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Collaboration is far and away one of my favorite aspects of the building industry. In fact the practice of Lean Design demands collaboration between the architect or designer and the building team to eliminate waste and maximize appeal. This week we are exploring a Lean Design that was created for an urban infill lot. Mike Miller of Mike Miller Building Company, in Northville, Mich., and I designed the home in collaboration. We worked together to maximize the space and efficiency of the plan while implementing some of today’s hotter trends. Let’s take a closer look:


A. The vestibule area creates a strong sense of entry and offers myriad design possibilities to make the home feel warm.
B. The kitchen is designed to relate directly with the great room providing plenty of space for circulation around the island. This is a perfect setup for entertaining with plenty of elbow room.
C. A home management center has been established allowing for an area for paying bills, phone charging, and general day to day activities.
D. The family entry is near the rear of the home for access from a nearby detached garage.
E. The dining area is well defined and out of the way of general traffic circulation. This space becomes filled with light and has a cozy feel to it.
F. A covered lanai integrates indoor living with the outdoors.
G. The stairway is a very special component to this plan. The stair wraps around a central core which is open on the second level and down through to the lower level creating a connection between the three spaces.
H. The laundry is accessible from the hall as well as his master closet.
I. The secondary “buddy” bath is very generous and the privacy component allows two functions to happen simultaneously.
J. The owner’s bath is very simple with a Rock Star shower setup. No tub (freestanding or otherwise) was desired with this layout.
This home is simple to build, very cost effective, and is designed with a multitude of planning surprises to enjoy

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