|Here's the problem with a long, skinny room:|
You can't furnish it in a way that's inviting.
Usually, this demands a room plan that's based on a primary geometric shape or a simple combination of shapes. While rectangles form the basis for most rooms, octagons, circles, and other regular shapes can also be very effective. These days, you may recall, all kinds of crazy stuff is happening in a room that's oval. Since rectangular rooms are most common, though, we'll focus on those.
|Avoid trying to hide ductwork with ceiling frou-frou—|
you're not going to fool anyone.
|Double doors look great centered|
on the wall of a formal room.
Single doors, not so much.
Window location is also critical to room design. A good designer will place the windows to suit the inside of the room, not the outside of the house. Fortunately, the guidelines for placements are simple: the windows should either be exactly centered, or else should clearly favor one corner or another. Anything else is liable to look like a mistake.
|Use odd numbers of windows so there's no mullion|
at the center, and keep it simple.
Ceilings shouldn’t have illogical changes in height, such as furred-down portions meant to conceal beams, pipes or ducts. If you find yourself resorting to such last-ditch camoflauge tactics, you should probably reconsider your design. Intentional changes of ceiling height are a different matter, but even they should serve some clear architectural purpose—for example, to create an intimate alcove, or to form a visual canopy above a dining room table.
|The Swiss Cheese effect:|
Lots of recessed lights, but why are they where they are?