5 Principles for a Well-Designed Home

For a house to be a home — at least a KAA-designed home — it must respect nature and elevate the spirit. And that can't be rushed.

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Hide CaptionShow CaptionTake any opportunity to invite natural sunlight into your home — windows, doors, and airy spaces. This colorful California home is infused with light, making it glow.
When you see a house from the street that's been designed by architects Grant Kirkpatrick, AIA, and Steve Straughan, AIA, of KAA Design Group in Los Angeles, you get a sense of something that’s more than bricks and mortar. That’s because the architects look beyond the basics to create a sense of place that can elevate the human spirit, says Kirkpatrick: "The design always acknowledges the importance of context, nature, spirit and integrity." What is the number one mistake the architects see? Rushing the design process. "When you work with an architect you want to give the collaborative process the necessary time," he says. "If you talk about the things that matter in a home upfront, you’ll end up in a much better place." Taking the time helps homeowners understand how good design can affect them personally and emotionally, he says. Here, Kirkpatrick and Straughan outline the five essential principles that help create a well-designed home with a soul.