The Needle
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Mind on Design

Naples-based Architect Matthew Kragh is a Firm Believer of Form Following Function

Matthew Kragh

Architecture is changing. Bid farewell to segmented rooms, closed-off kitchens, and formal dining spaces. While privacy is king in the design of bedrooms, entertaining areas are opening up to suit the lifestyles of home’s inhabitants and guests. After all, if homes are meant to be lived in, then why not design them to be more livable?

The appeal of Matthew and his team’s work at MHK Architecture and Planning lies in unexpected twists. Airy floor plans include soaring ceilings and disappearing glass doors, while exteriors honor Old Florida coastal charm with wood siding and architectural brackets. End products are not beholden to a particular design style, but planned around the functionality between a space and its residents. “There’s nothing better than seeing your kids jump in and out of a swimming pool while sitting on the couch watching a football game,” Matthew says, “You’re everywhere at one time.”

An architectural focus on lifestyle translates to financial gain when it comes to the value of a home. Cookie cutter homes that fit the mold of a historical tradition may add to the charm of a neighborhood, but ultimately buyers crave a livable space. By combining the two, you can appease to both the classic and contemporary buyer; form and function living in perfect design harmony.

Designing a custom home involves taking both current and future clients into account. Is it better to build a third or fourth bedroom or add a secondary living room? Consider what does well in the property’s market when making these choices. A downstairs master may do well in neighborhoods with older residents, while adding dens or extra guest rooms could preserve value in areas traditionally suited for growing families.

When decision overload threatens to consume a client, Matthew’s go-to recommendation never fails: keep it timeless.

Jared Klein