The Benefits of Building a Custom Home
Well, OK. There’s really just one.
When you build a custom home, you get to decide exactly how your house looks. Its shape and size. Its colors and finishes.
These things are important. But aesthetics are only part of the big picture. The most profound benefit of building a custom home is that you get to create a house that supports your vision for your life.
Sound overly grand? Let us explain.
You Decide What’s Important
Here’s an architectural truth: buildings dictate how we spend our time. Our homes, especially, have a keen effect on the way we live our lives.
If you live in a house with many cloistered rooms, chances are that you’ll live a more private, secluded life. If you live in a home with small bedrooms and a big, open main room, it’s likely that you’ll spend more time during the day with the other people you live with.
The way these environments are set up dictates what the people inside them will do — not the other way around. That’s because houses have hierarchy. Every house emphasizes something based on the elements in its spaces: comfort, togetherness, art, solitude.
When you build a custom home, you get to decide what that hierarchy is. That’s the most important of the many benefits of building a custom home.
You decide what’s in it, what’s not, and how the elements will fit together to create the best living spaces for you.
You can spend a lot of money on either an existing house or a custom home. Both carry risks. Both require compromises. But with a custom-built home, you have more say about the kinds of risks and compromises you’re willing to make. And it all starts with identifying your values.
Your Home Will Reflect Your Values
When a client first starts working with us, we ask them a lot of questions to help us (and them) pinpoint which elements of a home design will be most important to them.
We start by asking them how they spend their time: Are they out and about a lot or are they homebodies? What do they do to unwind on the weekends? Do they entertain often? At the end of the day, do they treasure time alone with a novel and a cup of tea or do they play board games together after dinner until it’s time to shoo the kids off to bed?
Once we know what's most important, we can help them decide which rooms — and which elements within those rooms — will make their home a place that makes sense for them.
You Have Control Over Design Decisions
Once your criteria and goals are clear, you can prioritize the spaces within your new home. This will make it simpler to decide where you’ll invest the most time and money as you make design decisions. Let’s take a look at each of the rooms in a home design.
The main room, typically a kitchen-dining-living space, is the most important part of the modern house. Since people in our culture typically spend time away from one another during the day, they want a large, open, shared space where they can all be together in the evenings and on weekends.
With a custom home, you get to shape how this space looks, functions, and feels.
You can decide if you want a large, gourmet kitchen and a grand dining area abutted by an intimate living room cove; a more compact galley kitchen next to a spacious living area outfitted with multiple seating pods; a vaulted kitchen and living space with barstools instead of a dining room table; or whatever other combination you can think of.
It all comes down to how you want to be in the world.
Bedrooms and Bathrooms
Bedrooms and bathrooms are all about spaciousness. How much space do you need? How do you want those rooms to support the things that mean the most to you?
Do you want your bedroom to be a cozy sleeping capsule or a roomier respite from an otherwise busy house? Do you want your kids’ rooms to be fort-like, extended play areas or soft landing spaces for sleep and study?
Bathrooms can be utilitarian or luxurious, based on your hierarchy. Do you want a space for a spa-like experience or is it best to keep it simple and invest time and money in other areas of the house?
Believe it or not, storage is an important part of making a house feel like it fits you.
Having the right storage solutions can also make your home simpler to clean and to live in. When storage is the right size and located in the right place, it can make your house feel more spacious and livable. Working with an architect to design the right storage (not necessarily a lot of storage) can make the house feel good and function well.
Your hierarchy also comes into play when you consider what you’d like to display, like a basket or vase collection. What if, we often ask our clients, your house highlighted the things that are the most important to you, things that bring you joy? Good design can bring these things into your everyday life.
Sadly, houses and property often don’t highlight one another. When you build your own custom home, you can design it in a way that allows the exterior spaces and interior spaces to flow into one another seamlessly.
Along with your architect, you get to decide how to use natural light, for instance. Would you prefer a cozy sunroom or an art studio awash in diffused light? Would you like a big garden that’s easily accessible from your back deck or a compact garden full of herbs that’s just a few steps away from your kitchen?
You Get Exactly What You Want
By identifying your values, creating a hierarchy for your house, and working closely with an architect, you can create a well-designed custom home that will give you an opportunity to live in an aspirational setting and to live a healthier, more fulfilling life.
If you’re deciding between an existing home or a custom home, the question really comes down to this: Do you want a space that’s adequate for you or a space that’s absolutely perfect for you?
Posted on April 13, 2023