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Tag: Design

Entertaining Spaces

Posted on August 10th, by Michael Menn in Architecture. Comments Off on Entertaining Spaces

Entertaining Spaces

Wouldn’t you love to double the size of your house for the holidays, or when you’re entertaining for large groups of friends? And when the party is over and all the guests have gone home have your nice, cozy house back just like that?

It doesn’t make sense to maintain a large entertaining space that gets used only a couple of times a year. That’s why it’s so practical to have a functional and efficient indoor-outdoor space.

Having a well-designed outdoor area adjacent to your main entertaining rooms is a great way to get more space when needed and to add value to your home. The indoor-outdoor concept is not a new idea, but when you combine it with an open floor plan, you can create a large entertaining area that your guests will savor.

Here are some tips to make sure you get the most out of your indoor-outdoor design.

Create a big opening. Don’t be afraid to invest in big openings between your indoor and outdoor spaces. Large pocket or accordion doors are a great way to blur the visual barriers between the two areas. When weather permits, you can open up the exterior wall and instantly double the floor space.

Keep … Read More »

Efficient and Beautiful

Posted on March 7th, by Michael Menn in Architecture, Complete Home Projects, Efficient. Comments Off on Efficient and Beautiful

This month I would like to talk about the efficient use of space.

Big houses consume more resources than small ones. They use more wood, more carpet, more drywall and more concrete. They cover more ground and generate more construction debris. When completed, they will require more energy to heat and cool.

A house’s size has a greater impact on energy and resource use than any other factor, including insulation, equipment efficiency and windows. So here are some tips for efficiency yet maintaining style.

Space Design Savvy Tips:

Share space between different uses. A home office and guest bedroom is a common combination. Also consider using a hall or stairway as a library or gallery, a landing can be a reading nook, the laundry can be a mudroom. Replace individual rooms for “media,” exercise and others purposes with built-ins and storage for special equipment.


Add double-height space. Smaller rooms need not feel “cramped.” High vertical spaces add an airy feeling.


Fill the entire building volume. Much usable space can be lost to attics. This space under the roof can be used for visual appeal, loft space or heated storage. Cathedral roof trusses with ceiling insulation, stick framing with insulation between the rafters or structural insulated panels … Read More »