Have you ever spent the night in a hospital room with a loved one? Oh, they may have a recliner that folds out almost flat, but you’re not going to get much sleep. The nurses are going to be coming in at all hours to check vital signs, just to make sure everything’s okay; at least once or twice there’ll be a loud disturbance in an adjoining room; and, inevitably some machine that’s hooked up to your loved one is going to start beeping. Those annoyances then become increasingly problematic as you retell the story of that night.

Sadly, the same holds true for home design. Overlooked design aspects that can quickly become annoyances for your new homeowners can become a major part of their story. While lot characteristics and the size of the home may dictate certain design compromises, here are some annoying design faux pas we’ve heard recently, and some Design Basics’ plan solutions!

8160Coming in from the garage and stepping right into the kitchen, eating area, or family room. You’ve been working in your garden or perhaps it’s been snowing. Your shoes/boots are messy. A transition space such as a rear foyer will be sorely missed in such a layout.

5180Coming in from the garage and having to walk thru the kitchen. While kitchens may have evolved from functional workplaces to now also being an integral part of your home’s entertaining area, they are not a thoroughfare! Even worse are such designs that require you (and the kids or the grandkids) to walk right by the cook top that may still be hot.

6651Front entry views of a toilet. From the annals of “A guy must have designed this – no woman would have,” comes this design no-no. Since bathroom doors are usually left open to signal the bathroom is not in use, if there’s a bathroom off the entry foyer, make sure the toilet is not visible.

And, in this same design, front door swing blocks staircase access. If you can’t access your staircase when the front door is open, keep working to relocate the front door or the staircase! 

The Salem - Plan 3842Door swings that make you move from vanity. Some bathroom arrangements position a vanity right as you enter the bathroom, which can be an issue when shaving or putting on makeup and your spouse needs to come into the bathroom. Design Basics’ Salem plan (3842) solves this potential problem by having bathroom doors that swing into the bedroom rather than swinging into the bathroom.

6725Having to walk thru one room to get to another. While hallways have been referred to by some as “a waste of space,” having to walk through one room to get to another may disrupt conversations or block TV views.

2316Tiny coat closets. Even in the warmest climates, closet storage is essential – and nothing beats the convenience of storage located near the front door. In the example shown, the tiny twin coat closets flanking the entry door are inadequate in terms of storage, and they’re expensive to trim out compared to a decent size single closet.


56110aLong grocery traffic.
When you think about how people actually live in their homes, it’s amazing there are so many home designs with the kitchen positioned far from the garage entry into the home. Having to carry heavy grocery sacks clear across the house becomes a real pain.

Find your ideal floor plan with Design Basics’ plan search tool. Or, contact us for assistance.

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