While we tend to focus on the big things, like design and layout, it’s often the smaller details that really make a home.
If you’re building a new home, features that improve its liveability are essential, according to Metricon senior interior designer Melissa Colley.
Achieving that can be as simple as asking yourself: is there anything I can add that will help improve my everyday life?
“We spend so much time in our homes nowadays, particularly with COVID, so it’s really important that your home functions in a manner that suits your lifestyle,” she says.
So, here are five simple features to improve the liveability of your new home.
1. A butler’s pantry
Once considered a lavish extra for the rich, a butler’s pantry is now a necessity in new homes.
“As an addition, it’s become super popular,” says Melissa.
“It’s about keeping that mess, all that working space, concealed and not out in the open area where all the day-to-day functioning is going on.”
Many butler’s pantries come complete with a preparation bench and storage space for food, glasses, crockery, and tableware.
But more generously proportioned setups can be very lavish, incorporating a dishwasher, microwave, refrigerator and even the kitchen sink.
2. Built-in office or study nook
While 2020 supercharged the work from home trend, it has been heading that direction for many years. Melissa says home builders have been taking this work revolution into consideration.
“We are finding having that home office, or even a study nook, has become a real necessity for people — even to the point where people are turning their extra bedrooms back into studies,” Melissa says.
“Everyone will have different requirements, but it might be a case of having a large TV screen on the wall so you can do your Zoom meeting.
“You want everything set up and ready to go, so built-in joinery for the workspace, shelves, access to power points, and plenty of natural light.”
Don’t fall into the trap of treating a home office space as an “afterthought” she cautions. A well-designed space will likely be a key selling point in the future.
3. Smart storage
The internet is awash with clever storage ideas and hacks on how to keep your things organised.
But Melissa says that while a wealth of storage space is important, you have to ensure it’s fit for purpose.
“We include a lot of storage in our plans and we think about the way people use their home,” she says.
“It’s important that we’re not popping cupboards in wherever we’ve got a blank space on the plan.
“We don’t want them to move in and then realise their linen cupboard is on the other side of the house to their laundry.”
Melissa says many buyers are requesting additional storage options in the garage — “if you’ve got the space, why not use it?”
4. Energy efficiency
Sustainability is top of mind for homeowners these days. The 2020 REA Group Property Seekers Report found 80% of buyers consider sustainable home features to be critical or important.
Energy efficiency is one area where new home buyers can make a big difference to their environmental footprint and their hip pocket.
“When a home is built, we basically have a tick list and it’s about getting the balance right,” says Melissa.
“A dark roof is going to have lower energy efficiency. We might need to balance that out with more windows or a ceiling fan or maybe tinted windows.”
Other energy efficient solutions include solar to reduce their energy use and bills, double-glazed windows, insulation, LED light bulbs and energy saving appliances.
5. A pool
Having a backyard pool is the great Australian dream, but in the past this luxury addition took months to build — often putting it in the too expensive category.
This is no longer the case with Metricon’s new innovative precast concrete Plungie Studio Pool.
Metricon are currently running a promotion where you can include a pool, plus Fujitsu Ducted Air, for $9,990.
“It’s prefabricated and gets craned into the backyard,” says Melissa.
“It’s incredibly cost efficient to be able to do it this way rather than going through months and months of getting a pool built – and spending the dollars that’s involved in that.”
Home buyers have flexibility in size the colour range. Plus, the best part is you can swim in your own gorgeous pool from the day you move in.
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