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5 Things That Make a Home Feel Awkward
Dated: January 6 2020
We've all been there... We've all moved into a fabulous new home to find out it was filled with elements that impeded daily tasks or prevented us from living the way we really wanted to.
Here are my top five awkward elements to look out for, in no particular order.
1) Corner fireplaces. These always feel like the home designer or contractor forgot to add one then tacked it on at last minute as an after-thought. This is never good, because they make laying furniture incredibly difficult. To face one, the sofa needs to also be on a diagonal, but that eats a whole heck of a lot of space and creates awkward groupings. If you 'square' your furniture layout, then something will be too close to the fireplace, like an end table, chair or tv console, and none of those things should be that close to a heat source.
2) Vestibules. A lot of house designers, contractors and architects like to put bedroom doors at the end of a hallway; not straight on, but like to the left or the right so you can't see directly into the room. The problem is manoeuvering headboards, dressers and sofas around the vestible and through the dang door. Try as you might, that 7' sofa can't bend around the corners like you need.
3) Too many doors and windows, not enough wall space. This is a common problem in family rooms and living rooms, and prevents really great furniture layouts (which prevents really great interaction with your friends and family), because you can't put a sofa in front of a patio door, you can't block a walkway with a chair and you can't pop a TV in just anywhere. "Proof" the house by figuring our where you're going to put your TV and sofa. If you have to think about it and come up with clever solutions, you might want to move on.
4) Tiny, yet annoying kitchen details. This area is frought with opportunity for failure, like dishwashers on the wrong side of the sink. If your cabinets are to the left of the sink, then your dishwasher should be on the right, and vice versa. No one wants to unload everything onto the counter, close the dishwasher door, then put it all away. Also, open all the drawers in the corners to ensure that they can clear an appliance or adjoining drawer pull. It sounds confusing, but if you've ever had to open the dishwasher to access your utensils, then you know exactly what I mean. Oh, and the fridge doors. I've been in more than one kitchen where a wall or counter prevents the doors from completely opening, making it near impossible to pop in a pizza box or large platter.
5) Inappropriate use of pocket doors. Don't get me wrong-- pocket doors are a great way to save space, but you can't drill or nail into the wall without destroying the door. This is super important in master bathrooms with walk-in closets, because a pocket door can prevent you from having anywhere to hang a towel bar. Who wants to walk across the room to get a towel, or pick one up off the floor? Not me!
The best thing you can do is revisit any house you want to put an offer on, and spend time mentally walking through your daily tasks and laying out your furniture to make sure the house is going to live the way you want it to.
Nicole Baxter is a professional Interior Designer and NC licensed REALTOR at Bold Real Estate in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
As a practicing Interior Designer with 25 years of residential design and construction experience, a licensed REALTOR, and certified Myers Briggs administrator, Nicole is a professional house whispere....
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