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New homes now focus on family

New homes now focus on family

This article first appeared on by Kent Acott and you can read the original article here.  

The formal dining room is dead.  Sculleries are a new trend.  Ensuites are bigger than they’ve ever been. With chandeliers and funky wallpaper.

Such is the new face of home design in Perth.  Every era has its architectural style, often reflected in the features and make-up of the suburban home.

While changes to home design have been dramatic in the past two decades in WA, they reflect the fact that improved technology has provided unparalleled diversity and choice for the homebuyers.

Summit Homes general manager of new homes Tony Harvie has worked in the local industry for nearly 20 years.

He has seen some big changes in home design, mostly to create more family focus.

“Dining rooms have totally disappeared,” Mr Harvie said.

“The focus is now on open-plan living, free-form living that sees the kitchen overlook the open dining and living and flow all the way outdoors.

“The alfresco is essentially a room in its own right.

“Years ago, people were happy with a pergola but a designed al-fresco is now a functional outdoor room that can be enjoyed year-round because it is covered and practical.

“Entry to the outdoors used to be via the laundry but now direct outdoor access can be from the main indoor living zones for immediate relaxation and enjoyment.”

Several building companies are looking at making outdoor areas more like internal rooms, featuring fridges, ovens and big screen televisions.

Traditional sliding doors are giving way to chic bi-fold doors that remove the physical barrier between the outside and the inside.

Mr Harvie said kitchens were still the social heart of the home. But old, boxy, closed-in kitchens were no longer on trend.

Instead, kitchens had become the design heroes of the home, with galley-style configurations and finishing touches such as sculleries where the wet area is kept away from the main part of the kitchen.

“There are also concealed recesses for the fridge-freezer, extensive use of glass windows as splashbacks and integrated appliances,” Mr Harvie said.

“IT nooks in the kitchen are popular, as are oversized bench space for a laptop.

“The room can be used for homework, research and dinner preparation at the end of the day.”

Mr Harvie said the main bedroom had become like a parents’ retreat — big bedrooms with a lavish ensuite and huge walk-in robes.

“Double-sized showers and free-standing baths are commonplace,” he said. “People are looking for an indulgent, resort-styled escape in their everyday home.”

Another industry stalwart agreed, saying bathrooms were becoming places where people wanted to spend time in — with furniture, feature lights and colourful wallpaper.

Mr Harvie said another significant change in house design was the trend towards multi-generational living.

Homes were catering for children who were staying home longer and elderly parents who were returning to the home.

“The trend is for homes that cater for all members of the family, so we effectively have have a granny flat built inside a house,” Mr Harvie said.

“That means a typical four-by-two home with an extra bedroom, bathroom, kitchenette and sitting area plus outdoor access.”

Another long-time industry player said rooms were being created so they could be easily converted as the family grew up — a playroom that could become a guest room or a nursery that could become a study.

Master Builders Association housing director Jason Robertson said there were many options in house design available.

It had led to a clear demand for smaller lots, smart technology and energy efficiency.

“Concepts like theatre rooms, open-planned living and the merging of inside and outside are still popular,” Mr Robertson said.

“But we are also seeing people looking to options that involve less maintenance.”

Take inspiration from today’s modern kitchen as seen in our Mod display by Summit Homes

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