Custom Home Design – View Design

Custom Home Design – View Design – is it natural or man-made? – Part 3  In Parts 1 & 2 of this Custom Home Design blog series, I wrote about the importance of the identifying the budget, a recent survey of the property and the benefit of having the customer prepare a comprehensive wish list prior to beginning the discovery process with Wright Jenkins Home Design or another experienced home designer or architect. In this installment, we’ll be uncovering more of what our clients are after, once they have identified generally what each can live with, or without.

Courtyard Home Plan

ESHP Armond 219a Courtyard Plan

Create Your Own View

It helps to uncover from larger to smaller details, and now that we have the lot information we can confirm whether or not there’s an existing view, If not, do we have the budget to create one? So we talk about the family’s outdoor-living wish list. Should it be limited to a covered lanai, courtyard with an outdoor kitchen, or will there also be a swimming pool, sun deck and a spa and perhaps a fire-pit? Bonair Lanai and Pool Beyond Is there anything else we should be aware of like special needs like wheelchair accessibility? (More on this later.)


Aviary by Shepherd’s Carpentry, UK — Dog grooming/bed station by Artistic Renovations, OH

Pet Accommodations

How about the needs of family pets? We just designed a home that will have a 14’x40’ aviary accessed from a screened-in pool and deck. Since the customer was very prepared regarding what he wanted, the aviary’s location had to be “just so.” You can see why that mattered even before we began discussing the conditioned space! We can design pet grooming stations, which are usually in the utility room.

How about the home’s entrance? Will a more traditional front porch or a tall entry statement be more suitable? Bonair front porch I ask about the vehicles the home owners own, or are likely to own. I inquire about hobbies, sports or other activities that may affect the size, the location and orientation of the garage. With such a shortage of basements in SW Florida, (otherwise known as swimming pools) I ask if storage trusses above the garage are desirable. Everyone appreciates the extra storage with headroom! How about a mud room adjacent the laundry? Should the laundry have a counter with cabinets above and perhaps a built-in tub? Front or top load? Is a window important here for natural light?


ESHP Bonair Plan 709 with elevated front porch

The Living Space

So the home has a great view and amenity rich outdoor living, greatly extending the home’s livability. Of course the living space design discussion must relate to the outdoor living area. The homeowner will want as many rooms in the house to have access to, or at least a view of the outdoor amenities and an existing view. The good news is that the ever popular “open concept” or “great room plan” results in more success to that end. We talk about the rooms that will be occupied most often. The kitchen, great room and the owner’s suite and sometimes the dining room makes that “must have a view” list. While I’m at it, should that dining be formal? If so, should there also be a nook off the kitchen? Back to the indoor/outdoor connection, I ask how important a Cabana Bath or powder might be that would serve both?


Open Great Room with a wall of sliders.

We finally made it inside the home in Part 3 of the Custom Home Design series! Part 4 will continue our discovery.

Dave Jenkins

Dave Jenkins is a leading designer of Hi-Performance homes for the residential market. His award-winning home designs boast the nation's most energy-efficient homes available. Dave has over 25 years of experience in high-end, residential design and illustration for luxury builders and developers.

One Comment On “Custom Home Design – View Design”

  1. Chris and Mary Penn

    Awesome looking aviary!


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