The layout of your apartment will heavily influence how comfortable you feel in your new home. The fluidity of movement around your various rooms, the atmosphere of the living areas and the use you derive from your condominium will all depend on its architecture. Therefore, you will need to be versed in layout (or floor-plan) concepts before you make your decision.
According to Forbes, the global dip in real estate prices has not affected the value of apartments as a real estate investment. In fact, the publication believes that condominiums remain a solid investment, both for millennials and older generations alike. We agree. With the rise of towering residential complexes of affordable comfort and world-class design, the UAE has a lot more of apartment living to offer.
Choosing an apartment, particularly if it is your first – may seem a little overwhelming. You may initially be confused by construction jargon and poorly-printed floor plans. However, you will need to establish the exact layout of the apartment you wish to purchase to find whether it matches your needs.
Not sure what these needs are?
Keep reading to find out.
Choosing An Apartment Layout
To facilitate your selection process, we have created a list of 10 common layout features, and the personas they appeal to. You will want to place a mental tick next to every point relating to a persona you can identify with. Using the help of home interior designers in Dubai, these ticks will be enough to find the apartment best suited to your needs.
1. Extensive Storage Space
- The working family with young children
- The large wardrobe owner
- The crafter
This one will seem obvious, because most people will initially seek extensive storage space, thinking that this will enable them to stock their future purchases. However, with Dubai real estate being an incredible investment, you may want to rethink getting space for space’s sake.
If, however, you relate to any of the personas listed above in their need for storage space, this may be the option for you. If your occupation or lifestyle requires plenty of wardrobe space, cupboard space, and closet space, you will need to communicate so to your real estate agent.
2. Common Areas
- The student
- The young professional in need of a roommate
Whether you are studying in Dubai or are a young professional looking to “spend smart”, you may find the use of a roommate along the way. Roommates will typically rent out one room in your apartment or home and use the common areas to their discretion. In order to allow your roommate(s) to feel equally as comfortable in the apartment as you, you will need several common areas that can comfortably accommodate several adults. You will need extra kitchen spacing, for example for dual cooking. You may also want a terrace or balcony for privacy when either of you can relax while the other uses one of the common areas.
3. Entertainment space
- The social butterfly
- The family-oriented adult
A home is not just the place one goes to sleep and hang their clothes; it is supposed to be the place where memories are made. If you are usually the life of the party or the first one to plan a family gathering, you will want ample entertainment space to be able to accommodate your guests. You will want to make sure the living room and kitchen, in particular, are of larger volumes. You may also want at least one guest bedroom in case a guest wishes to avoid a late commute and spends the night over.
4. An Open Kitchen
- The performing chef
- The entertainer
- The take-out fanatic
An open kitchen can be marvelous if you are a lively but clean type. An open (or American) kitchen will allow you to entertain your guests while cooking and to combine the kitchen and dining areas into one large living space.
An open kitchen usually adds to the fluidity or modernity of an apartment. However, they do not fare well with prolonged cooking, heavy seasoning and messy surfaces. Therefore, if your cooking is “heavy-duty”, this may not be the option for you.
An open kitchen is also ideal for those who rarely eat at home. The take-out lover will love an open kitchen because it will allow them to experience their kitchen even without cooking.
5. Homely Comfort
- The family-orientated adult
- The bookworm
Looking for an apartment with ample open space allowing easy navigation in between rooms is essential if you want a cocoon-like home, in which you can create comfortable spaces for relaxation. Families often look for apartments with a layout allowing communication from one room to another.
To find such an apartment, your expert in freelance interior designers in the UAE will have to focus on floor plans involving all rooms being set around one main living area. The layout should be smart, with minimal corridor space and a maximized living space.
6. Office Space
- The freelancer
- The business-owner
Certain professions are likely to require frequently working from home, sometimes after hours, sometimes on weekends. For this reason, if you are an entrepreneur or a freelancing agent, you will need private office space, preferably with its own independent bathroom. You will want your office to be on the other side of frequently-used living spaces such as the living and dining rooms to avoid interruptions. You should also be certain that your office does not face the street for added quiet.
If you are struggling to find an apartment with set-out office space, interior design consultants in Dubai will be happy to show you how to turn an extra room into a fully-functional office.
7. Autonomous Bathrooms
- The young professional in need of a roommate
- The dynamic family
If you are not going to be living alone and separate rooms will be used, you may want autonomous bathrooms in other rooms. This will save you from the discomfort of arguments regarding bathroom use and shower schedules with your roommate or family members. Ideally, you should look for at least 2 rooms with autonomous bathrooms, 3 if you plan to move in with your family.
Young kids and older adults will also frequently use the bathroom in the middle of the night, and walks along dark corridors to the shared lavatory will not farewell. The nocturnal traffic will wake the rest of the apartment, and undeniably prove tedious for more delicate individuals.
There is nothing gloomier, and more devastating for your electricity bill than a poorly-lit apartment. According to The Scientific American, research has shown that light deprivation may even lead to depression.
Living spaces in well-thought-out apartments are usually designed to allow the sun to pour in throughout the day. Ideally, living rooms would be directed to face the location of the sun for the majority of the day. Bedrooms would be directed towards the point where the sun rises or sets, depending on your preferences. This will allow you to have natural lighting matched to your needs.
If you are an early riser, you will want a room facing the direction where the sun rises. This will allow strong sun rays to come spilling into your room every morning, waking you for a productive day ahead. If your lifestyle allows you to sleep in, you will want your bedroom to face opposite directions. This will save you the investment on thick curtains and blinds.
As mentioned above, living rooms should face the direction where the sun will be during most stages of the day. This natural lighting throughout the day is a feature Dubai residential interior design uses in its furniture selection. Bright-lit rooms fair best with white, beige and pastel colors.
9. Large Kitchen
- The chef
- The large family
Though kitchens have been mentioned earlier, the primary use of a large kitchen has not been spoken of. If you enjoy cooking or your lifestyle frequently involves cooking marathons, you will need a large kitchen. Small kitchens quickly get cramped, stuffy and unbearably hot in the desertic UAE weather. You may need additional space if you have a family so that you can store a large fridge and other kitchen amenities.
10. Utility Room
- The (large) family
A utility room is an absolute necessity if you are going to be living with your family – particularly if you have small children. The larger your family, the more utility space you will need. This is where you will store your washing machine and dryer and potentially perform most of your laundry tasks.
This room should not be confused with a storage facility, which will mostly serve for food stocks. In the utility room, shelf and cabinet space should be available to keep your soap, detergent and other necessary products out of the reach of children.
A Concluding Note
Finding the right apartment will require patience. You may be encouraged to change your requirements by realtors eager to rush you, or overcharged for your decoration by a greedy designer. This is why you will need to enter your apartment-seeking process with as much knowledge as you can get.
You should know the basics of apartment designs, how to go through a floor plan and most importantly, who the right professionals to help you on this journey may be.
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