In this house plan from ACQ Consortium, architectural assistant, Simon Nandala, tries to accommodate the fantasy with a one acre sprawling design.
“My intention was to make sure that the moment you enter the front door, there are cues that say this house will be unusual. Straight from the spacious lobby to the wide hall and the corridor leading to a myriad of rooms,” explains Nandala.
The interior has a number of traditional and contemporary additions with porcelain-tiled floors. One of this house’s unique features is its spacious sunken lounge which is the centre of the family’s living and entertainment. Next to the lounge are the dining room, kitchen and store. The house also has a study conveniently placed next to the garage. At the rear side of the house is another entrance to the house which opens right onto the lobby, that leads into a spacious hall and then to the corridor that goes off to the sleeping quarters.
This country house has two self-contained bedrooms, a self-contained guestroom and a deluxe master bedroom. In addition to the walk-in closet and full bathroom, the master bedroom has its own terrace that is only accessible from inside the room. With formal rooms in the front and informal ones to the back, the floor plan is perfect for a home that is expected to have a big number of guests.
Mathias Omona, a structural engineer, notes that since the house is meant to last for generations, no expenses should be spared in trying to make it as comfortable as possible. “There are more details to consider than for a smaller house. The house has to feel comfortable when family members are present as well as when guests are around,” Omona.
He strongly recommends hiring an architect to design such big-house projects and not just any architect but one who has had plenty of experience with large houses. He adds that if possible ask to go look at a few houses they have designed before.
“It is not only the architect you should be cautious about. You might also have to get professional help while selecting the furnishings that will be in your family for generations. Selecting the floor finishes, carpets, wall colours, trim details, built-ins, window treatments, upholstery, furniture and artwork could easily become an overwhelming nightmare without professional guidance,” Omona observes.
Dolores Mukisa Makholo, a design architect, observes that such a lavishly designed house offers plenty of opportunities to create an incredible luxurious space. “The trick is to get timeless pieces of furniture that are proportionate to the size of the house. However since most of these tend to be quite costly, my advice would be to get a very good artisan to custom make them,” Makholo advises.
She also recommends opening the house to natural light to deter darkness from the various rooms from overwhelming the space. The biggest consideration of course is people. The aim is to tailor the design that matches with the people it is being designed for. The designer needs to remember that this house is meant to accommodate different generations and create spaces where each age group feels comfortable.
Such a big house should be complemented by an equally big compound. While landscaping, maintain mature trees or introduce fast maturing ones that provide shades where benches for instance can be placed to create a focal point or give people a place to sit and chat. This gives the entire property style and class.
You can also plant low-maintenance gardens, drought-tolerant in a sustainable design. What would a country home be without vegetable and fruits in the backyard? So, plant vegetables such as tomatoes, spices such as lavender and fruits such as oranges and cherries that will not only provide fresh food for the family but also serve ornamental purposes.