I love great rooms! I design all my houses as open concept space with the kitchen, dining and living room as one great space. Formal dining rooms are a way of the past. To me, a great room reflects the more casual way we all live and entertain these days, plus it’s an excellent way to achieve square footage in a house which results in a more efficient house.
A well designed great room has spaces for kitchen, dining and lounging, along with enough room for people to mingle when the homeowner is entertaining. The fun part of a great room is these spaces can ‘borrow’ square footage from each other, depending on what the room is being used for on any given day. Furniture rearrangement is easy, as there is one large space, instead of several small rooms. Hard surface floors and felts on furniture is an excellent way to be able to manipulate your furniture to meet your current space needs. Of course we all know a great room is wonderful for a party, as everyone wants to party in the kitchen!
A great room doesn’t have to be a square room, or even a rectangle. Sometimes I design them in an L shape, with the kitchen tucked into the bottom right part of the L, so that it’s hidden from the living room. That way, clients don’t have to look at the mess in the kitchen if they don’t want to! This choice can be decided by site design.
A big trick to making a great room work for a family is to make sure there is an alternative quiet place for a family member to go, to be alone. If someone doesn’t want to be social, a quiet reading nook in a bedroom, or a den with a TV or bookshelves provides this option to the large open space. A screened porch or covered deck is also a wonderful alternative in the summer months.
Look at this lovely great room in a house we just built in Washago. The kitchen space is defined by the large overhead trellis. It's the first time we have built one of these. I love this trellis!
Don and I are excited about our most recent project: a house we are building on land across from our office and home on Birch Drive in Washago. A few years ago, Don and I decided to take on the project of building a house on land we purchased ourselves, with no specific clients in mind. Why? Partly we thought it would be a good way to keep our crew busy through the slower winter months, and we also thought that a well built spec house with custom touches would be a very desirable place to live.
Our first three spec houses did sell well, so we are now setting ourselves the task of building on the acreage we bought across the road. We have seven lots, and are just about ready to list the first house on the first lot! It’s a two bedroom plus office/den/bedroom and two and a half bath one storey home, slab on grade, with radiant floor heat- super toasty in the winter and very energy efficient. The house has a three car garage to provide storage for the homeowners, as well as ample closet space- I am a real closet fanatic, I put them everywhere in the homes I build!- and a mudroom for even more storage. As with all the homes I design, the house is sited to take advantage of the sun’s warmth and light, with overhangs to keep the heat out in the hotter summer months. There is a covered porch, which the homeowners can screen in, and a large great room for cooking and entertaining, with 12 foot ceilings for a wonderful open feeling.
All of the lots back onto treed land, which then back onto crown land….with lovely walking trails. The views from this house are amazing, and the lot and house are very private. The walls and roof are up and the spaces are taking shape! It’s an exciting time when you start seeing the 3-D reality of a house that previously existed only on paper and in your imagination. I have just finished picking out the bath and kitchen fixtures and this house is becoming reality very quickly! Check out the pictures of this house as it is being built at www.scottinc.ca and of course please contact me through e-mail, phone or Facebook if you are interested in more information!
Hello and welcome to my new blog! I am very excited to have this space to talk about different aspects of design, some of our upcoming projects, and anything else that you and I are interested in talking about.
I went to Ryerson and graduated with a B Tech Arch Sci- a degree in Architecture. I have been working as a designer for 16 years. Six years ago, my husband, Don Scott, and I, merged our two businesses- Donald D. Scott Custom Builder and Renovator and KMcKechnie Design- into one business, ScottInc Design+Build. Yes, it took me a while to make that decision. Living and working together does not always work for everyone- but it has worked for us! And building a home using a design/build company makes the whole process simpler, more streamlined and efficient. When all decisions are coming out of one office, there are fewer time lags and errors and better communication, resulting in a much more enjoyable building process for the client, the designer and the builder.
I design all kinds of buildings and renovations, but my favourite work is custom home building. I love to guide the client through the whole design process from start to finish, and end up with the house they want. Renovations can be frustrating, as sometimes it’s not actually possible to end up with exactly the house you want, if you are starting with something that has a lot of issues, or is simply the wrong house for the clients’ needs. I love to look at an unspoiled house site and let that guide me to the home that works with it, and with the clients.
Working with Don on home building is wonderful as we see eye to eye on the most basic premise to us: giving the client a really good quality custom home that suits the environment, that is energy efficient, that has good quality finishes, and that will last. We will not scrimp on the quality of our homes for the sake of the final price tag, and I think that has been the secret of our success. Our clients are happy and happy to testify that they love their homes.