There is a great article over at Inhabitat that sparked some thoughts on what you need in a home. This is useful to help you develop a overarching philosophy to drive your design, to make sure your needs are met and not get caught up in the glitz of every bell and whistle or trendy thing.
This is an important step because it helps guide your decisions down the road. For people who feel that sustainability is an issue, this will lead you to things like solar power, responsibly sourced wood/reclaimed wood, higher R value insulation etc. Determine you list of core values that you hold dear and keep them in mind throughout the process, this list should be pretty short and concise and you should be willing to pay or expend energy in order to meet these values.
What are your needs?
It is important to consider what your needs are before designing your home, it is from this that your house can begin to take shape. This is very important to help you to think conceptually about your rooms. For instance it is common in larger homes to have a guest bedroom that goes largely unused, but if we like to entertain we might think about how we will meet this occasional need without the addition of an entire room. This realization might lead us to consider only small couches that fold out into a bed.
Many Tiny home designers use what is called subtractive design. Basically you want to design a space that meets your needs, but then you want to try taking things away from the design. If the removal doesn’t detract from the design then it should stay out. If the removal of something actually improves the design, then it should be kept out.
- Which spaces will be expandable into others?
- Which spaces will have direct access to the exterior?
- In which rooms do you prefer sunlight at various times of day?
- What special storage or leisure activities need to be accommodated?
- Can any spaces serve multiple functions?
- Where and when do you expect true privacy?
- Do you require special accommodations for other generations within the family?
- Will you work at home? How and where?
- Where will you eat alone? With family? With many guests, if you entertain?
- What prized personal possessions need to be showcased?
- Is energy-efficiency and sustainability important to you? Will you invest a portion of your budget in green building strategies?