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Design for today’s living

Good home design begins with an understanding of how people live in their homes. New home builders are offering plans and designs to meet the needs of today’s consumers, using modern technology to build homes that are attractive, highly functional and feel good to live in. Often a builder’s standard designs are just a starting point; many builders will customise homes to suit the homebuyers’ individual needs.

Below are some of the characteristics of new home design:

  • Efficient use of space – Even small homes, if well laid out with good details and amenities, can reflect some of the spacious characteristics of a larger home. High, raked or cathedral ceilings can add to the sense of space and also allow for larger windows to visually extend your home.
  • Open layouts – One of the more popular design trends is the open concept, or open plan, which can include a large informal space for living, working, eating and relaxing. Partial walls, bulkheads, lighting and floor treatment help to define and add character to individual areas within this space. Depending on the size of the home, an open plan may replace or complement formal living and dining rooms.
  • Natural light – Advances in the technology of windows and doors, including double glazing and energy-efficient glass and window frames, make today’s new homes light and bright, without losing heat in winter or overheating in summer.
  • Kitchens that work – With today’s open layouts, the quality and the finishing details of a new kitchen are done with careful attention to matching or complementing the surrounding spaces. Enjoy well-appointed, organised workspaces; attractive, separate eating areas; and great natural and built-in lighting.
  • Flexible space – New home layouts are designed to accommodate changing household needs over time. A den can become an extra bedroom or a nursery. General use rooms can be converted to a home office, family entertainment area or a home theatre. These and other flexible design approaches build adaptability into the home at the time of construction. If necessary, features such as wide doorways and reinforced bathroom walls for grab rails can also be built in to accommodate special health and mobility needs.
  • Built-in convenience – Look for direct access from the garage to the home; garages and utility areas with good storage space; walk-in robes and additional features such as extra-large pantries, lots of shelving and a built-in area for waste and recycling bins.
  • Lots of storage – A new home is designed with plenty of built-in storage to eliminate clutter: ample closet space in bedrooms; drawers, cupboards and shelving in the bathroom; linen closets; and room in the kitchen for appliances, pots and pan organisers and pantries.
  • Ambience – New homes have shiny surfaces, clean lines, warm natural materials, pleasing curves and attractive accents.

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