Everyone knows your home's floor plan should reflect the way you live. So how do you match the vague notion of lifestyle with a black-and-white blueprint? Easy. Chip away at that obscurity by outlining the specifics, such as how you live and who you live with day to day, what you want and don't want and what you're willing to live without. The answers will guide you down your own unique path and into a home that fits just right.
Consider the makeup of your family (adults only, adults and kids, aging parents), how you live (formal or casual, hectic or relaxed) and if you like to entertain or have special hobbies. A lifestyle outline will tell you how you feel about your home and the basic plan. For example, a casual couple won't need a formal entry or dining room, while high-octane families should consider cozy, peaceful spaces to regroup.
Bigger isn't always better. It does, however, cost more. So before you jump on the wasted-space bandwagon, make sure the number, type and size of rooms reflect what will take place within them. To do this, think of your rooms in terms of activities. For example, instead of "kitchen" and "living room," think "cooking," and "family time." Add the areas together and tack on roughly 15 to 20 percent more space to account for walls and room to circulate.