July 2, 2015:

Jay Kallos

What makes a house a home? That seems like an easy question to answer: people. But is it really that simple? All of us call someplace home.  And many of us cherish a place that someone else calls home. It might be a familiar place from your past, a house in a place that you know and love, somewhere you’ve never been to but have seen in a movie, on TV, in a magazine, or on Houzz. You instantly relate to it and it draws you in because it resonates within your every fiber.

People add the heart and soul to the place they call home. Through birthdays, meals, neighborhood gatherings, good times and bad, our lives play out against the blank canvases of our houses. And all of these memories cast onto the walls of those houses give them the patina of love that transform it into a home.

Buying a house isn’t like shopping for clothes that you can try on to see how they fit. The right house has to stir your emotions and excite friends and family. It needs to fit your life now, but also flex to accommodate all of the changes that life throws at you. It needs to be more like a comfortable pair of jeans than a stiff, new glove.

Finding the place you’ll call home is magical. You might drive by the house or neighborhood and want to go inside. See it on the internet and feel it call to you. With that perfect house, there is something so familiar it’s like you’ve visited before. The outside draws you in and when you walk inside it fits like your most comfortable shoes.

The floor plan is intuitive and familiar. Spaces meet your needs. The entry embraces you and gives you the welcome that you deserve. The rooms that spin off of the entry are warm and inviting. All of the parts and pieces of the home are useful for your life. It meets your current needs and future dreams.

Your home needs to anticipate your needs and not force you into an uncomfortable position. If you shop at Costco or Wal-Mart for supplies, your house needs to accept those bulk goods. If you work from home, there has to be a place where you won’t be distracted. Play spaces for the kids need to be appropriate for their age and adapt as they grow. The public spaces should be visually separated from the private spaces. Flexibility needs to be inherent and not an afterthought.

When we design houses, we always have a story in the back of our minds. We ask ourselves who lives here, how has the house evolved, how will it be flexible to a number of different lifestyles. And most importantly: How can we design this house to celebrate the people that are going to make it a home?

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