When we dream about building, renovating or buying a home, we are undoubtedly influenced by the styles and trends we see on television programmes, in magazines and in the homes around us. But how much thought do we really give to satisfying our personal taste, to the practicality of the home and to the longevity of the design? Blinded by fleeting trends, too few of us take the time to really look at the bigger picture. So, rather than succumbing to trends, it is a good idea to take the time to think first and foremost about flow and functionality. Not only will this benefit your back pocket, but it may very well improve the health and well-being of you and your family.
The orientation of your home is incredibly important because it determines how much natural light comes into your life and it is something that will never change. If you are fortunate enough to already live in a home with north facing windows, you will know the benefits of basking in natural light through the bulk of the day. Or perhaps you’re lucky enough to benefit from afternoon sun or to see magnificent sunsets on the horizon in the west. Inviting natural light into our homes is incredibly beneficial because we need light, Vitamin D and warmth from the sun for our health and happiness. Indeed, the orientation of your home and the positioning of the windows has a much greater effect on you and family than you may realise.
Just like orientation, the floorplan of your home will not change without serious renovation or rebuilding and so it is important to think about the functionality of your floorplan from the outset. This means the position of bedrooms and living spaces and how they interact with your family’s needs but also how you enter a home. It is beneficial to think about how you enter your place because walking straight into the living room or an intimate space might upset you and your family members. Entry foyers add immense appeal and aid the flow and functionality of a home enormously.
The distances between rooms and living zones is also very important, as is the ability to close off living spaces and give family members privacy when they need it. If the COVID lockdowns taught us anything about our homes in terms of its floorplan, it was probably that our home is either well-suited or ill-suited to working from home because of privacy constraints. Psychologically, it is oh so important to be able to segregate our workspace from our personal space and indeed to be able to work and live apart from our loved ones who may distract us. If we live in a household with multiple people, it is important to spend time together to nurture our relationships, but it also important to spend time apart to keep us from getting in each other’s hair. We all need privacy to work, and also to be able to enjoy various different leisure activities, like listening to music and watching television, without disturbing others.
Privacy becomes even more important as your children get older. You may have a young family now which probably means that you want your bedroom close to the children’s rooms. This is perfectly reasonable and responsible, of course. However, children grow up and in their teenage years, you will want privacy from one another so having bedrooms that sit far apart may very well suit your lifestyle. Some homes even have the main bedroom downstairs and the children’s rooms upstairs to ensure that families get the space that they need. It may even be a good idea to design a home with an upstairs and a downstairs main bedroom so that you can be near your children while they are young but then move downstairs when they are teens. The secondary upstairs bedroom could then be ideal if you have children of different sexes who don’t want to share a bathroom in their teenage years, or it could be games room, children’s retreat or a guest bedroom. A guest bedroom comes in handy too when we think about the long-term evolution of our family and our extended family needs. Imagine a grandparent needing an operation and needing temporary care by family for a few weeks or months… give them the guest bedroom! Perhaps we’ll want family members to be able to stay over or even consider the possibility of having them live with you in their later years. A guest bedroom gives you options.
Thinking long and hard about the longevity of a home before you build or buy means that you won’t have to renovate every few years and you can save yourself a lot of money and stress in the long run. This means having a fantastic floorplan but also using durable products and materials. Though it may be more expensive to install high quality timber flooring rather than linoleum or carpet, for example, this type of investment will save you money over the years and make it easier to market your property when the time comes. High quality products like solid timber floors will not need to be replaced and have a timeless elegance and warmth that remain consistent through trends. Often underrated, carpet is good for a big family if you are concerned about the acoustics throughout the living spaces because carpet will help to muffle the sound, not to mention soften the inevitable tumbles of toddlers.
Location and Lifestyle
Location is perhaps one of the most important things to consider when buying or building as it will have an enormous influence on your lifestyle. If you love the beach, you should try to live near it and if you love buzzing city life, live in the inner suburbs. If you have children though, you may first want to consider school zones. And if you’re thinking like a very savvy buyer, you’ll want to know about council zones too because you may not want high rise buildings popping up around you, not to mention the construction noise that comes with them. Alternatively, if you’re thinking about the the long term value of your property you may want to buy or build in up-and-coming areas or inner suburbs and even consult a top buyer’s agent for advice.
Do Your Research
All these things are important, but there is no ‘one-size fits all’ solution. You need to think about your own needs and those of your loved ones in order to work out what suits you best. So, do your own research before your buy or build. This means looking around and checking information on the internet, including websites like land.vic.gov.au. At Real Copy Right, we do our very best to bring out the best qualities of the property so you feel informed and present the best flow and functionality of the home and the location in our copy, so you know if a property is the right fit for you.