Prior to any designs being drawn-up, we met with our architect, Jason Wolfe at Demerly Architects, so he could interview us about the way that we live, what square footage wasn't functional space in our current home, find out what was at the top of our "must have" list, and what was less important to us. In our case, the kitchen was THE most important room in the home--the least important were our closets. I'm also not a person who has to have a ton of square footage. In fact, I only want functional square footage--anything extra is just unnecessary areas that I have to clean. Another huge factor in our design, was that I wanted an in-home photography studio. That was the tricky part, because we didn't have the budget to make it an entirely separate structure on our property, so it needed to be a part of our home, however, it needed to feel a little bit separate/private so in the case that I did have a client over, they weren't walking through all of our living space to get to the studio. Therefore, Jason came up with a basic concept of splitting the house floor plan into two halves separated by, what he called, our "circulation area," otherwise known as our staircase. It was a simple concept, yet completely brilliant for how we needed all of the spaces within our home to function.
However, there was one rather major problem that this posed when our pricing came back--HVAC companies were quoting TWO separate units for our home, which was never intended, yet that really drove the price of our home up. And for a 3600+ square foot home, it almost seemed excessive, but because of the house being split into to halves, HVAC companies felt it was absolutely necessary from an air-flow standpoint.
HERE'S why you hire a great architect--they find ways to make your home the most efficient and cost-effective that it can be--knowledge that the average Joe (like myself) doesn't have. With a slight change in the shape of our floorplan, Jason was able to easily centralize our main HVAC chases in the "circulation area," thus creating this functional window seating space shown in the photos. The walls on either side of the bench contain the HVAC chases, allowing us to create this cute and functional seating area. Additionally, what you cannot see here is that underneath the cushion, there is a lid that opens, and underneath the seat contains our electronics, including our Apple Airport wireless base station. As you may or may not know, your base station needs to be centralized within your home so that it works well in all areas of your home!
So there you have it--hidden functionality in this cute little window seat, designed solely to cut our HVAC quotes in HALF and also then operating as the central hub for our wireless and electronic base station!