Good Architectural Design Creates Elbow Room in New Home

Wide hallway with alcove for art display or small table - Bob Fortner Photography

Wide hallway with alcove for art display or small table - Bob Fortner Photography

Good architectural design goes a long way toward making a space more pleasing to use.  Just a few extra inches in the right places is sometimes all it takes to transform a typically tight area into one that has just enough breathing room to give it a huge bump in enjoyability.

This new home, built on a teardown site Inside the Beltline in Raleigh by local firm Habitat Improvement, does just that.  From the moment you walk through the front door you begin to notice that extra little amount of space in just the right places.  The photo above of the entry hallway is a good example.  The design lines take you to your destination in the living area at the far end of the photograph, but along the way you are treated to a wider-than-typical hall with a well thought out alcove on the left for displaying art or even a small hall table as a place to add decor.

Well placed kitchen island provides room for food prep and entertaining - Bob Fortner Photography

Well placed kitchen island provides room for food prep and entertaining - Bob Fortner Photography

The impact on utility and enjoyment through good architectural design is probably most noticeable in the kitchen.  This kitchen occupies the entire width of the general living area and the center island is perfectly placed to provide plenty of space for meal preparation to be much more enjoyable.  And if you can make cooking more enjoyable, then it's not a chore any more, right?

Wide area by sink allows room to work and access the generous storage in the island - Bob Fortner Photography

Wide area by sink allows room to work and access the generous storage in the island - Bob Fortner Photography

Separating the sink and range in such a way that both provide sufficient room to work and easy access to the top surface of the island seems like such a simple thing, but how many times have you been in a space where this little detail was overlooked?  A natural food preparation workflow from the sink to the island and from the island to the range takes much of the friction out of the process.

More space between the kitchen island and the cooking range - Bob Fortner Photography

More space between the kitchen island and the cooking range - Bob Fortner Photography

The utility created by the well placed kitchen island continues in the space between it and the stove.  The photograph above demonstrates it very well.

Strong lines and well placed windows in the living room - Bob Fortner Photography

Strong lines and well placed windows in the living room - Bob Fortner Photography

Without furniture in this new home it is difficult to illustrate the volume of the living room.  The best way I can explain is to mention the the wall with the fireplace and the bookcases uses the entire width of the living area, which is located on the back of the home.  And the distance from the camera, which was placed around where the living room and kitchen meet, is about a third greater than the width of that wall at the far side of the photo.

The strong lines created by the ceiling beams and the three large windows with transoms work together to give this space sense of volume.  By the way, this entire living area is on the north side of the house, and the windows on the back wall are covered by a deep overhang on the back porch.  The amount of light in this area is remarkable considering those factors.