It's hard to articulate ideas about what you think a new design should look like, or even accomplish. We recently worked with an architect to come up with conceptual drawings for our house, and I looked for (but did not find) some sort of online guide to communicating with architects.
So I gave him a "Dream House Manifesto" -- parts of which I will share with you here just for fun.
First, a definition of terms:
Goals and Considerations -- We have both goals and considerations. Goals are the must-haves, while considerations are the nice-to-haves. We’d love for you to be able to plan out the goals in a way that would make it relatively easy to also achieve many of the considerations.
Sacrifices – What we’re willing to part with in order to attain a higher good.
Open Questions – The stuff we have no idea about.
The important stuff:
Phase 1 -- Primary Goals
1. Add a deck to the main floor.
2. Open up the kitchen.
3. Enlarge the upstairs bathroom.
4. Open up the dining room.
And some less important stuff:
Phase 1 – Considerations
5. Lighting. We hate direct overhead lighting, yet nearly every room is wired in this way. Is there a better way to light these rooms, where we’re not just flipping on the overhead light in order to go around and turn on all the lamps, then turning the overhead light off?
6. Upstairs/downstairs. We would like a fluid, inviting connection between the upstairs and downstairs. Right now, we have a dark, straight staircase practically ushering you out the side door of the house. It is the opposite of inviting.
7. Private/Public Spaces. We would like to define the private spaces in the house as separate from the public spaces. For instance, we’d love to have a dedicated hallway (which perhaps could be closed off) leading to the master bed and bath. If the “master bath” is the only bathroom upstairs, then perhaps the master bedroom could be set slightly apart from this public bathroom?
10. Pocket doors. For the love of God, can't we just get rid of all the non-functional pocket doors in the house?
14. Basement conversation pit. Dig into the cement floor to build a sunken conversation pit? Groovy!
And the end:
We like weird. When people complain about new, bizarre-looking houses in their neighborhood, we usually love them. If you have bold ideas for the house, we’d love to see them.
I do plan to send Sabey my thoughts about the building that will replace the Stock House, though I don't yet know what I will say. Maybe I'll ask them about sunken conversation pits. Groovy!