When looking at home designs, whether designing yourself or choosing one, two important parts of you home are the entrance and the living room. Both should be carefully planned.
Did you ever drive up in a car and wonder where the front door is? The entrance to a house deserves special consideration. It should be set off with some very attractive feature: a bright colour, a different material, a wrought iron railing, or other special feature to identify it definitely as the front door.
Some kind of door bell or chime is often desirable. Or if you want to go all out, a telephone by the front door is a good thing. When people ring the doorbell you can ask them through the phone who it is and what is wanted. Then you can make up your mind whether or not you want to open the door. When a woman and her children are often alone in the evening, this is a good safety measure, which aids in keeping out undesirables.
Many good housekeepers feel that an entrance hall is of vital importance to a complete house. If people come right into the living room with their muddy feet, with no preliminary place in which to get ready to make their entrance, a happy result is difficult.
The entrance hall should have a good durable floor that can take a beating without a murmur. A floor of quarry tile, ceramic tile, slate, stone, or marble will be found very durable and can be a beautiful part of the entrance hall. Snow, mud, water, and hard usage can’t harm it.
Carpet is hardly the best material for the entrance hall floor, unless you have a special piece, different from the living room carpet, that can be changed every two or three years, or as necessary. But to have it a part of the living room carpet can be to invite disaster.
The entrance hall should be warm and cheerful, to give the guests the proper welcome to your house. It need not be large, but should be at least 5′ wide, and perhaps 1′ long, and of course, a larger size will be more useful. Planning a house is largely a matter of finding the best use for the space. Whatever you use for the entrance, beyond the bare minimum, is just so much space taken from some other part of the house that may need it worse.
The Living Room
Another question to ask when looking at home designs is the following: when you pass from the hall into the living room, what kind of room do you like to be in? and not an architect? There are almost as many types of ideas as to the size, shape, colours, and uses of the living room as there are people. Some have the idea that a living room is similar to the old-fashioned parlor that was shut up all week and was opened only on Sunday, was usually musty, and generally unused and uncomfortable.
Others go to the other extreme and think of the living room as a place where the children study, where people lounge and read the paper or the latest magazine. A living room is to be lived in, isn’t it?
If a quiet corner can be found for a writing desk or if a well-lighted alcove with an easy chair and a bookcase can be managed, the liveability of the house will be greatly enhanced.
The living room must not be the principal hallway through the house, although careless planners often make it just that. Every living room should have a point of interest aside from the television set: a fireplace, a picture window, a mural, an interesting grouping of elegant furniture, a music centre, or something that reflects the tastes, personality, or interests of the owner.
The living room should have spacious architecture, should be well-lighted, well ventilated, with durable floors and walls that can stand hard usage and still look presentable. This fact should be kept in mind at all times in selecting carpets, furniture, drapes, and wall finishes.
Proper consideration to the entrance and living room will make your home stand out from other home designs.