It’s time to talk about designing for longevity. This is an important component of sustainable design. For a home that will age gracefully, choose a classic style and use the best quality materials that fit your budget. Now, let’s look at each of these two points more closely.
Here’s an example of trendy design: the vaulted, two-storey entryway. It has its place, but an otherwise modest home isn’t it. In the average-sized home, this is just a space-waster and contrary to the idea of resilient design.
If you want to look at some good examples of classic design motifs, look up Shingle, Craftsman, and Prairie styles online. Their aesthetic appeal comes from certain shared traits: grace, proportionality, rich detail and fitness of purpose. They’re elegant without looking “fussy” and materials are used honestly. These homes have a timeless look and integrate well into their surroundings. They resell easily and never seem to go out of style.
These qualities don’t belong to any particular time period, but can be found in every good design. If conceived properly, a West Coast Contemporary home can embrace classic traits and embody timelessness. The key is to be modern without crossing the line into faddishness with frivolous, non-functional details that will soon beg for renovation. Remember: classic design is a key component of sustainability – if people like it they won’t tear it down, thus saving materials, energy and other resources.
Quality is another important component of longevity. You’ll save more over the long term by choosing the best materials you can afford – and hiring the best contractors you can to install them. The initial outlay will be more, but you’ll avoid rapid deterioration and additional repair or replacement costs. Note, though, that a higher price doesn’t guarantee better quality; shop carefully.
We also suggest that you buy and hire as locally as you can, preferably with the guidance of a good designer. Your home will be more sustainable, more durable and will retain its beauty and value long into the future.