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How To Design Your Dream Home: A Step-by-Step Guide For Achieving Optimal Function, Flow and Form

Bedroom with a swing chair near the bed


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Designing your own home is an exciting adventure! You get to create a space that perfectly reflects your needs and desires.

However, with so many people giving their opinions on what's in and what's out, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and not know where to start. That's why it's important to remember the three key elements of house design - function, flow and form.

Any expert architect or designer will tell you that these are the foundations of good house design. By focusing on them, you can ensure that your home will not only meet your current needs but also work for you in the long run.

In this blog, we'll explore the importance of function, form, and flow in house design so that you can confidently take on your home project.

What is Function, Flow and Form, and Why Does it Matter?

To begin, let's take a closer look at these three key elements of house design.


Function refers to the needs of the room, including its purpose and the specific requirements of its occupants. It's important to consider who will be using the space and what their needs are.

Even if certain features are not immediately necessary, planning for them now can ensure that the home will continue to serve its occupants well for years to come.


Flow is all about designing the space in a way that allows people to move through it easily and interact with it comfortably.

This includes things like furniture placement and ensuring that there are clear pathways within and through the room. By planning for good flow, you can avoid clutter and create a space that feels balanced and inviting.


Finally, form refers to the aesthetic and visual elements of the room, such as its colours, textures, and shapes. These elements help to create a particular atmosphere or mood in the space and can be used to enhance the overall feel of the room.

How To Design Your Dream Home

Okay, now that you have a solid grasp of the main components, let's delve deeper into each one:

House plans

1) Function

Let's start our house design planning by considering function, which is essentially the backbone of the space and a key factor that cannot be easily changed once established. While it's possible to adjust form and flow, it's crucial to get the function right from the outset.

We need to think about the needs of the occupants, both now and in the future, and plan accordingly. For instance, if the house is built on a slope, we should think about the best way to make it accessible, whether it's stairs or ramps. You also need to consider other specific needs such as a home office or playroom that could later be converted into another useable room.

White and brown kitchen with brown stools at the white island

2) Flow

The next stage is to think about how each space will flow. This means considering where to put things like kitchen cabinets, showers, toilets, sinks, and doors, as well as figuring out the best spots for windows and doors to let in natural light and make it easy to move around.

We suggest drawing a layout on paper so you don't forget anything, like nightstands, bookshelves, or coffee tables. Also, keep in mind how many people will be living in the house and what size furniture you'll need to avoid clutter.

And don't forget about the entryway - it's important to make sure there's enough room for everyone to come in without getting in each other's way. A covered front porch and spacious foyer can help with this.

Another top tip is to ensure your hallways and landings are wide enough to be comfortable.

Finally, think about arranging the most important parts of your kitchen (fridge, cooktop and sink) in a triangle shape to make cooking and cleaning more efficient.

Mood board with different paint options and textures

3) Form

Designing your new home can be an exciting opportunity to express your unique style with colours, textures, and patterns that showcase your personality. If you're feeling unsure of where to start, don't worry! There are plenty of sources of inspiration, such as Pinterest, that can help you get the creative ball rolling.

Remember, keeping things simple often creates a more calming environment and allows for better movement throughout the room.

Before making any purchases, consider creating a visual plan that includes your desired colours, textures, and furniture to ensure a cohesive look throughout the house. When done right, the form of the space will enhance its function and flow, making it a comfortable and inviting space to call home.

By considering all three of these key elements - function, flow, and form - you can design a home that works perfectly for your needs and reflects your unique style and personality.

To summarise, here are the things to consider for each step:


· Number of occupants

· Any specific needs of the occupants (now and in the future)

· Rooms needed

· Floor plan (ie. the layout of each room in the house)

· The size of each room/space


· Access into and through each room

· Placement of furniture

· Make the most of natural light

· Entryway


· Your style

· Less is more

· Aim for a cohesive look throughout the house

Large circular stairway with wooden steps

And that’s it! Now that we’ve broken the task of designing your home into three manageable chunks, we hope you feel ready to tackle your project.

If you would like some tips on how to build more energy-efficiently, this blog provides some great pointers. There are multiple benefits to building this way including saving you money on heating and cooling bills over time, but also reducing your carbon footprint and playing your part for the environment.

Don't forget to team up with an architect to help you with the plans and specifications needed for the builder and local council. The more detailed your house plan is, the better they can realise your vision! If you’re unsure where to start, the team at Green Abode would be happy to help you. Drop us an email and we will set up a time to chat!

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