The Guide - Design

Design knowledge for new homes


How lucky are we!? When we’re building a new home, we get to start from the bare earth and create a home especially for our families and lives. That’s pretty exciting. The hard part is spending the time to look at the options and deciding what’s right for your new home. Read on and get some guidance.

Work out the design that works for you and your family. Consider where you are at right now, and how your family will change over the next decade. There are many, many great builders creating beautiful home designs and that's great news.


Smaller, smarter spaces

As our cities change and become more populated, blocks of land get smaller and apartments become  more popular. What that means is that many of us have less space to work with. So, in response to these urban living trends, home designs are moving towards smarter designs for smaller spaces to help us make the most of what we’ve got.

Consider the size and shape of your block, whether you have it already, or you’re still shopping around. Think carefully about the the space you think you’ll need and weigh it against the size and cost of the blocks in your budget. Set out a list of clear options that work for the size of your family and your budget.

Plan first, worry less

We don’t mean a general plan, we’re talking about an actual builder’s plan for your new home, and this is something you can start yourself. Get online (oh, wait, you already are!) and do some serious research. Find existing plans, download them, and see how other people have done it. You’ll soon understand the conventions and options and this will lead you to your preferences. Get this done before you head off to the display homes because it will give you a great head start and extra understanding of what you see there.

Family function

Every family is different, we all live differently, and use our homes in different ways. This home is for you and your family, so think about how you operate. Consider where you want to eat your meals, where the kids will play, study and watch tv. If you’re all home a lot of the time, you might want more space for relaxing. If everyone’s out during the day and home in the evening, maybe your bedrooms are more important.

 Open up

Open plan homes work well for modern living and are great for many families. It can make great sense to have your kitchen, dining and lounge areas in a single space. Open plan homes can offer lovely views through the living spaces and into your garden, or over a pool, for example. But, it doesn’t work for everyone, so think about it and work out if your family is more, or less about open plan living.

Creating Space

Whatever space you have, and most of us would like a little bit more, can be maximised by putting a few tricky techniques to work. Space is finite and certainly a matter of metres, but perception also plays a big part in how big, or small, your living spaces ‘feel’.

High ceilings and wide windows will create a more spacious effect. So too will using lighter and brighter colours and matte paint finishes. These options will always feel less like they are ‘closing in’ like dark and gloss colours often do.

You can also be smart with the position of the furniture. Work with the longer lines in each room and find ways to place your furniture to complement and lengthen those lines, rather than cutting them up into sections, which can make a space feel more crowded.

Lighten up

Natural light is always lovely and maximises the overall aesthetic and the general happiness of the people who use your spaces. You can use natural light and artificial light to make rooms feel roomier. When you can, make windows larger to let more light in, and increase outdoor views.