Attention to Detail: Designing Utilitarian Houses

Designing is a process of solving problems and maximizing user comfort. Too often we find ourselves lost in the aesthetic, that functionality slips out of our minds. As Corbusier rightly quoted, “House is a machine to live in” it is crucial to minutely understand the mechanisms that this space undergoes to be able to design better. Significant importance to the user is a mandate while curating spaces for them, understanding the family, and also keeping in mind what the future requirements might entail. Here are some important considerations while designing-

The Cleaning Aspect

We are becoming more of an indoor generation and the quality of air that we inhale largely depends on how we sustain our indoors. It is commonly identified that the cost of cleaning and maintenance of many buildings over the years surpasses their cost of construction. Hence, design detailing should be done keeping in mind this aspect of ease in maintenance for occupant health and comfort. 

For the working population, taking time out to clean intricately carved surfaces is a hassle. There is an increasing need for modern homes to be utilitarian and low maintenance. Complicated railings, moldings, floors, and furniture are very difficult to clean regularly. Even upholstery that we love, white and ivory, of the furniture, should be chosen in a way that it is easy to clean or does not absorb dirt too easily. 

Simple systems and proper material selection go a long way, like in the case of flooring, large tile sizes mean lesser joinery in turn and thereby lesser dirt in the crevices. Also, materials that do not absorb liquids too easily or retain scratch impressions are not advisable. A wonder material of such kind industrialized based on cleaning assets of plants and insects using synthetics is Self-cleaning paint. Even scrubbable paints are available, which let you live stress-free with light-coloured walls.

Design for Utility

Some things are often ignored and found haphazardly lying around in our backyards or hidden behind our doors. Having extra space to do your weekly washing and to store large appliances and cleaning products is an aspirational addition. Unfortunately, the space crunch in urban areas might not allow for a separate utility room inside our houses but attention needs to be given to make necessary provisions for these products which are a part of every household. It is not an easy task to keep your spaces and hence life organized and decluttered but good design can help.

Credits: IKEA

Making proper provisions for the user can considerably increase the value of a property and will go a long way. One important thing to keep in mind while designing laundry space will be water connection and hence is advised to be integrated along with kitchen or washroom for ease. The dry areas of a well-ventilated common washroom or guest washroom might be an accessible space for laundry chores. The laundry unit can be designed in the form of a closed cabinet containing the washer, dryer, and shelves to keep laundry baskets that can be carried from one room to another. A part of this cabinet can be dedicated to storing all cleaning equipment of the house, including mops and brooms. However, this cannot provide for tasks like steaming and ironing which is where having a properly planned utility space gets an upper edge and should be the preference if one has the luxury of space. 

Storage Design

Customized storage design keeps user requirements first and successfully creates a more organized wardrobe. Thought is given to each apparel and accessory of the user and provisions for it are made accordingly, made-to-order drawers for your watch collection, a full-size compartment for long dresses, shelves for handbags, etc. All such requirements can be fulfilled with due consideration of the client’s desires.

With abundant footwear options, a need has arisen for the design of shoe racks such that they are usable for all family members and all shoes in each rack to be visible for someone standing obverse to choose from, protection from dust, compact, and aesthetically appealing. Tilt-out shoe racks are particularly very space-friendly and help view the footwear at a glance, automated shoe carouse is more technologically advanced but might turn out to be a little space-intensive. These days, shoes are taking place in lower parts of our conventional wardrobes as well, so that they are more accessible while dressing up.

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