An important part of our in-house architectural firm, M.T.N Architects’ job is to help clients define and create spaces that work together. We sat down with Design Manager, Celeste, to have her share some logistics of design that can help to synchronize a home’s interior spaces naturally and efficiently.
Can you share some layout techniques that most clients don’t think of on their own?
Celeste: Something that they don’t initially think of that I believe is prevalent to the design of a home is the acoustics. It is certainly important to have a home that flows naturally, but if your design doesn’t acknowledge the noise levels that will occur in each space, it can disrupt the harmony of the overall layout. I always try to keep louder areas like recreation rooms, laundry rooms, and utility closets away from quiet areas like bedrooms and studies to reduce acoustic disruptions. Of course, there are always clients who have special requests, like a laundry room located in their master suite, so in these cases I make sure to design those spaces to be well-insulated to compensate. Another design technique I practice for acoustics is lining up closets in adjacent bedrooms, by doing this; they act as sound barriers.
Are there other areas where it makes sense to line up multiple space designs?
Celeste: When we look at a project’s overall design, especially ones with multiple levels, there are often instances where it makes sense to line up systems within the layout for efficiency. Two such systems are chimneys and plumbing. A lot of the time in floor plans with fireplaces set up in adjacent rooms, we will design them so they sit on the same wall; that way the same chimney system can be used. We can also reduce the amount of plumbing that is needed by lining or stacking up bathrooms on different levels of the home.
What logistics of design are there for stairwells?
Celeste: Stairs are a big part of rustic log or timber design. In fact, in a lot of homes we’ve built, stairways have become one of the feature focal points of the design. Stairwell design, especially in homes with multiple, can offer a great opportunity for saving space. When I draw a project’s stairwells, I make sure that each one lines up between levels, so that their footprint on the layout is minimized.
How does lifestyle affect space design?
Celeste: There are several places in the home where a client’s lifestyle can affect layout and movement. For instance, many of our clients build their mountain-style homes on more rugged terrain, so I often suggest including a mudroom as a transitional space between a garage and kitchen. By doing this, it helps reduce the chance of tracking outside elements into the home. Ultimately, any home’s layout is designed to accommodate a client’s location and how they want to live within the space. Our design team works to define all spaces with the client when they start their design process.