Many of us today are familiar with the art of Feng shui, the Chinese philosophy of creating harmony with one’s environment. Growing awareness of many Eastern philosophies, religions, healing practices and meditation techniques, yoga and acupuncture among them, have seeped into our Western culture over the last few decades. No longer exotic or foreign, the concept of balance and harmony seem to be in the inner-consciousness of communities around the world, as the speed of life increases exponentially.
It would only make sense for this concept to first and foremost be implemented as it pertains to personal space: the home. Everything about building a dream home is personal, aspiring to a feeling of balance and harmony in their life and family.
The first step in achieving this with a new custom-built home: the right orientation and location on the property. Whether intentionally or unknowingly, identifying the perfect location for one’s future dream home and the best viewpoints, researching all areas of the lot, ideal locations for the entrance and pathways, and charting light flow throughout the day provides the necessary education for the home’s orientation. The right orientation properly designates which rooms are best served by light at various times of the day, vistas and access points, contributing to a home in harmony with the occupants.
You’ve found the property, and now you have to situate the home to be in harmony with its environs. The property’s features tend to weigh heavily into the design process for any new luxury home. As the architect works closely with the builder to create a living space that accommodates all of the homeowner’s desired features, the unique characteristics of the property, topography and views are incorporated to achieve the project’s maximum potential. There are clearly different circumstances involved for homeowners working within the confines of a pre-existing footprint rather than starting fresh with a virgin plot of land; yet, orientation, driveways and floor-plans are easily altered to reimagine the perfect setting for a new custom-built dream home.
When considering the location for a new custom-built home, the first step is to walk the property during different times of the day, noticing the difference in lighting and effect. While the builder and engineers expertly assess the best potential building sites based on practical considerations (slope, drainage, terrain), they also work in conjunction with the architect to advise on the best possible scenarios from an aesthetic standpoint, emphasizing the property’s best features. From there, the homeowner can visualize the viewpoints from all angles, weighing the pros and cons of afternoon versus morning light for each room along with the exterior view.
The entrance and flow throughout the home are also important considerations with regards to orientation. This includes the driveway, garage, main entrance versus side doors, porches, hallways, etc. How the desired living space is to be designed should correlate with orientation; the views and access points to more private living quarters versus entertaining spaces. Landscape design experts can easily enhance the property’s natural beauty, adding more visual appeal to desired viewpoints, creating a masterful solution for the dream home’s location.
Next week’s blog will discuss elements of the Feng shui philosophy as it relates to the home’s orientation on its property.