Your Building Blog for the Rochester Area

Finding Balance with an Open Floor Plan in Your Rochester-area Home

Posted by John Graziose on Wed, Mar 18, 2015 @ 06:03 AM

Finding-balance-with-an-op[e-floor-plan-in-your-Rochester-area-homeAn increasing number of today’s floor plans reflect the popularity of open plans for custom homes. Many of the floor plans we offer draw on the concept in one way or another. The benefits of open floor plans are fairly obvious: They increase the visual size of a room, making it feel more spacious; they take advantage of natural light; and they create an atmosphere that’s accessible and inclusive. 

For some homeowners, however, all that openness can feel a bit too open. They want to establish or preserve the unique characteristics of individual rooms—without separating the rooms with walls. How do you do that? Here are just a few ideas that allow you to take advantage of the benefits of open plan living while enjoying the ambience of each individual room. 

  • Screens or Half Walls: You can use folding screens (or even folding doors) to create visual dividers between areas. Depending on how much you want to separate the areas, you can use floor-to-ceiling screens or screens that are open at the top and/or bottom.  If you’re aiming for a simple visual break you might want to go with a smaller screen—or even one that’s translucent. If you really want to establish a firm break (or maybe want to dampen sound), you might go with a more substantial screen. 
  • Indoor Windows: What if you have a space that you use as a home office or as a reading area that you want to set off—without sacrificing the natural light that an open floor plan affords? Consider using a framed glass wall that provides a touch of privacy and sound dampening, but still lets light through. 
  • See-through Shelving: Building shelves that are open on both sides establishes the boundaries of a room without cutting the room off entirely or blocking light. You’ll want to be somewhat careful what you display on the shelves (you don’t want them to look cluttered), but this is an effective way to define a space without actually building solid walls. 
  • Use Furniture as Dividers: You can use lower cabinets (sofa-height or even buffet-height) to set off a sitting area. It still leaves you with a very open space, but the buffet, storage cabinet, or short bookshelf establishes the boundary of the space. In the picture above, you can see how the sofa marks the line between the dining area and the living room/great room. 
  • Flooring: Another effective way to define different spaces—without using walls—is with your flooring. If you have wood floors through out several rooms, you can use large area rugs (in different colors) to establish specific areas. Or you might have stone or tile in your kitchen and go to wood in the family room or great room.

Open floor plans are great for visual space and for taking advantage of natural light. And with the right touches, you can create specific areas within the larger space. It’s kind of like having your cake and eating it, too!

Dream Home

Topics: Rochester Area Custom Home Builder, Custom homes, Rochester area floor plans, making the most of open plans, Open floor plan design

Build a Rochester Home You’ll Keep On Loving

Posted by John Graziose on Wed, Feb 18, 2015 @ 06:02 AM

Build-a-Rochester-home-youll-keep-on-lovingOne of the challenges of building a new home is that life doesn’t stand still. Our tastes—and our needs change over time. What seems like an absolute necessity today may not be all that important a year or two down the road. Similarly, features that are all the rage today may not be as popular in a few seasons. 

If you happen to have small children, it’s easy to plan your house around the way they are now. But small children turn into teenagers in what seems like the blink of an eye. And when they do, your house needs to be able to accommodate their changing needs. 

How do you plan for that without some special crystal ball skills that enable you to look into the future?  While nobody can tell you exactly what to expect, one thing you can do is take a bit of time picking out the floor plan for your home. As you look at plans, you’ll of course want to think about your current needs. But as you look at the configuration of rooms in your potential home, try to envision what things will look like a few years down the road. Having a 3-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl share a bedroom may be great for now. But what happens when that little girl hits 11 or 12 years of age? Do you have room for expansion? As you check out floor plans (and we have an abundance of floor plans for a wide variety of home styles here), look at how many rooms you need now, and how many you might need in a few years. Look at bathrooms. Kids can share for a while, but will that need change as well? 

Something else that will help you keep loving your home is to make sure you get the quality you want and that your home is designed to meet your needs. That means finding a builder who will listen and make the adjustments necessary to build you the home you really want.  We love doing that, and we know that our clients appreciate it. Here’s a comment from someone who experienced that first-hand: 

We built our dream home last year and choose Gerber Homes as the builder. We can truthfully say that we are happier with our new home now than when we first built it. Gerber was a great company to work with.  They listened and designed the home we wanted. The building process went great and the house is fantastic. — The Lamberts 

So as you’re thinking about building a new home in the Rochester area, plan ahead as you look at floor plans—and get a quality builder to listen to what you want and build you a quality home you’ll love for years to come!

Dream Home

Topics: Rochester Area Custom Home Builder, Custom homes, building for the future, Rochester area floor plans

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