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8 key tips for designing a duplex home

  • Tips & Tricks
Jan 08, 2021
Duplex home design divided into two halves - Beautiful Homes

Any home which is unique or extraordinary in design is always a treat to walk into, even for the slightest bit of visual inspiration. And the most intriguing thing about a home is usually the elements of luxury in it—and there’s never anything quite like the luxury of space.

In modern urban homes these days, while owning independent houses or bungalows has become a rarity, home owners are turning to a duplex house design to redefine the idea of a sizeable home. We’ve rounded up a few tips and tricks to consider for a duplex home design.

Take Advantage Of A Double-height Wall To Display A Large Artwork

Often, with duplex homes come double-height ceilings; and with it come larger surface areas on the walls. To make the most of this dramatic empty space, consider displaying a sizeable piece of art on it—the impressive height of the wall paired with a statement artwork will together create the pièce de résistance of the room.

Style Tip: Since the length of this wall covers a large distance, in the absence of artwork you could also create visual drama with a unique wall treatment or an intricately designed wallpaper. The key to styling a wall that extends through two floors is to attract attention to it.

Duplex home design idea with Artwork, leather sofa & green wall paint - Beautiful Homes

Image courtesy, FADD Studio

Duplex home design glass walls around the staircase - Beautiful Homes

Image courtesy, A Square Designs

Establish A Connection With The Rest Of The Home

Since the plan of the house design in a duplex home is divided across two floors, there can be a feeling of the disconnection between the two levels. Two retain the idea of one single home that’s connected together, find ways to make sure both stories still have a view of the other. Tricks such as open corridors overlooking the floor below or glass walls around the staircase and adjacent areas around it, all allow for visuals of the space above and beneath, while still retaining some element of privacy.

Build A Staircase According To The Requirement In The Home

The key point of connection between the two floors in a duplex home design is the staircase. Serving a pivotal role in defining the duplex home design, consider the style, usage habits and purpose this space will serve before planning it. If it is to connect the downstairs space to the bedroom upstairs, consider placing the duplex house staircase at one end of the home to retain an element of privacy. If the staircase is meant to serve as a sweeping design statement in the home, place it as a central focal point at the entrance of the home to establish an air of grandeur the moment you walk in.

Duplex home design with staircase according to requirement - Beautiful Homes

Image courtesy, KdnD Studio

Image courtesy, 42MM

Create A Central Point As The Heart Of The Home

When a home is divided into two halves, there’ll be a need to bring the entire space closer together. To integrate the house as one, a clever trick is to create a central point or room that will serve as the heart of the apartment for the family to gather around at the end of the day. A living room, lounge space or even TV area can be designated in this area of the house that is located at a central point.

Style Tip: To make this room more inviting and cosy, fit in large plush sofas and sectionals in this space, along with cosy cushions, accessories and mood lighting. Floor lamps placed on the sides of couches are a terrific option to incorporate this.

The Staircase Can Dictate The Aesthetic Of The Room

When placed in a central point in a room or the home at large, the staircase can serve as the focal point of the entire area, drawing visual intrigue and curiosity. You can use the stairway to create a unique shape, style or, even, aesthetic in the room it’s in. In this contemporary living room, for example, the steel spiral stairs not only lend a modern, sleek look but also serve as a polished statement in the entire area.

Style Tip: Mirror your personal style in your home through your staircase—this is the best place to add accents of colour, incorporate unusual finishes and colours, or even use a mix of glass and metal

Duplex home design with staircase in central point - Beautiful Homes

Image courtesy, KNS Architects

Light design around the stairs for duplex room with mirrors on the walls  - Beautiful Homes

Image courtesy, A Square Designs

Play With Light Around Your Staircase

The area that’s enclosed within the curve or limits of a staircase is free space extending up to an entire floor, which usually goes unnoticed while planning the design or style of a home. This is an interesting area to play around with, and, while you can’t furnish it with any furniture, you can play around with lights or hanging light installations here. Using intricate chandeliers or dramatic pendant lights that start on the top floor of your duplex home design will not only illuminate the area, but will also add more openness and depth.

Style Tip: If your stairwell has access to windows, this is a great space to play up natural light. Adding mirrors on the walls of the landing or along the stairs can visually add more space. Similarly, if the floor is the top most floor of the building, consider installing a sky light on top to bring in light and ventilation into the entire home.

Play Around With The Layouts In Your Home

Since you’re working with two floors in a duplex home design, you might wonder how to segregate the living and private spaces between the two floors, along with distributing the functionality and fluidity of the entire home. While, conventionally, the lower floor includes the entrance of the home, one may gravitate to having the kitchen and living room planned there, and leaving the bedrooms to the upper floor. However, there’s no reason to swap this idea if the opposite makes more sense in the existing layout of your home. For example, if the upper floor has a terrace space, which is perfect for hosting guests, you could plan the living and dining rooms around it, saving the bedrooms and study for the lower floor instead.

Duplex home layout idea  - Beautiful Homes

Image courtesy, 42MM

Duplex home design in wood and stain  - Beautiful Homes

Image courtesy, A Square Designs

Let Your Home’s Style Extend Into The Staircase

While you should never restrict yourself to any fixed rules when it comes to designing your home, it is a good idea to have some sort of uniformity or fluidity when planning the style and aesthetic of your spaces. And the same should extend into the staircase of your duplex home design, which should be built in the same manner and method as the rest of your home interiors. If the style of the home centres around symmetry and pairing minimal materials, echo this aesthetic and the same treatment on the stairway, as well. If you have a lot of wooden panelling across the two floors of your home, connect them in the same wood and stain on the stairs.

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