Over time, humans have evolved from nomadic shelters to modern ecological housing, while human life has evolved based on their necessities. As globalisation accelerates, it is becoming more complex. We are witnessing a shift from agriculture to industry and the advent of the digital age, where villages, towns, and cities are transformed into high-rise urban sprawl, which is associated with its challenges. A modern architect has a key for every issue in today’s society, allowing architects to create efficient and innovative residential spaces that meet today’s families’ changing needs. Modern materials and technology have also allowed architects to create sustainable and efficient structures that are both aesthetically inviting and functional. This shift in design has allowed architects to design living spaces tailored to homeowners’ specific needs, raising demand for architects as homeowners acknowledge the value of architect-designed living spaces. Consequently, architects have become more aware of the residential building space than ever.

Our homes can be both environmentally-friendly and cost-effective by adopting sustainable design concepts. Houses are built for people, so all parts should be made to scale while assessing their intended use. It is necessary to view architectural graphics standards for furniture size, appliances, and shared workspace needed for functional work in the residential home. Rethinking traditional materials and methods to create more efficient and sustainable designs is critical to this process. We can create affordable housing solutions and reduce environmental impact by minimising resource use. As part of a sustainable design, it is also vital to consider renewable and recyclable materials, such as bamboo, wood and recycled plastic. Energy-efficient design strategies, such as natural light, ventilation, and insulation, can reduce energy usage and costs. We can design cost-effective and environmentally friendly homes with these practices in mind.

We see more and more people commuting from villages to towns and cities to acclimate to better necessities and find better places to call home. As we resettle from villages, we lose the meaning of our living space and location. We adjust as we move into a new city and habituate to the surroundings. We can observe several significant factors which function day-to-day routines are being avoided in cities corresponding to living in a village. Consequently, we only design traditional well-built spaces in turn of a modern boxed environment. which creates a disconnect between us and the physical setting, causing us to be ignorant of our surroundings and their importance. This disconnection can lead to further estrangement and sequestration in the city. Additionally, locals should be facilitated to partake in interactive movements, creating meaningful affinities with their fellow citizens and their habitat. These movements breed a sense of neighbourhood and belonging in the city.

Residential space requirements: Residential space should be divided into living, dining, sleeping, bathing, and cooking areas. It should also provide adequate ventilation, lighting, and storage space. Lastly, it should provide privacy and comfort for all occupants. The design should also consider the occupants’ age, physical abilities, and any special needs they may have. Additionally, it should be designed to be energy efficient and environmentally friendly. The design should also be flexible to accommodate changes in occupancy and allow for personalisation. Finally, it should be aesthetically pleasing and reflect the personal tastes of the occupants.

In this article, let us explore traditional and modern spatial needs, how they differ in modern homes, and how to improve them for the modern era.

The Absence of  “VERANDAH” 

Verandahs (also known as Thinnais in Tamil and Arugu in Telugu) are built-in sitting areas near the front door that serve as gathering spots where people can observe the surrounding area and chit-chat. These spaces are often found in traditional Indian houses in the country’s southern region. A place like this allows socialisation among residents and acts as a gathering place for families to engage in discussion, read, debate news, and nap. Generally, these spaces observe the vicinity and interact with passing people. Modern housing avoids these features… Commonly, we consider verandah spaces in apartments to be used for hanging shoe racks. In a few houses, it may be possible to see. Our Western-style apartments have evaded these cultural aspects.

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Traditional verandah (Thinnai in tamil, Arugu in telugu)_©Sridhar Vembu

In most cases, opposite flats always close their doors, and nobody knows them while forgetting the verandah spaces. As a result, the individual areas are confined and have limited access. It will create a sense of spaciousness and friendliness in these verandah areas.

