It’s very common when viewing homes or building sites with clients to get asked what could be done from a design perspective to enhance the home and/or yard space, or how the living spaces might be orientated in a new home. I love this question, and I’m always happy when clients are thinking along these lines. We are big advocates of custom home and interior design, both from a livability and market perspective. My advice to this question is to think site specific. My brother taught me very early on that the first and one of the most important steps in good home design is the Site Analysis. It is key to identify the challenges and opportunities of your specific property in order to thoughtfully address these challenges and to take advantage of the opportunities through design. Two key areas of particular importance are that of sunlight and privacy. These two areas will have a direct impact on your enjoyment of your home and are vital to consider if you are thinking of resale. The Qualicum Beach property showcased in this video is an excellent example of site specific design. The subject property is a linear corner lot with over 130 feet of south facing front yard, so anything but your typical building site. To take advantage of the light and sunshine all of the main indoor and outdoor living spaces have been located on the south side of the home. The spaces have been enhanced through the use of over 30 feet of sliding glass door systems to allow positive light flow into the home while creating a seamless indoor / outdoor living interface. The challenge was ensuring privacy in the yard from the streetfront. This challenge was met through creative landscape details. The use of cedar hedging, articulated fence and lattice panels, and boulevard trees have created standout curb appeal and a private outdoor living oasis within.
If you are considering a renovation or a new build, don’t settle for what’s there or just select a generic plan out of a book. Think site specific and don’t afraid to venture into the front or side yard if that’s where the best opportunities for sunlight and outdoor living are. Get creative or find a good designer to help you take advantage of all the properties unique opportunities, it’ll be well worth it.
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