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A guide to creating zones in your home

Honor Kennedy Honor Kennedy
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In planning, construction and design there are two types of zoning. The first is setup by local councils and governments to regulate the type of building that can be erected in a certain area, and the second is a localised approach to the actual structure, determining where rooms and living spaces should be located. Today on homify we’ll be chatting about the latter.

Zoning within your dwelling can assist in creating a liveable and functional abode, tailoring your needs to the type of household you have. For example, if you have a family, you might choose an open plan aesthetic, with grouping of bedrooms together and living areas separate. If you are single or a couple, you might want entertaining spaces well connected to the garden, and have less concern with the placement of your bedroom. We’re going to look at some of the basics, so read on below and get some ideas before you start planning your new house or apartment.

What is zoning?

Zoning is a design method that groups each room or outdoor space by its function. The size and position of these spaces create a relationship, which then affects the overall usability, ambience and atmosphere of your property.

Some spaces might be divided and segregated for increased liveability, such as the living room, dining room and kitchen, or some might be paired together, for example bedrooms and a bathroom.

Consider the whole plot

Before planning your home’s zones, it’s a good idea to look at the relationship your house has with its plot. Considering the house and its land allows for a united scheme and plan that takes in the surrounding landscape, the road and neighbours as well as the single dwelling.

In this image we see how the house is opened up to the garden, offering an eating and living zone that is paired with an outdoor courtyard.

Horizontal zoning

The horizontal relationship between the house’s spaces is also extremely important. Different areas are arranged both physically and visually, which can often evoke certain atmospheric and aesthetic features.

Horizontal zoning is commonly used when the bedrooms are located at one end of the house, and the living/kitchen/dining are situated opposite. This provides movement between the two alternative areas, while retaining division and separation. Another example is a home workspace or office, which might be located at the end of the house, with the domestic areas away at the other end. This provides a sense of distance and a good work/life balance.

Vertical zoning

Similar to the aforementioned examples, vertical zoning basically means you have a dwelling that is either split-level or multiple storeys. When you have more space upwards, you’re able to zone different living areas vertically rather than horizontally.

If you’re a little stuck, living zones can always be handled and helped by a professional interior architect. Find one here!

Creating a connection between zones

As well as separating different areas, you will also want to ensure cohesion and movement between the different living spaces. This connection is essential and can be created with an open plan layout, as well as ensuring there is enough space between each individual domestic zone. This example is a good demonstration, where the house feels open and inviting, while still private and liveable.

Consider the long-term

eclectic Media room by 千田建築設計
千田建築設計

柏の平屋 ねじれ屋根のせ

千田建築設計

When planning your house’s layout it’s important to think about the long-term use of the dwelling, not just the present. Will your children contribute to the way your house is used? Do they require their own living spaces? And will you want to ensure there is enough privacy for a house of adults when they grow up. All these questions and plenty more can change your zone requirements.

Would you like to learn more about house design? Check out: 9 space-saving tricks from one small apartment

Do you have any helpful hints for homebuilders or buyers? Leave them below!
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