How to Maximize your Home’s View: Designing Your Home for Spectacular Scenery
If you’re thinking of building a home in Western North Carolina, chances are the scenery is one of the biggest factors in your decision to build and live in the area. Over the years, we have worked with countless clients to help them achieve building a home with the views they desired when the chose to build in the area. Achieving this goal can be challenging, and requires expertise and careful planning. Let’s explore some of the most important aspects of designing a home with a spectacular view.
Embracing Your Natural Surroundings
One of the fundamental principles of designing a home to maximize views is to embrace the natural surroundings. By seamlessly integrating your living spaces with the external environment, you can create a seamless transition between indoor and outdoor areas, allowing you to fully appreciate and engage with the unique beauty of your home’s location. These are some essential things to keep in mind:
1. Site Analysis and Orientation
Conducting a thorough site analysis is crucial to determine the best orientation for your home. Especially in the mountains, a home needs to be placed strategically in order to maximize views while minimizing lot development costs. Things like retaining walls and other approaches that may be necessary to position the home toward the best view can be expensive, so we make a plan with our clients to manage the priorities of both views and budget. Other things we take into consideration include the direction of sunlight throughout the day, exposure to high winds (especially if the home is above certain altitudes, which dictate different building codes), and the landscape’s topography. After considering all of these factors we can strategically position windows, patios, and balconies to optimize views while also ensuring a soundly built home and ample natural light.
2. Architectural Design
When it comes to architectural design, opting for an open floor plan can significantly enhance the visual connection between indoor and outdoor spaces. As open concept floor plans become less popular, we use creative approaches to help lend open-concept spaces the coziness and separation they lack. In most homes where a view takes center stage, we recommend incorporating incorporating large windows, glass walls, and sliding doors to allow for unobstructed panoramic views, effectively bringing the view inside the home.
3. Outdoor Living Spaces
Designing functional and inviting outdoor living spaces is a fantastic way to make the most of your views. Designing outdoor living spaces can be tricky when attempting to maximize the view for both the indoor and outdoor living spaces, and requires lots of planning. A good balance can be designing a portion of your outdoor living space uncovered so as to preserve the unobstructed view for the central portion of your home, and design covered outdoor areas to be located on the “outskirts” of the floor plan. Consider incorporating features such as expansive decks, pergolas, or terraces that seamlessly integrate with the surrounding landscape. These areas provide the perfect setting for relaxation, entertainment, and soaking in the natural beauty that surrounds your home.
Strategic Positioning of Rooms
To fully capitalize on the views, it’s essential to strategically position key rooms within your home. Here are some suggestions for maximizing views from different areas of your house:
1. Living Room
The living room is often the heart of the home, and positioning it to capture the best views is crucial. Consider placing large windows or a glass wall in the living room to frame the scenery, creating a stunning focal point for both residents and visitors.
2. Kitchen and Dining Area
The kitchen and dining area can also benefit from breathtaking views. Imagine cooking or enjoying a meal while overlooking a picturesque landscape. Incorporating windows or glass doors in these spaces not only allows for a scenic backdrop but also fills the room with an abundance of natural light.
Waking up to a stunning view can be an incredible way to start each day. Position bedrooms in a way that allows for capturing your view. Large windows or balconies can transform a bedroom into a personal oasis, bringing the beauty of the outside world into your private space.
Landscaping and Site Planning to Enhance Views
Creating a visually stunning landscape is an integral part of optimizing your home’s views. Thoughtfully designed landscaping can complement your home’s architecture while accentuating the natural beauty of the surroundings. Here are some landscaping tips to consider:
1. Native Plants
Using native plants in your landscaping not only promotes environmental sustainability but also ensures that your garden seamlessly blends with the natural ecosystem. Especially in Western North Carolina’s unique eco-system, selecting plants that aren’t native can mean lots of work to maintain them. Native plants are well-adapted to the local climate and require less maintenance, allowing you to enjoy your views without excessive gardening efforts.
2. Strategic Plant Placement
Strategic placement of plants can enhance specific views while providing privacy and shade where needed. Consider using taller trees or shrubs strategically to frame and accentuate key focal points.
3. Pathways and Hardscape Features
Integrating pathways and hardscape features into your landscape design can create a sense of harmony between your home and its surroundings. Curved pathways, stone patios, or wooden decks can lead the eye towards different viewpoints and create inviting spaces for outdoor activities. Including seating areas strategically positioned to take advantage of the views can further enhance the overall experience.
4. Don’t Forget the Special Considerations
Building a home on a mountain view lot in WNC generally means the lot is going to be relatively steep. Sometimes, this can mean sacrificing yard, gardening, or parking space in order to prioritize your view. Just factor in the things that matter to you most as you consider the development of your lot. Will you have lots of company and need ample parking space? Would you like to add a fire pit area in the future? If you have a dog (or get a dog), is there an area you could fence for them? If your grandkids will be frequent visitors, is there enough space for a swing set, or a game of corn hole? Always consider your view, but factor in the other important things to ensure your happy with your home’s placement when you’re finished with the build.
Harnessing Technology for Uninterrupted Views
Today, technology offers innovative solutions to enhance your home’s views and overall living experience. Consider incorporating these items in your designs for making your home’s design truly seamless:
1. Smart Windows and Shades
Smart windows and shades allow you to control natural light, glare, and privacy at the touch of a button. In a mountain home filled with large, sometimes two-story windows, these systems can be immensely helpful. These intelligent systems can automatically adjust based on the sun’s position or on timers you set on your phone, ensuring optimal views while maintaining comfort and energy efficiency.
2. Motorized Outdoor Screens
Motorized outdoor screens provide a versatile solution for creating an enclosed outdoor space. These screens can be raised or lowered as needed, allowing you to enjoy uninterrupted views while protecting against insects, excessive sunlight, or inclement weather conditions.
Many of our clients have dreamed of their mountain home for years by the time they start working with us. Designing a home that fits your needs and maximizes the view while keeping your budget in mind is a detailed task. It takes lots of planning, but the outcome is always spectacular. Reach out to us today if you’re interested in designing your dream home in the mountains of Western North Carolina!