Houzz professionals, whether architects, designers, builders, gardeners or any other type of expert dealing with matters of the home, have training and experience they bring to their jobs every day. We picked the brains of eight of them to discover their top design rule.
Your home, your style. “Listen to your clients. Don’t push your view; don’t follow a fad; it will date. No matter what you would like to achieve in a space, it’s the clients’ home, not yours. Listen.
It really is that simple.”
Value simplicity. “Keep it simple. Clean lines allow a home to look better when it’s filled with a client’s possessions. A house should never look better when it’s empty.”
Know when enough is enough. “Don’t over design. Once you’ve reached a point where you love what you see, stop. It can be tempting to keep going, but by doing so you often design out what you loved in the first place.”
Look south. “My No. 1 rule is always to base the house design around maximizing solar gain; that means having large, south-facing windows. Solar gain can reduce your energy costs, but be sure to have a complementary ventilation solution.”
Personalize your space. “Design the space you want to live in, not one you think a potential buyer would want. We’re staying in our homes for longer now, so the culture for bland and impersonalized spaces has started to change, thankfully.”
Take your time. “Follow your heart. Don’t rush. If you’re not sure about an element of the design, wait. Go to art exhibitions. Visit country houses. Walk in the countryside. Wait for inspiration to strike. If a color doesn’t feel right, then it probably isn’t. Wait until you’re sure.”
Respect Individual Lifestyles. “You need to consider the lifestyle of the homeowner and understand how they live.”
Prioritize Livability. “My No. 1 design rule is to design the home around the people in it. Movement through the space and living in it should feel natural. Some designs may be impressive to look at but are not necessarily naturally livable.”