So our house is pretty typical of contemporary house design from volume builders in Australia. The base design we selected has an open plan living/dining/kitchen, a covered alfresco area, with bedrooms & bathrooms upstairs. We chose this particular plan because it (most importantly) fit our block (which is 12.5m x 30m = 375 sq m), and because it would maximise natural light opportunities in the living areas in the way it is laid out on our block with our crossover.
We then modified the base design by picking two of the available options the builder provided:
– Add a study. The Mr works from home a bit, so this was essential. It’ll also be where he keeps his guitars. (One of the bedrooms upstairs is going to be my study, so we get one each!)
– Add walk-in-wardrobes to the other 3 bedrooms. This was an expensive addition, but increased our overall sq m & gave us a bigger living area too by lengthening the downstairs to match the increase upstairs. And I was a fan of anything that gave us more storage.
I was really happy with this plan because it had a lot of actual rooms. I’d looked at other plans for houses the same sq m in size, but with fewer rooms (obviously, much larger in space), which just didn’t seem to allow much flexibility for different uses.
We weren’t finished yet though! After those modifications, we were able to get our builder to make some other changes, by swapping the laundry from one side of the house to other and increasing it in size.
I wanted this for a couple of reasons:
– We can enter the house via the back garage door & then through the exterior laundry door. Thus if we all come back from the beach or wherever a total filthy mess, no need to tramp all that mess inside. We’ll make that corner between garage & laundry a covered porch area when we do our landscaping.
– This switch gave us heaps of storage space in the laundry. We’ll be able to fit so much stuff in there – pet beds, pet food & other stuff, ironing board, beach towels, vacuum cleaner, mop, buckets, cloths & cleaning things, coats & jackets & boots, sports equipment.
It did mean I had to cannibalise the butler’s pantry, which may be a disaster when it comes to resell, but I had to think of how we would be using this house since we plan to be living in it for a long time. And we just have more need for laundry storage than pantry storage. We will still have a (small) walk-in pantry, where we’ll get custom cabinetry done to maximise use of the space, including a benchtop for appliances. Fingers crossed it works out in the end.
This is a really big house – much bigger than we currently need. But as mentioned, we want to stay here for aaages, and all these rooms give us loads of flexibility depending on how our circumstances might change. We could move my study into the home theatre or the playroom, if we need that bedroom back. We could make the home theatre a guest bedroom, or combine a guest bed with my office space. The downstairs study has an external door, so we could potentially run a home business out of it.
It’s going to be super interesting to eventually move in and see how all this theory works out in practice!