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July 26, 2015
our house floorplan

click to view a larger version

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!


House assemblage so far

July 7, 2015

After so many months waiting to get started, it’s crazy how fast things are happening now. This house has appeared! Although I think it’ll feel like things slow down once we get to lock-up & all the work moves inside.

We have a frame, and windows, and doorframes. The wrapping is on, and plumbing is going in. The bricks are going up. Plain red on the facade – which will be covered in render – and the light-orangey-tan that we chose elsewhere. (Basically, I hate bricks. Bricks are ugly. I refused to spend money on upgrading to nice pale non-bricky-ish bricks, so I tried to pick the least-offensive option from the category 1 range on offer. Hence orangey-tan.)

We have a real open plan kitchen/dining/living at the back of the house:

house in july - dining room

This is the dining area. Sliding doors lead out to the covered alfresco area & our slice of backyard. We don’t have a massive yard – but we’re surrounded by parks, sports fields, a golf course, the river & paths. Our idea is to deck the alfresco when we do the landscaping, & extend the decking out somewhat too.

house in july - living area

Kitchen is on the left – those pipes sticking out of the ground are for the sink in the island bench. Narrow window gives us a little bit of natural light in the kitchen. I may live to regret that window, seeing as it is a splashback & will probably require lots of cleaning. Past the kitchen is the living area. We would’ve loved to put a fireplace in against that wall but couldn’t justify the cost.

house in july - kitchen

Looking from the living area back to the kitchen. Straight down the hallway to the front door. The wheelbarrow is where our fridge space is, plus some cabinets & a built-in microwave. To its right is the door into the pantry. I cannibalised pantry space to put a massive laundry in – another decision I might one day regret!

house in july - master bedroom

Master bedroom, upstairs at the front of the house. Felt a bit like a treehouse, all open to the elements up there.

I’ll do a post soon with our floorplan & how we modified it to suit us. I can’t wait to see it come to life over the next few months!



The frame is going up!

June 7, 2015

We snuck into the building site yesterday, and walked those spaces that will be our home. Downstairs is already framed up – walls and doorways and spaces for windows. We could see the clouded sky through timber slats and imagine a window. This will be carpet, and this will be floorboards. Where this ladder is will be stairs.

We pootled (cautiously) through the garage, the tv room (or ‘the home theatre’ if you’re feeling fancy). The Mr’s office was much larger than in my head. And the laundry – oh what storage we will have! *silly storage dance* I am such a housewife these days: I can’t wait for that laundry room.

From the open plan kitchen/dining/living, we walked out into the alfresco and pictured a backyard – instead of the mudfest that it is currently.

Everything was a lot larger than in my head. Are we actually building a castle? Hmm. We’re sure gonna rattle around in there to start with.

It was so awesome to walk through real life spaces that until now have only existed on paper. Building a house is a little bit terrifying because – what might we have got wrong? We have picked this design and all these finishes, piece by piece, and now they are being assembled… and we won’t know until it’s done whether something won’t work. I’m like 97% confident. I think if we’d designed it all from scratch ourselves I’d be less so, but we are going with a volume builder & a template design. So chances are it’ll be alright. Yeah? Yeah. I’ll let you know after we move in…


House house!

May 8, 2015

This exciting lil ole piece of dirt will have a house on it soon! I can’t believe it is finally happening. We bought the land in August 2013, when I was pregnant with the sproglet. And look at how big he is now! It has been a long journey already. Fingers crossed the next few months are smooth sailing…