I thought it would be fun to design my ideal home, so I set out to build and render a full house interior in Blender. I began by imagining a set of design goals, and I'll share them here after a brief preamble.
Firstly, while the result here exhibits many elements I love, I made compromises to finish the project relatively quickly. I could've easily spent an entire year on this--I instead spent a few weeks. I didn't render every room--didn't fully furnish the whole space, and most notably, didn't design bathrooms (although I have many opinions on that subject). Also, I'm not an architect, so I designed mostly without real-world constraints in mind, the few exceptions being adherence to regulation minimum door heights and hallway widths. As for the final layout, the most glaring omission is perhaps a garage--which I'll incorporate if I decide to move forward with new versions in the future. Furthermore, if I actually had the opportunity to design and build my own home, I would want efficient energy usage to influence the final design--I've ignored that and focused on visual ideas instead. Lastly, the final product shown here conveys only one possible version of my ideal home. If I were designing my perfect bachelor pad, the result would probably be different--just as it would be if I were planning for a large family, or emphasizing the work-at-home space, or optimizing for social gatherings. I think my chosen direction represents a flexible middle-ground.
So, my design goals:
-The house must be small--not a tiny-house, but a modest single-story home with no more than two or three bedrooms.
-It should feature enclosed, easily-isolated spaces--coziness over openness.
-Private spaces should feel separated from social areas. Most importantly, the shared bathroom should be sufficiently separated from the living room and dining area.
-Visually, the design will merge a simplified form of traditional European, English Tudor, and traditional Japanese--not overly ornate, but also not minimalist.
-The layout must feature windowed perimeter hallways inspired by Japanese enclosed Engawas.
-The entryway should be an isolated room--masking any entry or exit from the home--while still providing access to both common areas and the private living space. It will serve as a decompression area, so to speak, before entering or exiting the living space. Ideally, guests should be able to attend a social gathering in the living room without disturbing the dining area and vice-versa. (It seems to me that this concept can be easily accomplished in a large home--it's much trickier in a small house)
-There must be an open patio with a fire-pit.
-I think televisions are an eye-sore. So, in my dream home, I would avoid placing one in any of the main social spaces. Ideally, I would set aside a room to function solely as a theater.
-The dining area should feel like a British pub, featuring a booth and bar.
-It must include a sizable home office.
In general, the most significant unforeseen difficulty encountered during the design process was maintaining consistency in spacing throughout the entire house. For example, I wanted the perimeter hallway width to match the width of a single outer window frame--since I knew I would be using those window frames as hallway endcaps. This meant that the hallway lengths also had to be evenly divisible by that same window frame width. And because the main hallway stretches throughout the house in a 'U' shape, that window frame spacing affects pretty much every single room. All the while, I wanted the final layout to fit snuggly within a box shape--making designing this layout feel much like completing a puzzle.