exterior of your home. 

2. Increase lighting effects and interest through the use of several different types of light sources. Recessed fixtures set 5 feet apart in a foyer, hall or great room provide a dynamic quality to any room. 

3. Plan for potential bonus areas or basements. Many times, bonus spaces become the most interesting rooms in the house. Even if you cannot foresee using these spaces, they provide future flexibility that any potential buyer will value. 

4. Take advantage of attic spaces. If possible, use construction methods and designs which will allow the use of your attic space. Most homes have a great deal of usable attic space for storage or even added living space that has simply not been made accessible. 

5. Use varied ceiling heights in major spaces. By using such effects as vaulted, tray or raised ceilings you can greatly increase the effect a room will have on its occupants. Rooms will seem more spacious and open and will simply be more comfortable. 

6. Divide rooms using low walls or colonnades rather than full height walls where applicable. Certain rooms, especially the great room, dining room, living room and kitchen should seem as open and free flowing as possible. This increases the perceptual size of your home and also improves the connection between spaces. 

7. Accentuate major spaces with trim work. Trim adds detail and richness to any room. Well designed use of trim can affect the perception of scale in a room as well as quality. 

8. Take advantage of opportunities for decks, patios and other exterior amenities. Especially popular with home buyers are split level decks. These provide interest to the exterior of your home as well as good places to support outdoor activities including entertaining or enjoying the outdoors. 

9. Plan for noise. Nothing hurts the enjoyment of your home more than disturbing or unwanted noises. Consider the location of such noise producing items as bathrooms, laundry rooms, and air conditioning closets. If a conflicting location is unavoidable consider the several sound attenuation techniques available. 

10. Design adequate closet space. Most home owners will tell you they could always use more closet space and thus will look expressly for closet and storage space when buying. Make sure that you design enough closet space in your home for both the present and the future. 

UDA Idea Workshop Journal

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