Greengate Ranch Remodel
Remodeling a Daylight Ranch in Oregon

Friday, December 22, 2006

Design Terms

Having read a number of books on design and architecture, I often find the terms vauge and even confusing. For example, when I read you need to create "rhythm" or a "vernacular" I get lost. That being said, I have found some concepts that make a lot of sense in thinking about design.

Here is my list - these are the terms I have decided to use (sorry if they are not exactly correct to some academic standard). I am not trying to be an architect - I am a high tech engineer - just someone designing my own family's living environment.


  • Circulation space - the areas where most movement occurs
  • Functional space - locations that have a purpose and are not just travelled through
  • Transitional space - places between one area and another
  • Public space - where everyone can go
  • Private space - where only a few go
  • Personal space (or retreat space) - where just one person goes


  • Symmetry - things set up to be balanced
  • Focal point - the "center piece" of an area
  • Balance - things set up to match each other or have a common theme


  • Light - how your natural and electric lighting is set up
  • Long view - being able see a long distance in the house, also to the outside
  • Overlooking view - being able to look down on an area

Layout - How you put all of the above together...

This is a rough concept drawing for setting up an area:

All of this allows me to think critically about the remodeling choices we make.

1 comment:

Kevin said...

These terms describe well how I think when I'm looking at a future project.

See my article library on eHow...