If you are thinking of a construction or renovation project, you may have started by scanning furniture magazines, catalogs and the Web to find ideas and images that appeal to you. House plans are for sale in magazines and online and most of us have noticed something in a friend's house or on television that looks attractive. A common result of this type of research is a folder containing clippings, sketches and prints that, when arranged together, are more like ransom than a drawing. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Chances are excellent that your stack of paper has several messages from you about things you find important in a home. Here's how to crack the code.
First, if your ideas are diverse and come from many sources, be prepared to let some of them go, at least in the form you found them for the first time. Successful architecture, like any design, requires every plan to have intrinsic integrity. This means that some things that you might want to contribute will and others will hurt. This is especially true if you are renovating and are forced by an existing building.
Second, look over your collection to see what is happening (or not). Here are some questions you can ask to help you benefit from your research.
* Do the things you like in a large space or a small? If it's a big one, do you really have room?
* How does the day appear in the pictures that interest you? Often, interior design photographers stage a scene to pretend some time of day and even some type of view through the window. If that's a big part of why you're interested in something, think about how much you can really achieve on your own site.
* If you consistently choose the designs of a particular "style", what are the features of this style? Are the materials close to their natural state like raw wood or stone or are they more refined and synthetic like painted wall panels and polished metal? Do the details tend to be handmade, such as a carved wooden rail, or machine-made, like a smooth metal rail? Architects call this the "vocabulary" of a design.
* Is there geometric quality consistent with the things you chose? Do you find yourself in favor of graceful curves, or disciplined right angles? Do you stick to regular shapes like squares and circles or do more complex polygons and irregular shapes seem to dominate?
Once you start looking at the pieces of the puzzle this way, you can identify what your own design vocabulary has bought. The goal is to extract and use features that are attractive and meaningful to you without being rejected by the ideas of someone else from a different context.
The next step is to define your album and think exactly what you want your design to do (or what you want to do). In the case of a one – room remodel, this can be a simple and reliable question, if you plan to add more rooms or build an entire house, the answers get complicated. This helps write your thoughts both as a list of things you want and as a narrative describing the kind of place you want these things to create. Architects call these notes a "program".
The last part of your preparation is to take a close look at your site. It can be any one room, a vacant lot or a large undeveloped lot, but each project has a site and almost all sites have special features. Things to consider include orientation to the sun, views and privacy, access, slope and how it flows, where the wind and wind are coming from. weather conditions and, in the case of an addition or renovation, that you already have and expect to keep. This is where your cloud of ideas can confuse you, especially if you are trying to use or adapt a preconceived plan. The prototype home plans are almost always designed with a nonspecific, flat and presumed suburban site. If that is not what you have, try valiantly to keep an open mind to find out if the packaged plan really works in the place where you plan to build.
Finally, if magic works, you'll have the tools you need to start designing – a site, curriculum, and design vocabulary derived from your own response to the things around you, not just a pastiche of them. ideas from other people.