Why Name Rooms?
The norm is to think of a home in terms of specific rooms. We often challenge homeowners to consider their goals for how they want to live in the home, what they’d like their new home to solve, what needs it should meet — without assigning specific rooms.
Pre-conceptions accompany room names. If a homeowner says, “I need an office,” suddenly the solution is a defined room with a desk and chair. This may be oversimplifying, limit creativity, and actually NOT meet the need. Let’s examine what can happen if a homeowner expresses the problem as “I need a place to do some occasional work on my laptop, and gain some privacy to take a call here and there”. The fresh description allows the designer to solve the problem and to overcome the challenge in new ways. Suddenly we go from the constraints of ‘an office’ to the freedom to create a solution that fits your particular needs and desires. We may create a nook off another space, or add a built-in seat with a great view that remains open to the rest of the home and can also serve as a reading or game area. Or, we might carve out what we call an by simply shutting a door, a workstation or library the next. The possibilities reach far beyond the constraints that come with naming ‘an office’.
Timber frames allow for open volumes and floor plans with less formally designated spaces. This provides ample opportunity to blur the lines and opens up possibilities. Multi-tasking and flex areas, spaces identified in new ways with more roles than those traditionally assigned, are integral in our work. One example: the kitchen island. Rather than serving as only a prep space, incorporating USB ports can make it an ideal workspace for kids to complete homework. Slightly raising or lowering a portion of the island creates casual entertaining space separated from cooking areas while still allowing the surface to accommodate a large puzzle during a stay-cation.
Express your needs and allow your designer to propose solutions that are customized to your desires, your family lifestyle, your project site, and your budget — the results will be well-worth it.