Plenty of Daylight.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.
A Strong Indoor-Outdoor ConnectionIn home design, people are beginning to understand the value of not just architecture and interior design, but landscape design, according to KAA. They’re allocating significant parts of their budgets to site design, garden design and outdoor rooms.
A Clear VisionKAA believes that the home is a place to celebrate life, share with family and friends and cocoon when times get trying.
Great Flow from Room to RoomYou can feel that a home is "working" when you walk from room to room with grace, as in this inviting dining room-living room arrangement. In a home that flows, you’ll feel the anticipation of a pathway to a room so inviting that it inspires friendly conversation, or you’ll be naturally led to a trellised arcade that leads to a romantic outdoor dining area.
Respect for its Locale and EnvironmentIt is an ongoing KAA effort to encourage clients to think "green" on a variety of levels, architect Kirkpatrick says. In the California home pictured, the design respects nature with its wall-high views of the beauty outside, and with natural outdoor rooms.