How to Ensure Your Safety in an Open Home Design

October 22, 2014 at 11:14 pm

openplanOpen home design, or better known as open floor plan, started becoming popular in the 1980′s and have become even more widely-used in contemporary houses. While individual rooms and compartmentalized areas are still common in many houses, an increasing number of homeowners are opting for open floor plans in order to better integrate with their busy lifestyle as well as foster more interaction and conversation between family members. This page provides background innformation on how open home design started and its early advocates.

Admittedly, there are both pros and cons when it comes to adopting an open home design. The main advantage is the maximization of available space. You can more easily rearrange and repurpose your available spaces and furniture because there are less walls or compartments to restrict ease of access. Your living room can double as an additional dining area with more tables and chairs when you host a dinner party. Or if you are watching a big football game and hosting a viewing party, you can temporarily remove the dining table set-up and opt for more couches and chairs around the big screen TV.

As for the drawbacks, noise management is more of a necessity if you have an open floor plan. Because there are less walls, noise from one area of the home can easily travel to the other areas. This may not be as big of an issue if you live alone or you are just a couple, but for families with children this would require additional planning.

Getting an open home design to work takes careful planning. It is not for everyone, but if you’re one of those homeowners who want to try this non-traditional design, here are some safety reminders for homes with open floor plan:

 

  • Secure entrances and windows. An open home design refers only to the spaces in the exterior and should not mean a home that is available for anyone to just trespass into. Make sure your doors and windows have the necessary safety features to keep intruders away. Alarms and electronic home security systems must also be considered. Always check overhead door parts and ensure that they are in optimum condition. Here’s an overhead door parts guide that you can refer to should you need help in doing a regular inspection of these parts.
  • Art work and décor should be appropriate for the space. Because there is more open space, you have more flexibility in choosing what art and sculpture pieces to hang or display, but you should also consider safety and ease of movement. For instance, décor should not be in walkways or other common areas where they can be obstacles or cause accidents.
  • Maximize natural lighting without sacrificing privacy. One benefit of an open floor plan is the increased flexibility as far as allowing natural light into every space. Window fixtures and treatments can be selected to allow as much sunlight and even air into the interiors. However, the drawback is that if you are not careful, anyone from the street might be able to peer into the home and see your activities. Privacy should be foremost when you select curtains, blinds, or other window fixtures. This site features the best options for light filtering shades that you can use for privacy.
  • Use rugs and carpets. Area rugs and carpets can be utilized not only for differentiating certain areas in your open home design, but also for safety reasons. Wooden or tiled floors can be slippery and cause accidents if not maintained properly. Rugs and carpets positioned properly can reduce the risk of accidents especially if you have younger children running around all the time. They also help with insulation as well as noise control, such as around your home entertainment system or in entrances.

 

DIY Interior Design: An Intro to the Architectural Elements

August 28, 2014 at 12:53 pm

As long as I have been fascinated and in love with design, I have kept a humble opinion that there should be no disconnect between the elements of Architecture and that of Interior Design. I recognize the need of each discipline to maintain exclusivity which somehow has something to do with professional pride. I understand that architecture deals mainly with the outside structure while interior design, as the name implies, deals only with the inside space. However, I see designing as a holistic act. Although architecture is a separate discipline from interior design, one cannot exist without the other, or must I say, at the least a design goal cannot be realized without one of these two disciplines.

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As an interior designer, I deal with designing the inside of a structure, may it be a condo unit, an apartment, a hotel suite, an office or a one-storey house. Like every other work project, I have to start at something, and the start point for interior designers is the interior of structure and for sure, they come with architectural elements. An interior designer is expected to dress these elements according to the design he envisions. That is why it is important for those who intend to try their hands on interior designing to get acquainted with some of the usual architectural elements that they will encounter.

 

BASEBOARDS are a defining feature of a house or a room. It refers to the narrow wooden board running along the base of an interior wall which connects the wall and the floor. You can repaint these baseboards or even replace them. Instead of baseboards, other people who are under budget constraint, create an imaginary baseboard by painting the bottom part of the wall with a much darker or any color that contrast their primary color and is referred to as the shadow line.

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CROWN MOLDING is just the opposite of baseboards when it comes to their location. Crown molding is placed on the top of the interior wall where the wall meets the ceiling. This is a great way to add visual interest to any room.

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CHAIR RAIL is also known as Dado Rail. As the name implies, this rail was originally used to protect the wall from contact with furniture such as chairs by giving an allowance between the wall and the furniture. Now the purpose of using the Chair rail is leaning more towards aesthetics as it can add lines and colors to a room.

 

HARDWOOD FLOOR is what ultimately provides a room with the feeling of warm elegance. Hardwood floors are generally expensive so some people opt for the alternatives which can be wood laminate, bamboo or recycled-leather flooring.

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LIGHT COVES are usually utilized for aesthetic purpose as this adds mood and a tint of intimacy in a room. The lighting fixtures are usually built into recesses, valences and ledges, providing an indirect light to a room.

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These are the architectural elements that you would surely encounter in almost any room, and your decision on what to do with them can make or break your design project. It makes sense to remember that in this modern age, the use of the architectural elements like the ones included in this article should not be limited to their traditional definition. An antique door can be used as a top of a beautiful dining table. As a designer, you have the freedom and the right to dictate the functionality of any element. So don’t hesitate that right as you might end up with something ingenious and start a new trend in interior designing.