There is a definite relation between the work of the house keeper and that of the architectural designer. It is a part of the business of the designers to do what he can to make housekeeping easy. He or she can do a great deal. They should understand the principles and practice of good housekeeping. This knowledge is something which cannot be conceived from the architectural schools or offices, it must come from a home.
Newspapers and home magazines have had a great deal to say about the artistic and functional qualities of domestic architecture, a great deal to say about house decoration, and, altogether, has furnished quite a bit of valuable material on the subjects. Very little has been said however as to the relation of good architecture to good housekeeping. The artistic element should not be overlooked but there must also be consideration of the question of convenient arrangement, economy and ease, for the housekeeper.
Even if you have a dishwasher, washing dishes is nasty work, but the architectural designer can do his or her part toward making it easier for the one doing the cleanup. If we take a big mess of china, knives, forks, and spoons, pots, and pans, and bring them together on one small kitchen table, we lack everything needed to speed up the progress of the work and a situation quite different from when there is a roomy sink with ample counter space on each side of it to organize everything to where it can be cleaned in a reasonable amount of time with less mess. A designer can plan a kitchen so that all of these conveniences are possible. That is if he communicates and listens to the individual needs of the one doing the house keeping.
The floor plan layout of a house has a definite relation to house keeping requirements, which is not always fully dealt with. The difference between a good layout and a bad one may make the difference of a whole bunch of kilowatt hours of electricity used for the heating of a house during the winter. It makes more difference to a man who lives in a house that costs sixty thousand dollars or seventy thousand dollars as to whether he uses a bunch of electricity in warming it than it does to the man who lives in a one hundred thousand or one hundred and fifty thousand dollar house as to whether he uses a bunch more power. The cost of fuel is of more importance to a man of who lives paycheck to pay check than it would to one who has more money to spare.
More economical housekeeping can be better carried out in a compact house. To say that a house is compact does not necessarily mean it has to be crowded or that any of the conditions of comfort are ignored. However, if we avoid wasted space, such as is frequently used up in large halls and passages, we merely take away something that is not needed.
Tim Davis is an experienced architectural designer who specializes not only in residential house plans, but also commercial.
Residential Home Design: http://residentialdrafting.net