SKODA Design + Architecture » Design Architecture For Today's Time

Small but Smart: 3 Ways Small Homes are Standing Tall

In today’s rat race world we strive to work smarter, not longer — to use our time better and more efficiently, and balance leisure with career. We all feel like there’s not enough time in the day — smart home considerations can enrich our daily life. These principles can also apply to the world of home renovation.

I’ve outlined three key ways you can stand out in the world of home building and create a beautiful family home that goes beyond trend, fad and style.

Here are my favorite additional ways to do that without breaking the bank:


1. Design for your modern lifestyle and family needs

Traditional design standards are being rethought, focusing more on long-term functionality and features that make for smart investments, resulting in a home that is remarkably energy efficient and a pleasure to live in.

Enhanced outdoor living spaces might include:

  • Open plans
  • More windows
  • Summer kitchensbarbecue
  • Lounge BBQ outdoor spaces
  • Showers adjacent to pools and hot tubs
  • More green vegetation and landscaping

The focus on in-home work and entertainment needs results in more alternative spaces such as:

  • Home offices
  • Work studios
  • Task specific rooms
  • Gyms/spas
  • Fireplace living gardens

smarthomeThe technology of a smart home is more attainable now than ever with:

  • Biometric fingerprint door locks for keyless entry
  • Home audiovisual systems
  • Remote controlled temperature controls
  • Charging stations

Age Considerate Design

This is also a hot point for today’s homeowners, whether building new or remodeling. According to the AARP, the last Baby Boomer turned 50 in 2014. There are currently over 100 million adults in the United States over the age of 50– the second largest generation under Millennials.

Designing for independence in one’s later years can range from:

  • Lighting, hardware and fixture selections to allowing for wider door
  • Bathroom and kitchen layouts
  • Reducing stairways
  • Building master suites on the first floor.
  • Multiple master suites either for guests or grown children planning a long-term stay.

2. Leverage high performance construction

Building smarter starts in the planning phases. It’s important to optimize a site by reducing the  mastersuiteproject size to be space-efficient yet adequate to meet the building objectives and requirements. This will reduce the total costs, while often increasing the cost per unit area. By fully using indoor floor space and eliminating unnecessary finishes and features, such as ornamental wall paneling, doors (when privacy isn’t critical) and higher ceilings, new opportunities for designers are created, and structural over-design and construction waste are avoided.

The focus on quality and craftsmanship imparts elegance to an interior and exterior design. Micro-living and less-is-more design continue to be in with a move to more organic, longer-lasting material selection, often recycled and/or engineered, and utilizing existing, reclaimed and/or prefabricated components. Pre-manufactured and design-build projects are proving more efficient, expedited solutions to new construction and remodeling projects.

Passive House principles and resiliency in design have taken focus when planning today’s home. Airtight building envelopes, healthier indoor air and stronger, longer-lasting construction methods make a better, higher performing home.


3. Your home is an investment not only with your money but your wellbeing

solarToday homes are addressing environmental and health concerns and eventually this will be the norm in home design. The NAHB found that 84% of Millenials are willing to pay 2 to 3 percent more for an energy-efficient home as long as they can see the return on their power bills. The Energy Star home standard has shown to be already 20 to 30 percent more efficient than typical building code standards. Going further, a certified Passive House will use less overall energy than a typical code-built home. In Passive House design, spending even 2% more where it counts makes more sense than spending needlessly on larger mechanical systems. The investment pays off through ultra-low energy bills over the life of the home with increased value.

Some of the most common ways of improving the health and efficiency:

  • Heat recovery ventilation systems that filter air continuously and use little energy
  • Solar panels
  • Rainwater harvesting tanks and cisterns
  • Graywater recycling systems
  • Weather-controlled watering stations
  • Permeable pavers
  • Drought-tolerant plants
  • No or low-mow grasses.

Click Here to schedule a consultation call to learn more on how you can increase the value of your home just by simply designing to better standards.