New Home Tips, Trends, and Ideas - Raleigh Custom Home Builders

5 Important Questions about Two Story Overlooks

Posted by Penny Hull on Tue, Apr 19, 2016 @ 10:04 AM

Indoor Balcony and Overlook Ideas:

Should the overlook be single or two-sided? What type of railing is best for an overlook? What should I overlook - the living room, dining room, or kitchen? How long should the second story overlook be? What type of lighting is best for an overlook? 

Get answers to all your indoor balcony, or upstairs overlook, design questions - with photo examples - from a Raleigh custom home builder.



Floor Plans with an Indoor Balcony or Upstairs Overlook:

From traditional home design to contemporary layouts, these overlooks will give you a good sense of the range of possibilities when building in some open concept space that connects the upper and lower floors. 

1. Should my overlook be one or two-sided?

A single-sided overlook requires less two story space - with more sq ft of living space upstairs. One sided overlooks are more common when facing the foyer, where there are easy start and end points for the railing. 

Two staircases lead into a single-sided overlook hallway in this version of the Serengeti

Overlook Ideas | two story Raleigh new homes

A two-sided overlook often extends across the foyer and living room:

Here, the foyer overlook is about half the length of the living room side, leaving space for an upstairs loft above the guest bedroom.  This type of overlook can also be referred to as a catwalk, especially if the double exposure is long.
Overlook Ideas | two story Raleigh new homes

In another example, the two-sided overlook runs across the foyer and living room. Two separate staircases lead to this overlook, one in the foyer and one in the kitchen.

Overlook Ideas | two story Raleigh new homes

2. What type of railing is best for an overlook? 

Painted wood, wrought iron balusters, cable railing, and drywall half-walls with trim are all popular styles for an overlook.

Here is an example of an overlook with white painted wood balusters: 

Overlook Ideas | two story Raleigh new homes

And another with black painted wood railing: 

Overlook Ideas | two story Raleigh new homes

 

Cable railing is a great choice for a mountain or contemporary home style: 

Cable Railing Overlook | Raleigh new homes

 

3. What room(s) should the overlook extend to?

While traditional overlooks often span the living room from above, a more unique approach in custom design can integrate an overlook above the dining area and/or kitchen. 

Overlook Ideas | two story Raleigh new homes

This overlook uses a drywall extension, rather than railing, for a more contemporary feel downstairs. The "front side" of this two-sided overlook faces the foyer.  The open urban contemporary loft feel is further accentuated by the use of metal sconce fixtures on the side of the overlook half wall.

4. How long should the overlook be?

A small overlook can extend a short distance, to give a quick two-story feel to the foyer. A long overlook can span the entire first floor living space.

The distance of an overlook will depend on the overall structure of your floor plan, including the amount of open space you want to dedicate on the second floor (the more overlook, the more of the upstairs is needed to be dedicated to open, unused air space instead of living space). 

Here is an example of a hallway-length overlook, with a large impact on the openness of the home:

Overlook Ideas | two story Raleigh new homes

5. What type of lighting is best for an overlook? 

You'll want to include a mixture of lighting types, sizes, and locations. Wall sconces, recessed can lights, hanging chandelier lights, fan lights, and windows are all used to light overlook spaces. 

Overlook Ideas | two story Raleigh new homes

 



Floor Plans with an Overlook:

One of the best things about designing and building a totally custom home is the ability to include the features that matter most, including the upstairs overlook.  

What Raleigh new home design elements are most important to you? Tell us what you're looking for, and we'll show you how to build it - with recommendations for floor plan features and selections that fit your budget.



 

Tags: indoor balcony, raleigh new homes, overlook to living room, staircase overlooks

Indoor Balcony Ideas | Home Plans with Balcony Inside

Posted by Penny Hull on Mon, Sep 29, 2014 @ 05:09 AM

Indoor Balcony Photos

Home Plans with Balcony Inside

What is an indoor balcony home plan?

Home plans with indoor balconies have an overlook to the main floor.

An indoor balcony provides beautiful views of the interior space below. It also makes the downstairs feel more open, by eliminating what could be a solid wall. 

Many Raleigh new homes feature two-story great rooms with a second story balcony overlooking the great room below. Here are a few examples, with photos to help you imagine the possibilities for your next home.

 

 Indoor Balcony Ideas | Home Plans with Balcony Inside

Ebony stained railings give this custom home a contemporary feel - with an upstairs loft and balcony overlook.

 

Indoor Balcony Ideas | Home Plans with Balcony Inside

In this home sample, the balcony has views to the full-height stone fireplace and the two story foyer. The staircase layout offers peek-a-boo views to the fireplace, to wow your guests as they enter your home.


Indoor Balcony Ideas | Home Plans with Balcony Inside

This home features a balcony off the loft area and a two-sided overlook into the great room and foyer.

 

Indoor Balcony Ideas | Home Plans with Balcony Inside

Even though the staircase is hidden from view, it leads to a spacious balcony overlook, with views to the living room and barrel vault foyer. An elevator provides easy access to the second floor.

 

Indoor Balcony Ideas | Home Plans with Balcony Inside

In this home, the balcony features painted white railing. The overlook extends the full length of the living room, for an even more spacious feel.

 

Indoor Balcony Ideas | Home Plans with Balcony

 Two separate staircases lead to this balcony - one curved staircase and one wide staircase. This balcony is the center of attention. Curved railings and dark stained railing flow into the upscale appeal of this custom home.

 

Indoor Balcony Ideas | Home Plans with Balcony

Half-wall balconies, instead of wrought iron or painted railing, give this living room design a unique feel. The cut-out openings make the upstairs hallway more open, and give the downstairs more dimension.

 

Indoor Balcony Ideas | Home Plans with Balcony Inside

You can have an indoor balcony without a two story living room. In this home, a balcony opens to the foyer. The living room is a single story, enabling the second story to have more usable square footage.

 

Indoor Balcony Ideas | Home Plans with Balcony Inside

A wrap-around balcony adds a custom touch to this two story home - with a extra wide hallway to take full advantage of the full wall of windows in the living room below. 

 

Indoor Balcony Ideas | Home Plans with Balcony Inside

In this traditional home design, the second story overlook opens views to the archway entrances, fireplace, and window walls below. 

 

Indoor Balcony Ideas | Home Plans with Balcony Inside

Each angle of this balcony offers completely different views to the two story great room and foyer below. 

 

Indoor Balcony Ideas | Home Plans with Balcony Inside

You'll want to catch all the views of this living room window wall - including from the second story balcony. 

 

Indoor Balcony Ideas | Home Plans with Balcony Inside

In this floor plan, a small balcony overlook extends out from the staircase.

 

Indoor Balcony Ideas | Home Plans with Balcony InsideIn this custom home, anther contemporary design, the second story loft has a full-length hallf-wall balcony overlook to the living room.

 

 

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Tags: indoor balcony, raleigh home builder, 2014 home design trends, raleigh new homes