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Houses of today _©Tampatra

The Balance Between Storage and Design 

Home needs should be handled without straying from the basic concept. Furniture today combines function with storage, which is notable because it provides a substantial amount of space. Today’s architects balance aesthetics and functionality, but the real focus is on using the available space efficiently and simplifying access instead of increasing storage space. It makes the area seem more extensive and spacious, providing space to hide clutter. One of the most common home design mistakes is inadequate storage. The constant growth of materialism and the tendency to buy more make storage problems a frequent issue today. By designing the interior properly, there are many ways to maximise and increase space. Innovating storage solutions continues to be one of the top priorities of interior designers and furniture specialists. Whether it’s wardrobes in the bedrooms or drawer organisers in the kitchen, building units adapted to your needs can assist in solving the storage problem, especially in compact houses. Storage is always a little! Of all, the homeowner’s lifestyle is unique, and what works in one home may not work in another, where we see today’s architects addressing the issues and designing storage to fulfil the family’s needs.

  1. Storage in the kitchen – Even the most organised domestic cook can occasionally get disorganised. A kitchen is filled with plenty of stuff – utensils, dishes, dry foods, and small appliances, for example – and organising it can be challenging. In modern kitchens, specific zones are designed for particular purposes. Before addressing any requirements, the kitchen must have adequate storage for dry storage, a preparation area, and a cooking area. Food storage should always be accessible in the kitchen. If space permits, a pantry can be used to store additional food. There should be a lot of pull-out storage in the kitchen. To clear food waste when chopping, a hand-pulled garbage bin or compost is crucial in a kitchen.
  2. Storage in the bedroom – When viewed alongside all the areas of the house, bedrooms often get overlooked. The bedroom is where the day begins and ends-the day-to-day organisation to stay on top of the latest bedroom design trends. The use of open rails and separate portions for him and she are just a few ideas for modern bedroom storage solutions. A modernist bedroom design involves a variety of tools and methods that optimise closet functionality. By designing spacious bedroom closets, there should be no need for extra storage, freeing up space under beds and in corners. It makes the area look more spacious and de-cluttered and is easier to clean. As crucial as beds are to modern bedroom decor, custom wardrobes are equally important! Cleaning and maintaining them is then easy.
  3. Storage in bathrooms – The bathroom is usually among the smallest rooms in the house, but it accommodates various routines. With every habit comes a variety of things to store. Storage needs should be met by an ideal bathroom design. Bathroom space should be used effectively. In the past, we might have seen a small wall-mounted cabinet with an attached mirror, but today, cabinets can be removed, and shelves can be added to store all of the bathroom’s essentials. 
  4. Utility storage – The utility room should be located near the kitchen. It should be well-ventilated and have easy access to water supplies. A storage area is used primarily for keeping washing machines, doing laundry, and storing cleaning equipment; It should also be well-ventilated, preferably with natural light. Adequate shelving and storage should be provided to accommodate all the necessary items. The floor should be made of non-slip material to minimise the risk of accidents. It can also be utilised for other purposes, such as storing chest freezers and bicycles or hosting a dog shower.

Using corners as a nook: Corners can make any room cosy and inviting. They can be used for reading, relaxing, or even for additional storage. Utilising corners can also optimise the use of space in a room. Furniture and décor that fit in corners can also bring personality and warmth to a room. Corners are often overlooked and underutilised, But they can also effectively enhance a room’s functionality without taking up too much space. Adding furnishings such as comfortable chairs, colourful throw pillows, or even a tiny bookshelf to corners can bring life to the room and make it feel inviting and lived-in.

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Reading nook _©Katie Howell

Workspace: A dedicated workspace at home provides a distraction-free setting, which improves focus and productivity. It should have comfortable seating, lighting, and minimal distractions to maintain focus. As well as providing design, having a separate work area can help determine between work and home, improving productivity. Last but not least, In this way, work and family life can be balanced healthily. Home workspaces help create a positive and productive environment since they foster creativity and efficiency.

Home workspace _©u/BlackFieldNotes

Turning a window into a retreat: The benefits of natural light extend far beyond reading a good book; they also enhance one’s health. Creating recesses around natural light can revitalise your mind and boost your body’s circadian rhythm by creating more Vitamin D. People can always enjoy the outdoors inside their house if their climate is too cold to enjoy being outside. A relaxing and alleviating atmosphere can be created in the windowsill seat to create the perfect reading corner. Your alcove’s unique size or shape doesn’t matter when it comes to getting a cushion that matches your criteria for a comfy reading environment.

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Window sill seating _©Livre perdu