by Linda Hughes, Owner, SugarPine & Lantana Design Studio
Having been in the business of designing and building custom homes for many years we find our clients often admit they aren’t sure what style of home they want.
A totally understandable dilemma. After all, there is a large variety to choose from.
This is sometimes dictated by the specific community, neighborhood or region they are building in. At other times, the field is wide open — these are often the most satisfying projects to work on.
Way back at the turn of the century, I set about designing and building a Tuscan farmhouse for our family home. The land suited the design along with the natural vegetation and generous size of the lot. At the time, Under the Tuscan Sun was a bestselling book and soon to be made movie.
Research and travel serve the imagination well. I envisioned and created a sprawling yet intimate home that resembled a quaint European village. The favorite area was our walled-in courtyard filled with old growth trees, potted flowering plants, a fireplace, French doors and balconies.
It was our sanctuary and left us all with cherished memories of family life.
Our advice to our clients in regards to design and architectural style: Site the home correctly, taking into account the topography, exposure and views. Layout the desired spaces and their appropriate sizes so that they reflect how the homeowner lives. Always take into account functionality and form.
Once the floor plan is complete, it’s time to personalize the exterior.
The roof design and pitch play a large role along with window size, shape and placement as to the preferred architectural style.
Add in timber framing, exposed rafters, shutters, dormers, siding, stone, plaster; the list goes on and on.
Before you get started, though, do your research, look through those magazines, drive neighborhoods, visit www.houzz.com and create an “ideabook.”
Before long a vision will develop. A reputable design/build team will be able to solidify your ideas and turn them into your very own sanctuary.
Happy memory making!