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  • Cody Stadler

Finding Your Home's Style

Many clients ask about my design style during our initial meeting. This is often one of the first questions anyone will ask me once they learn I’m an architect. I do have my own style preferences for my own home; however, when working with clients, my design style changes with every project.  Every home and piece of property has unique characteristics and opportunities. I do not believe in applying a specific style to a home. I’m not going to suggest that we redo your home to be Modern or Cape Cod or Traditional. My design perspective is that each home can and should be unique for a number of reasons. 

First, and most importantly, I want to consider the people who will live in the dwelling. What are their preferences? How do they live? Some families use their kitchens for gathering while others use their living rooms. Some like having televisions in main spaces while others do not. Would it be helpful to move the laundry room? Should we do a Jack and Jill bathroom between sibling rooms? Where do things pile up in your home, and do you want to add storage and organization solutions in those places? There are lots of questions I ask initially to gain a better context for how my clients will use the space. These functional questions lead to design solutions that do not necessarily evoke a specific style.

There are also climatic concerns that must be considered. The sun’s path over your home affects goals regarding the use of natural light. The way that your home is oriented on your lot is a parameter that helps guide the decisions about which rooms get daylight during which time of day. Stormwater drainage patterns are also of interest, especially when considering basement and dwelling at or below grade. Ensuring that the home we design remains watertight is a very important consideration.  There’s also the foliage and landscaping to think about. Are you planning to move existing plants or redo your yard completely? Do you want to be able to see your hydrangeas or a pollinator garden from your kitchen window? 

I haven’t yet mentioned style. There are other important factors that must be discussed before we begin to talk about how it will look. If you are renovating an existing home, does it have a certain style already? Does the neighborhood or street have a consistent look? What are the local regulations about historic renovations and are you subject to those regulations? Are there moments or details that should be emphasized and repeated? Is there a style of existing cabinetry that you would like mimicked in the new work? 

When considering your project, spend time looking at the three topics above when you reach out to an architect.  Your design team should respect the existing environment of your home while improving the characteristics that are important to your goals and objectives. Then, let’s incorporate your style and taste to make this a house exactly right for you.

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