12 tips to help choose the perfect home design

12 tips to help choose the perfect home design
12 tips to help choose the perfect home design


Once you’ve made the decision to build a new home, and that itself is an exciting decision, the next choice is finding the right home design.

With many builders and designs out there, it can become overwhelming and confusing.

  1. How long do you plan to live there?

    The first question you need to identify is the timeframe; how long do you plan to live in the home?

    If your plan is short-term, you’ll learn very quickly what works well, what you like, and what you don’t like, so next time you can learn from the experience and make the design better to suit your requirements. If you’re designing your forever home, you’ll want to establish the following points.

  2. Children 

    The age and number of children will determine many factors. In addition to the number of bedrooms, parents of young children might want a rumpus room for the kids to play in, while teenage children might require a quiet space away from living areas to study.

    You can ‘zone’ the kids are of the home, or have a ‘kids wing’. This enables you to close doors to hide the mess or dull the noise.

     12 tips to help choose the perfect home design

  3. Location of bedrooms 
    Do you want the master bedroom at the front of the home or at the rear? Do you want your room to be close to the kids? You’ll need to think about the proximity of bedrooms to the bathroom, laundry noise, living room noise and access to your room.

  4. Versatile design 

    This is a home that will adapt as you need it to. Using the above example, a spare room can be used as a rumpus and converted into a study as the kids get older. By the time your children are young adults (being realistic, kids are staying at home a lot longer these days) it can be set up as a separate living room.

  5. Lifestyle 

    Depending on your lifestyle to what features you have in the home. If you’re avid movie fans, you might consider a home theatre, or if you love entertaining, an alfresco or formal lounge could be ideal. If you run a business from home, a home office located near the entry would be perfect.

     12 tips to help choose the perfect home design

  6. Kitchen 

    Something you need to consider before finalising your kitchen is the infamous kitchen work triangle. The triangle is made up of the distance between the cooktop, sink and refrigerator. These three elements need to be close together, but not too close.

    Another thing you need to consider with your kitchen design is where you will store everything. A good way to work through it is to imaging dishing up dinner, unloading the dishwasher and baking a cake.

      12 tips to help choose the perfect home design

  7. Block of land

    Your house must be suited to the block of land. If you have a narrow inner city allotment, your options are more restricted compared to a rural acreage block.

    In addition, if the land has a slope, you may need a split-level design. Every land estate has different design requirements; in some areas your front door must be set in front of your garage.

  8. Backyard 

    Depending on what you would like to achieve with a backyard will impact the size of the block of land you need and the size of the home. Keen gardeners, entertainers or people with pets may want a larger backyard than those who don’t spend much time outdoors.

  9. Think about the furniture you currently own 

    Many people like the look of a home, however when it comes to moving they realise there isn’t a place for their antique hall table or the room configuration doesn’t allow room for their couch. Imagine where everything you currently own will go.

     12 tips to help choose the perfect home design

  10. Storage

    Builders and designers are very savvy when it comes to incorporating storage into your home. There is no wasted space with every nook and cranny being used wisely.

    You may consider extending the garage to allow extra room for storing bicycles or a boat.

    You also may want to add extra storage inside your home for toys, linen or coats.

  11. Study/computer nook 

    If you don’t want a complete study, but you still want somewhere to store your computer or charge your laptop, a study/computer nook is a great compromise.

    It is efficient use of space and provides the perfect place to store all your electronic devices and mail.

      12 tips to help choose the perfect home design

  12. Don’t lose sight of the goal

Keep referring back to why you’re moving in the first place. If your reason for moving was to downsize, make sure you don’t get caught up in the design process and end up with a bigger home than you started with.

Similarly, if it’s an investment, consider the versatility of the home to suit a wide audience, so remember your audience and don’t take over with ‘this is what I would want’.

Natalie O’Shea is a designer at Hotondo Homes and has been designing homes for over 15 years. Hotondo Homes is an Australian owned family business that was established in 1979.

Images courtesy of Hotondo Homes.

House And Land Design

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