One Home Design Mistake You’re Guaranteed to Have

By on December 10
Senior man moving sofa at his home

Ridiculous but true, circulation through major living spaces in your home is flawed. What’s worse is you probably don’t even realize it. You’re so use to living in poorly designed spaces you’ve become desensitized. In fact, rooms that don’t function well are the norm.
So why is this problem so common?

Bad Home Designers

This is the first and most common problem. The sad reality mediocre to bad designers are easier to find than good to great designers. Unfortunately, the reason is simple, the level of qualification to practice is low. Okay, low doesn’t give it justice. In most every state, the test for becoming a housing designer is very simple. Its called:

The fog test!

The fog test is quite simple. Hold a mirror under your designer’s nose. If it fogs up, he (or she) passes. Yep the answer is simple, if the person is breathing he passes the test.

This sounds rather cynical doesn’t it. Unfortunately, it’s all too true.

15 Minute Fix: Case Study

Are you ready for what’s saddest? The solution to this problem is soooo simple. Lets take a look at a plan gone bad. I pulled this house from a home builders website. The flow to the house is so bad the builder should be embarrassed to even build it. But what’s worse, they are promoting it on their website.

A Home Makeover for a Not-So-GREAT-Room


What’s so bad about this plan? The problems are so numerous you’ll probably think I’m unfairly picking on it. And maybe I am. But, it’s not my fault a professional builder has placed it in the public eye for all to see. If you want information on how to avoid these mistakes on your way to creating a great home, sign up for my Dream Home Newsletter.

So here’s the problems:

  1. The great room has poor circulation. I call this a “4-corners room”. Traffic flows from all sides through the room. This is a problem because furnishing the room becomes problematic. See, the furniture must be floated in the center of the room so people can pass through.
  2. Door to the Owner’s Suite makes the bed visible from the Great Room. Hey, it’s a room with a view!
  3. The sitting area of the Owner’s Suite is tight and awkward.
  4. The Owner’s Closet is open to the bathroom and toilet (kind of gross if you ask me).
  5. Owner’s bath is amazingly ordinary. It’s right out of 1982.
  6. The kitchen is what would be called a submarine kitchen in the restaurant business. This one lives up to it’s tight name. Only one person can work in the kitchen comfortably.
  7. Travel from the kitchen through the nook is tight also.
  8. The great room is not so great because the flow of the kitchen – nook separation from the great room.
  9. Entry way is rather pedestrian. There’s no excitement or interest in it.
  10. Utility room is too shallow. The room should be 6’ deep from the back of the washer wall to the door wall. This one is 5’deep and the door has to swing out because of it.
  11. Need I say more. This plan is horrible.

Following is a quickie remake of the same plan. The intent is to illustrate that the organization of the rooms is not the problem. The fact is that the designer of the home didn’t understand what he was doing. But what’s criminal is the builder couldn’t identify the poor design.

A Superior Solution with the Same Footprint

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From Bad to Good

Just what did I do that makes this plan better? Start with the biggest problem of all, the entry to the owner’s suite. The original design had the entry to the bedroom from the great room space. With the door open, you can see the bed. That is not considered a positive attribute.

  • Second, look at the shape and feel of the owner’s bedroom. The entry to the bedroom forces a tightly defined sitting area. Not that a well-defined sitting area is bad… it just makes the bedroom feel smaller.
  • Third, the owner’s bathroom is ordinary and basic. Once again, nothing wrong per se, it’s just a bathroom you would expect to see on a secondary bedroom wing or a low priced house.The revised design instead creates a private suite feel for the owner’s suite. Now there is one less doorway entering the bedroom. The result is a larger more unrestricted bedroom. Look at the placement of the dresser. This is not possible in the previous plan. But, that’s not the only improvement with this change; the owner’s bath now feels more upscale.Do you want a home that you’ve always dreamed about but didn’t know where to start? Attend our Free Webinar. It’s titled “How to Get The Home Of Your Dreams and Get Your Friends and Family To Beg You To Tell Them How You’ve Become Such A Creative Genius.”
  • Fourth, the entry at the original plan is cut up and meanders along. This is more work for the framers to construct, and the size feels merely adequate. The alternate design creates a gallery type entry sequence that feels large and upscale.
  • Fifth, the great room function is compromised. There are egress points from all four corners of the room, something I like to call a “4-corners” room. This is not good at all. It REQUIRES furniture to be floated in the center of the room – which is fine in a large home. Unfortunately, this home is anything but large.Now, see how the great room has been revised. There’s a corner in the room to push the volume-stealing furniture. The circulation through the room is now refined thus making furnishing more flexible. The eating area is now placed at an island and a dining area within the great room. Thus eliminating the smaller ‘nook’ look and feel.
  • Sixth, the kitchen is a simple ‘U’ shaped layout. It is efficient enough but has that Apartment look and feel.

The new kitchen flows through to the great room, also providing the opportunity for a pantry. The pantry location is less than perfect, but it’s an awesome pantry compared to the non-existent one in the original plan.

So What Does This Mean to You?

This is the reason you and your friends have the same problem. It boils down to under-qualified and ill-equipped home designers “practicing” their craft on the unsuspecting public.

By understanding the principles illustrated in this case study as well as principles on what makes great home design, you will will have the tools and knowledge to manage the design of your home. If you are thinking of creating a new home, you can’t afford to make the mistakes this professional home builder made Click Here to see how you can be the creative genius behind your new home.


About Jon "The Home Whisperer" Anderson

Jon Anderson has been Home Builders secret resource for over 25. He's helped them create over $2.2 Billion in revenue. In order to sharpen his skills, Jon has also built homes (he actually hired clients to do the building). He tested his own ideas and principles with his own 'skin' in the game. That's where he really learned about what matters and what doesn't. Now, Jon is bringing his immense skills to the public. For more cost-saving creative custom home tips, tactics and strategies, go to

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