There are 5 key design considerations to weigh when making the move from the city to the suburbs. Helping clients wade through the consequences of those considerations is part of the joy of our service – and our responsibly.
But I sometimes secretly sigh inside thinking….if only this great couple or person considered certain interior design issues prior to selecting this particular home, they’d be on even stronger footing now.
This article can help you on the front.
Why the Move: Identifying Priorities
A move from the city to the suburbs can be driven by a variety of factors. Do you want more space to start or grow a family; to make working from home more gratifying, to get some much needed expanded breathing room, privacy or peace of mind? Is it a combo, or are you, like many, still feeling psychological aftershocks of the pandemic?
With your own special motivations in focus, keep these in mind as you consider the following:
Specialty Spaces Become a Real Option in the Right Property
With more space, …aka the lower floor or basement, dream rooms become a very doable reality. Wine Tasting Rooms, Tricked-out Bars, Media Rooms, Home Theaters, Home Gyms, Yoga Studios, Dance Studios, and Playrooms. These are not only doable, but ideally suited to sub-levels.
Beyond the space gain below ground, there may be unused rooms or bedrooms on the main and upper level. Thanks to their location and natural light, these can wonderfully support Home Offices, Art Studios, Craft Rooms, Libraries or Meditation Rooms.
If building from scratch, this menu expands to include Golf Simulators, Indoor Pools, Bowling alleys, Expansive Saunas, and Au Pair or Guest Suites and outbuildings like Pool Houses, Hothouses, and Playhouses.
Working from Home Becomes Elegant, Easy and Spacious
Working from home in the suburbs means no longer having to huddle up with a laptop on a sofa or at the kitchen table.
Home offices in the suburbs can easily mix high function with whatever degree of design style you crave, from the elegant to the relaxed.
A Larger Home Means More Furnishings
Before falling in love with a home, be realistic about costs to furnish and fill it.
Your own apartment furniture, rugs, accessories, lighting and wall art, will be quickly swallowed by your new home.
Many current pieces will be to smaller for the larger new rooms. The workaround is to assign these to a different of even secondary spaces, something we’re working on for a great young family right now: Some of their current master bedroom furniture is going into a guest room; a living room sofa is going into a small sitting room, their current dining room sideboard is going into the foyer. Good design will make them look seamless and intentional in their new surroundings.
However, some re-use options or modifications like recolor or reupholstering won’t work if a piece is too small in scale, or if it’s design is wrong: ie….an L-shaped sectional sofa that faces the wrong way for the new space.
Honestly assess your budget and tolerance.
Will you feel happy and peaceful if you purchase a home with a LOT of space but need to take 10+ years or longer to furnish and fill it?
An empty, echo chamber house with a mix of empty rooms and half cobbled together spaces may leave you feeling daily dissatisfaction if you’re sensitive in design.
Would you be better off buying a little less house so you can preserve more budget to truly design and furnish it so it matches with your soul feeding dreams?
Or perhaps you can split the distance with a a sound 2-3 -year furnishings plan if dong it all at once is not feasible. This is something a good design team should be able to do so you have a realistic and comfortable budget forecast and plan.
A Larger Home means More Windows to Cover
More windows and all that glass and light….ah!
Windows are highly coveted and add cost in home purchase price and interior design. With them comes the need to control light, glare, privacy and for most interior design styles, aesthetic window dressing.
Window treatment costs are not small, another blog post of itself. So for now, let’s wrap this into the prior consideration on total furnishings cost.
Be careful when house hunting: The larger the windows and the higher their number, the higher your total costs to deal with them.
Outdoor Space is Your Own!
Moving from the city to the suburbs means that private outdoor space is your new daily, soul-feeding thrill. It was for me when I left New York City when I designed our beautiful garden and deck.
From patios, decks, outdoor rooms, covered porches to pools, tennis courts and “you name it”, outdoor spaces provide a serious quality-of-life upside.
Their only downside is upkeep and cost. Be sure to honestly assess what your upkeep tolerance will be before falling in love with extensive grounds or adding them after purchasing your new home.
We’d love to help you make your move from the city to the burbs as easy and seamless as possible. Call the studio to schedule a zoom call or phone call to discuss where you are in your search and your project so we can best support, advise and guide.