Whether you are designing a custom home or choosing an existing design, it can feel like such an exciting and overwhelming task to ensure that you have every feature and inclusion that suits your dream lifestyle. Each room will have different requirements and choosing the right design or making the best use of the space is important. In this article, we explore the top 6 features and inclusions to consider when building your Brisbane home.
Privacy & Security
As the size of land decreases and homes are designed closer to the block perimeter, designing a home with a high level of privacy and security is important. Some of the easiest ways to do this are by selecting privacy shutters, tinting your windows and hanging blinds or curtains in each bedroom, bathroom and multi-purpose room.
Privacy shutters can be used for the interior as well as the exterior of your home and the benefits of exterior shutters are that they can block out harsh morning or afternoon sunlight and reduce the capability of break-ins.
Storage & Organisation Stations
Whether you are designing for a large family or you have a smaller block size, choosing the right storage and organisation solutions is vital to improving your day-to-day lifestyle. Going for a modern and minimalistic home does not mean you have to sacrifice your stuff, you just need to be clever with how you store it. There are obvious spaces such as a walk-in wardrobe which continue to be highly considered in the design phase but there are many under-utilised spaces that should be examined:
- Hallway Tables, Bench Seating and Coat Racks
- Kitchen Nooks and Breakfast Bars
- Staircase Shelving or Nooks
- Built-In Bathroom Cabinets
Natural Light & High Ceilings
Gone are the days when skylights were small holes in the roof that brought in a little amount of light and attracted way too many insects. Modern skylights are fantastic for bringing in natural light which makes the space appear larger, reduces eye strain and improves overall mood. The most common places for skylights are the kitchen - the heart of the home but they can also be utilised in areas that don’t have direct or many windows such as a hallway or laundry room. There has been an increase in skylights used in bathrooms and bedrooms and creating a dramatic look by choosing distinct sizes or shapes.
The height of your ceiling can dictate the ambience and versatility of a room. The Australian standard ceiling height is 2.4 metres so anything between 2.5 metres and 3 metres is considered to be a high ceiling. The upside to this is that your home feels more spacious, there is more natural light and is aesthetically pleasing - they make a statement.
The overall maintenance of your home can have a big impact on your lifestyle and you want it to be as low as possible. When designing your home, think about high-traffic areas such as the kitchens and bathrooms, outdoor exterior and gardens and what types of materials and surfaces are used in each location.
You want to have surfaces that are easy to clean whether that’s your floors, bench tops, and walls and you want them to be durable. Tiles and floorboards are a great option for low-maintenance flooring and choosing quality and durable paints mean that you don’t have to repaint as often and some varieties have scratch and marker resistance to them.
When designing your gardens, choose native and sturdy plants and opt for evergreen trees to avoid leaves and flowers clogging up your drains, gutters and backyard. This includes outdoor entertaining areas as well so opt for large tiles or composite decking.
As the heart of the home, the kitchen should be designed with a lot of space and storage in mind. There has been a rise in Butler’s Pantries in new homes which not only allows for separate storage for pantries and appliances but also act as wet areas to wash and dry dishes and prepare food.
Deep draws and narrow vertical cupboards are also to be considered as part of your new kitchen. Deep draws allow you to see more in the draw whereas pantries can be hard to see past certain heights and depths. A narrow vertical cupboard (such as the gap between the fridge and the main storage or pantry) can be used for hanging tea towels, storing cutting boards and other small items that are used regularly.
Built-in breakfast bar cabinets are a must-have for large families. They are a great way to store all of the common appliances such as the microwave, toaster and kettle within a dedicated zone and can be hidden for when you have guests or are entertaining.
Something that is often overlooked is the essential electrical features. This includes power points, ethernet and appliance connections and entertainment systems such as speakers.
Having power points built into your kitchen island bench is a great way to power appliances and think about outdoor entertaining areas such as outdoor kitchens, bench tops and on your walls for mounting televisions or connecting lighting.
If you are designing a two-storey home with a staircase or a single-storey house with a long hallway, two-way switches are great for convenience. Another way to add a sense of luxury to your home is to include a built-in wardrobe, shelving and cabinetry lighting.