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10 Tips for a Practical and Functional Home  

22 May 2024

The home one lives in should be a nest, a place where everyday life is practical, comfortable and without too many elements that cause worry or fatigue. This article offers some tips for achieving a functional and practical home in every part.

Why living in a more practical and functional home

Living in a functional home means being able to enjoy each of its spaces and elements with practicality and carefreeness. When we enter the home, we want every worry, every fatigue and every difficulty to be left outside the door; within the four walls, what reigns are well-being, relaxation and space to cultivate one’s passions and relationships.

A more practical and functional home is a home that makes life easier for its occupants, day after day. No-one wants to live in spaces that are unenjoyable, badly exploited, difficult to clean and manage. And one should not think that practicality and functionality are in contrast with beauty, on the contrary: today, technological innovation allows architecture and design to propose solutions that are both practical and aesthetically beautiful. To obtain ithe maximum living comfort from your home .

In many cases, a more practical and functional home can also be the goal of those who wish to live in an energy-efficient environment, resulting in reduced energy consumption and costs.

How to make a house more functional: 10 tips

Already in the planning or renovation phase of the home in a more modern key, it is therefore necessary to reflect on a few essential points in order to transform one’s shelter into a cosy, practical and well-organised place. Even at a later stage, when nothing can be done in structural terms, it is still possible to make changes to make the house finally liveable to the full.

Questioning one’s own needs

There are many questions to be asked and answered truthfully. ù

Some examples:

  • do I need defined spaces where I can study or work without interruptions?
  • do I cook a lot and therefore need a very practical and easy-to-clean kitchen?
  • do I want the laundry area to be separate from any other room?
  • I like to eat out, and would therefore like the balcony to be usable in this respect?
  • do I intend to use the living room for parties with friends or, conversely, for relaxing moments all to myself?
  • would I rather give up something in order to have a second small guest bathroom?

And so on. Only by knowing oneself and one’s needs in daily life, also based on one’s lifestyle, will one be able to achieve a truly practical and functional home.

Eliminating overly suffocating divisions of space

When building or renovating a house, a good idea to make it more functional is to create as many open spaces as possible. In fact, many interior walls create many rooms, which, however, often result in darker and more stifling spaces. Moreover, the more divisions there are, the less space can be utilised. Just think of the entrance hall: when it is divided from the rest of the house, it represents several square metres that cannot be used in a practical way.

A good solution is therefore to opt for open spaces that minimise the sense of enclosure of the living area of the house. Such an open house is also easier to clean and manage. If you want to divide the space, this can be done by using, for example, double-sided bookcases or other similar furnishing elements. For an even clearer division but without giving up the sense of openness and brightness, an excellent idea is glass and aluminium partition walls, such as those offered by METRA Building.

Organising spaces in a functional manner

One of the best tips for making a house more functional is to organise the space. When designing a house, it is essential to divide up the space available in the way that best suits your needs. Although, as we have just seen, open-plan living spaces are more practical, the reality is that everyone is different and has their own needs.

So we will need to find a room dedicated to laundry if we think it will make our lives easier, just as we will need to design a larger kitchen if the kitchen is the room in the house where we plan to spend a lot of time. We will need a larger bathroom for those who cannot do without a bath, and a study – or at least a study corner in a room such as the living room or bedroom – for those who work from home.

These are just some examples. Another practical way of organising space is to opt for multifunctional furniture solutions: storage beds, extendable tables, folding chairs. In any case, the secret to a functional home is to organise it according to your needs, because every home is unique and responds to a unique lifestyle.

Finding a well-defined place for everything

When we talk about a practical and functional home, one word immediately comes to mind: order. In fact, there is no functionality if there is chaos in the various rooms. When designing your home or making changes to make it more practical, you need to think carefully and make sure that everything has its own place.

This could be a walk-in wardrobe for seasonal clothes, a shoe rack near the entrance or a small storage area for cleaning products. Or simple shelves, wall units and drawers, organised so that everything has a place to go when not in use.

Having a clear place for everything makes daily tidying and cleaning much easier and quicker. You have more time to enjoy your home.

Choosing easy-to-clean materials

Besides order, there is another word that comes closest to the ideal of a practical and functional home: cleanliness. In fact, tidiness and cleanliness are two concepts that often go hand in hand: if you have one but not the other, your home looks neglected and decidedly impractical.

Cleaning the house is almost never a pleasant activity. Some things need to be cleaned every day, while others need to be cleaned less frequently, but very thoroughly. Cleaning the house can often cause tiredness, dissatisfaction and a feeling of wasted time. To avoid this, and to achieve a much more practical and functional home, you can make life easier by opting as much as possible for objects, spaces and materials that are easy to clean.

