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Selwyn Times: January 24, 2017

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11 Your guide to Show Homes & New Sections Living Areas in the Selwyn District The composition of a home’s living areas is relevant for functionality and in matching the personalities of those living there. Many house designs have open plan living with a central living area and maybe a separate lounge or media room off this space. The number and placement of windows and doors is significant, not just in relation to whether you like sun in the home or prefer a cooler situation but also in terms of indoor outdoor flow, along with age and lifestyle of the family. When examining house plans, consider how sliders or bi-folds facilitate indoor/outdoor flow. Do they access the best part of the yard? An example being doors that face the east or south through which a cool breeze may come. Depending on structural aspects of the house, the positioning of specific windows and doors may be switched around for a given section, on which a house is to be built. Other considerations relate to home furnishings. We are often quick to consider placement of the television yet overlook a bookcase or other piece of furniture we will want in the living area. Think about lounge suites, sofas and easy chairs, especially if you do not intend to replace existing furniture. Measure each piece of furniture and consider how it will fit within the dimensions of particular living spaces on a house plan. To help you in gaining an idea of space, mark out the size of each room of a house plan, in either a large room or on a lawn. Next, mark out where each piece of furniture will be placed. Walk around the marked objects considering the spatiality and how the various pieces work together. This exercise may lead you to decide to replace some furniture after all. Alternatively, you may change some aspect of the design or even choose another plan. If the size of the living area is fixed due to budget or another factor, consider the type of furniture to be placed in each room. Bulky lounge suites take up more space than smaller modernistic easy chairs with finer lines that are still functional. The age of children who will live in the home is also significant. Open plan is great for young children as they can be watched while playing. It is nice though, to have a room to escape to especially as the children get older so a separate lounge can be an attractive option. This room may also be a children’s play area complete with television set. The square metre size of a house is relevant here. The feeling of spaciousness can be sacrificed if a separate lounge is incorporated into a smaller home. Getting your living area right starts with you; your family’s needs, your lifestyle and what you would like, with your budget also likely to play a factor. A separate lounge or media room can offer a place to relax or escape to. Open plan provides a spacious feeling. Open plan allows young children to be watched while playing. A separate lounge can be an attractive option. Easy chairs with finer lines take up less space.