What makes a happy home? Love, of course, but harmony is also important. Contributing to that harmony is a home balancing public and private areas so family members have enough space to be together and apart.
According to a 2019 Brigham Young University report exploring the effect of space on familial happiness, how we feel about our homes contributes to how we feel about our families.
If our homes feel crowded, we may also feel negatively about other family members.
Children sharing a bathroom may have more negative feelings about their siblings because of a perceived lack of privacy. Parents without room to converse privately may feel more irritated with their children.
The solution may seem to be a larger home, but research also found that a more spread-out home can lead to feelings of isolation. In other words, too much privacy isn’t a good thing, either.
What seems to contribute the most to how positively people feel about their homes is layout. A thoughtfully designed home feels larger and less crowded even if there is less square footage. That, in turn, contributes to positive interactions between family members and greater happiness.
What does a thoughtfully designed home look like? The layout should feel open with high ceilings and plenty of light, especially in public areas such as family rooms, kitchens and dining areas. Walls contribute to feeling crowded. Dining spaces that cut family members off from each other do not promote togetherness.
A large kitchen with counter seating that is open to the family room allows family members with different schedules to be together. A member that has already eaten can hang out in the family room while other members eat in the dining area or kitchen.
Private areas include bedrooms, of course, but also studies and rooms that serve a particular function, such as craft or exercise rooms. Their position in the home is also important. A primary suite at the back of the home on the first floor may offer more privacy than one on the second floor near game rooms and secondary bedrooms. Parents can retire there to have private conversations that they don’t want to be overheard. Bonus points if there are no rooms overhead contributing noise.
A study next to the primary suite can easily be designated a private space for adults to work. If the adult uses the space to meet with clients, the study should be at the front of the home. This keeps strangers from traipsing through family areas.
Some rooms can serve as both public and private areas at different times. A media room can bring the family together for movie nights. It can also be a private space for parents to enjoy a romantic film. Game rooms can be sectioned off to provide space for teen friends to gather or to do homework.
Outdoor spaces are just as important. A covered patio can be a private spot for thinking or meditating as well as a summer dining area in the evening.
When searching for a new home, it is important to understand how you want to use space. Does your current home feel crowded? Are there enough bedrooms and bathrooms for everyone? Is there a quiet spot for making calls to the office?
Keep in mind that older homes tend to have lower ceilings and more walls, increasing separation of family members. New-build homes — such as the ones found in Veranda — are designed with open floor plans, higher ceilings and more windows, so they feel roomy and comfortable. New-build homes can also be tweaked to meet your needs. Structural options such as adding bedrooms, bathrooms and bonus rooms can create more private areas.
If you are ready to make your home a happy home, visit Veranda. You can tour our beautiful model homes, talk to builder sales representatives about your needs and view dozens of floor plans. Get started today.