An example of this is offered by aluminium, a material that can be chosen for various furnishing solutions and, above all, in the case of fixtures. In addition to its high performance, aluminium is an extremely easy material to clean: it does not stain easily, it does not absorb grease or oil, it does not retain dust, and unsightly halos are unlikely to form on it. It is therefore the best ally one can choose, as it only needs to be cleaned occasionally with a damp cloth and a neutral detergent.

A minimal style is definitely the best choice for a practical and functional, as well as aesthetically beautiful, home. Minimalism means having few objects, but of great quality. Following the concept of less is more, cleaning also becomes much easier. This concept can then be combined with elements that make cleaning much easier; for example, sofas with removable covers, curtains that can be easily removed for washing and, in general, fabrics and colours that are difficult to stain and that are easy to wash.

Choose low-maintenance elements

Sometimes people choose materials that are very easy to clean in everyday life, without however considering the maintenance that such materials require over time. An example in this case is provided by wood, stone and, in general, all those ‘living’ and natural materials, which therefore require more thorough care than many others.

In order to achieve a functional home and simplify one’s life, it is better to think about this issue too and choose objects and materials that guarantee us good durability, but without any particular need for maintenance. Aluminium fulfils these requirements: as a solid and durable material, it performs its functions excellently ‘independently’, without any need for ordinary or extra-ordinary maintenance. This is true not only in its raw form, but also when it is treated with oxidation or painting to achieve different colours or finishes.

Increasing the general accessibility of the home

A home is also practical and functional when it facilitates every daily movement. The goal is always to achieve maximum psychophysical well-being, leaving behind all worries.

The subject of accessibility is often addressed in construction when architectural barriers are mentioned: they must be eliminated or reduced to a minimum to make certain categories of people more independent, such as the disabled, the elderly or people with reduced mobility.

But, in reality, accessibility is a concept that can be extended to anyone, with a view to a practical and functional home. Accessibility therefore means, for example, arranging minimum spaces to move around freely, choosing tables and worktops that are high enough to eat and work comfortably, avoiding extremely high shelves that require contortions or having to retrieve a ladder from the basement, arranging appliances and utensils so that the most commonly used ones are always within reach, every small detail can be made more comfortable to achieve a truly functional home.

Bringing more natural light into the home

More natural light adds a sense of well-being to the home that is otherwise difficult to achieve. Having large windows also allows for greater energy savings, as there is less need to rely on artificial light, and you can have fewer lighting points, such as bulky chandeliers, which are notoriously difficult to clean.

To increase brightness in the home, the most functional choice is to install aluminium windows. Thanks to its resistance, in fact, this material is able to support even very large glass surfaces, while keeping the profiles very slender and thin, thus increasing the entry of light by up to 15-20% compared to traditional woodern or PVC frames.

Relying on long-lasting elements

A functional home is also a home that does not give rise to worries about the future. That is why, when designing or renovating a house, or even when making changes to its furnishings, it is advisable to use materials and elements that guarantee durability. For example, it is better to choose a kitchen that is more expensive, but made of more solid materials and with a more professional finish.

From the moment they are purchased and installed, the strongest and most durable materials will allow tenants to live in their homes with peace of mind, knowing that they are dealing with elements that will withstand the wear and tear of time. An example of such elements are aluminium frames.

This material is in fact extremely resistant to time and atmospheric agents, guaranteeing a much longer lifespan – even twice as long, in cases of high quality – compared to frames made of the other more common materials, such as PVC and wood. In the case of windows and doors, but also of other elements, greater durability is also guaranteed by adequate installation, which, to be flawless, must be carried out by professionals.

Making life easier with home automation

In an era of technological innovation in architecture and design, the key to a more practical and functional home can only rhyme with home automation. A home automation system is a system that allows any device in the home to be automated, monitored and managed with extreme ease, even remotely. Roller shutters and other shading systems, radiators and air conditioners, sound systems, smart appliances, alarms and video surveillance systems, front doors and gates. With home automation, everything can be controlled technologically to achieve maximum energy efficiency and, above all, maximum living comfort.

When wondering how to make the home more functional, home automation is therefore the most effective and immediate solution; and METRA Building products are all designed to be easily connected to the home automation system. We suggest an in-depth look at the workings and benefits of home automation.

Functional house and the choice of windows: METRA Building aluminium windows and doors

As can be seen from the article, there are many elements to consider in understanding how to design a functional home.

Focusing specifically on windows and doors, it is immediately apparent that aluminium is the material of choice if functionality and practicality are two of the main desires for your home.

Aluminium is in fact the practical material par excellence. Not only does it bring more natural light into the home and increase energy efficiency, but it is also extremely easy and quick to clean. Moreover, it does not require any kind of maintenance, not even in the face of weathering or the wear and tear of time. It is also able to guarantee a remarkable durability: once aluminium windows and doors are purchased, the ‘window problem’ can be archived for 50 or 60 years.

Aluminium windows and doors and all other METRA Building products are made not only with a view to high performance, elegance and customised style, but also to achieve maximum practicality and functionality in the home, today and in the future.