p a r t 1
P A R T 1
Come up with a basic vision.
Before you draw a single line, picture what kind of home you would want to live in if money were no object. The earliest stages of the design process are not about building materials or zoning regulations, but about how you define your desires. Chances are, you already have a few images in mind that just need to be fleshed out.
- Think carefully about the homes you fantasize about. What is it about the way they look that appeals to you?
Look through architecture publications.
Poring over some domestic architecture photo-books or home design magazines at the bookstore can be a good way to get your wheels turning. You'll get a good overview of current design trends, along with styles that were fashionable in past decades or are just now catching on in other parts of the country. For instance, you might see yourself living in a cozy European-influenced cottage, or gravitate towards something more sleek, modern, and minimalist.
- Due to the way tastes constantly evolve, many design styles that have long been considered outdated (such as Art Deco and mid-century modern) are now beginning to make a comeback.
- Don't feel like you have to limit yourself to a few specific types of architecture just because they're what's fashionable. The winning style is the one that speaks to your personal sensibilities.
Tour neighborhoods with houses that spark your imagination.
Go for a drive through a few of the subdivisions in your area and scope out the houses there. Forget about whether or not such a home is within your price range for now—you’re just mining for ideas that you can borrow when it comes time to begin designing your own home.
- Take notes on what you like about each property, as well as what you’re not so keen on. It’s just as important to know what sorts of features you don’t want as what you do.
- Keep an eye out for homes that are up for sale. An open house could present a great opportunity to take a closer look at a particular home inside and out.