Update (December 2021): I re-did the lighting on a number of these shots. I've kept all of the originals on the bottom of the stack for comparison.
I thought it would be fun to create a living space, so I designed, modeled, and rendered an entire first-floor interior in Blender, all according to established design goals which I'll share after a brief clarification-filled preamble.
Clarification one: this project is unfinished. I limited the scope of this first-pass so I could finish it within a few weeks (I could've easily spent an entire year on this). The effects of my self-inflicted limited development time were thus: I A] didn't render every room, B] didn't fully furnish the space, C] didn't design bathrooms, and D] didn't incorporate a garage or carport. Clarification two: I'm not an architect. My design does not conform to real-world engineering constraints, the exceptions being my adherence to regulation minimum door heights and hallway widths. I've also ignored matters of energy efficiency. Clarification three: I see this design as only one possible version of my ideal home. A bachelor-pad focus may have resulted in something different--just as if I were optimizing for a large family, emphasizing the office space, or prioritizing social gatherings. I think my chosen direction represents a flexible middle-ground.
And without further ado, here were the 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, discrete spaces--coziness over openness.
-Private spaces should feel separated from social areas. Most importantly, the shared bathroom should be sufficiently removed from the living room and dining area.
-Visually, the design will fuse streamlined forms 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 direct access to common areas and the living space. Guests ought to be able to attend a social gathering in the living room without disturbing the dining area, and any incoming inhabitants should be able to access the living spaces without disturbing any social areas. Additionally, the discrete nature of the entry will allow the room to serve as a decompression area, so to speak, before entering or exiting the home.
-There must be an open patio with a fire pit.
-There should be no TV-focused layouts in any social area (my ideal home would have a dedicated theater space).
-The dining area should feel like a British pub, featuring a booth and bar.
-It must include a sizable home office.
-The footprint of the entire layout should be a simple rectangular shape.
The most significant unforeseen difficulty encountered during the design process was maintaining consistency in spacing throughout the 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 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 measurement affects the sizing of almost every room. All the while, I wanted the whole layout to fit within a box shape--making designing this layout feel much like completing a puzzle.