I'm so excited to finally start sharing the design process with you on our house! Let's start at the very beginning…and now queue the Sound of Music ;). Before I can show you every room we are designing and get into all that juicy interiors stuff, let's dive into the design of the physical structure of the house. This is the part of the process which you don't have to think about when buying a house because it's already there. But in our case, we're building from scratch and have the ability to customize and design our house based on my family's needs. It's been a long (but very fun!) process…
Here's what we knew we wanted and some inspiration images we pinned for them:
– 4 bedrooms plus 3-4 bathrooms
– At least 3000 square feet. We didn't need a HUGE house but wanted more space than our current 1500 square feet that we've lived in for the past 8 years. We wanted a size that was reasonable for our land but also not too small that we would eventually outgrow.
– A flat outdoor yard so our kids could play and we could entertain
– We did not need both a formal and non-formal dining room since we wanted an outdoor dining area, too.
– We also did not need a formal and non-formal living room as we didn't have endless space to be able to build and we're completely happy with just one main living room area.
– We wanted the flow to feel very indoor/outdoor with large doors and windows. We love mid-century and Danish modern styles so we wanted those as inspiration while still feeling warm and cozy
Here were a few of my inspiration images from our Pinterest Board:
Based on those images plus the information we provided our architect, here's a look at the evolution of the design process for the home's design…
1. Looking at the levels of the house and how it fits into the hillside. The first step was for Project M+ to explore multi-levels and play with modern shapes to create a continuous space that would be built into the hillside. This is where they were also considering our hillside view from inside out and where you find refuge and cozy areas as well. While we were open to three floors because it felt unique, we didn't like how the levels felt too boxy with and didn't connect as fluidly to one another. We also preferred two levels vs. three after seeing this first rendering.
2. Revising the general flow. Next, here was a two-story approach still working off modern lines but connecting them a bit more by having one large rectangle sitting on top of two smaller squares. We liked the large windows and the flow from inside to outside but wanted a mix of glass, wood, and some warmer materials.
3. A 3-D Model! Then, the house became more finalized as a two-story house that had a bit of a U shape from the top. Real-life materials were added in for reference and Project M+ even made us a small version for ants (ha!) so that we could begin to visualize it in 3D. From there, we made some more tweaks but were overall happy with the layout and structure of the house.
4. Renderings. Then, we got more detailed renderings to help visualize the scale, materials, and how each part looks in relation to one another. After this step, technical plans were finalized and we were ready to go into the permit process (which took TWO YEARS after that)! A few things have changed from here, but this gives you a good idea of where we're headed.
The design process from start to finish took less than a year. We could have finished sooner than that, but I had a baby mid-way through the process, so we took our time. Then, the permits took about two years, and then we went and found a contractor. Hence, why I have to go back in time to tell you all of this, but it's SO, SO fun to take this trip back and still be very happy with where we are headed.
Check out my post over at Architectural Digest's Clever for my tips on what to consider when beginning to design your home! And, if you have any questions or other parts you'd love to learn about in this process, please leave a comment below!