It’s Time to Reprogram Our Approach to Remodeling
Taking issue: One architect suggest a whole new approach to tackling remodeling projects
I’ll let you in on a secret about architects. We would rather design clever, efficient, well-proportioned homes, kitchens, baths—you name it—than big ones. We don’t get excited when a client says “We want it to be huge!” We long to hear things like “Be creative without wasting space” and “We’re more interested in the character of the room than the size of it.”
Anyone can design a kitchen with miles of countertops and cabinets, plunking down appliances here, windows there, and maybe a pantry around the corner. The real goal should be a kitchen or bath that is large enough to be functional yet small enough to be efficient; one crafted with excellence and thoughtfulness, not cookiecutter indifference. Make your architect’s day by demanding a smaller, smarter alternative to the vast trophy kitchens celebrated in the media.
The problem is that our society seems hypnotized by the idea that we need more space. We’ve become slaves to the marketing masters who have us convinced that expansive homes filled with trendy gadgets are better. Builders, Realtors, designers, and mortgage lenders have been pushing mini-mansions on the masses for so long that we’ve come to believe we need them. It’s been drilled into us with boot-camp regularity: Luxurious baths fit for kings and kitchens roomy enough for crowds are essential for resale.
Sadly, too many of us nodded in brainwashed agreement that the quality of our lives and the value of our homes were dependent upon building bigger baths, kitchens, “great” rooms, and media caves. The demand for jumbo homes became clamorous, and mortgage lending got fast and loose.
Homebuilders made piles of money, and manufacturers smiled all the way to the bank as the average American home grew by hundreds of square…