December 3, 2011 § Leave a comment
Well, as promised, I thought I’d share with you guys some of the inspirations we found from the display home shopping trip we did a few weeks back. Every other trip we were keen on working out which floorplans and layouts worked best and to see if any builders could customise their homes to fit our odd shaped block. This time was different. With a fair idea of what we are going to build, this trip was more about style ideas, finishings, fittings and exterior looks (including landscaping). I was also on the lookout for any home that had a similar living area to the long and narrow 12m x 5m living space we’re going to have. I don’t know how many times I said to Shan “how wide is this area?” or “is this going to be like ours, do you think?” but let’s just say he was always accommodating and seemed to relish the stepping out of metres as much as I did.
We started by examining exteriors and facades. At this point we haven’t even finalised the floorplan let alone the exterior facades. All we know is that we love the look of wood: wooden windows, wooden panelling, wooden garage doors, fat wooden front door.
Yes there is a lot of upkeep but we’re up for the challenge. Problem is, are we allowed any of this stuff if our property remains at the highest BAL rating?
We also like faux stone, rendering and darker bricks. But now that we know that those faux stone walls are simply tiles, we are thinking about doing them ourselves when we think the right location has been found.
Covered areas and decking remain big focus points for us. We also like the integration of outdoors to in, even for the front of homes. Living in the west of Sydney where temperatures often exceed 40 degrees and drop to 0, plants need to be hardy and frost and drought resistant. The natives that many display homes plant are perfect for this and quite striking too.
I like the idea of defining spaces in the yard but not in a French way where we try to control the wild. I like clean lines and divisions, but only if practicable. Shan feels the same, so that’s lucky!
We both also love the idea of creating a retreat style outdoor space that feels private, secluded and inviting. One of the things we’ve both talked about is screening. We want to be able to disguise the fact that we live in a small rectangular box surrounded by other homes (and the ugly colourbond fence). I have always loved the idea of bamboo as screening as it delivers a tropical and holiday vibe in a quick, relatively simple grow. I have been warned of its potential to spread like a voracious weed so I am a little hesitant to use it. Shan loves the idea of edible trees; things like lemons, olives and mangoes. If they can also act as screening, then all the better! What do you guys suggest as screening to disquise nearby homes and fencing?
Another thing we have loved since exploring the Sunshine Coast Retreat is outdoor seating built in to the decking. Our friends from Melbourne who also built have just completed their back decking with planter boxes similar to these bench seats. I have dreams of sewing up gorgeous cushions in bright outdoor fabric that can be used to lounge around on in spring (way too hot in summer!).
Rich outdoor decking is another must. These two images show that to great effect. We are unsold on the double border…though apart from in the corners, it does look quite extravagant.
If you put aside the ugliness of this furniture and design, you will see what we assume to be a fair representation of what our eventual living space will be like. I stood in the same spot for both images – one looked left and the other looked right. There is 12m from the back of the kitchen to the back of the red lounge. This room is narrower than our eventual space though (and we’re feeling that ours will feel more spacious because of the windows we’ll have. It was reasonably sized and we were happy with it.
We’re imagining we’ll have to, regardless of practicality, have a long narrow window run the length of our kitchen wall as above. Without it, we’ll probably lack a little light in that space. We were happy to see this kitchen which is what we keep imagining – a large island (about 1.5m) that will accomodate breakfast stools and preparation space.
I liked that this small space accommodated so much. Seems Shan did too.
Loved this chair – it was super comfy and looked uber stylish. It was in a bedroom next to a dresser and I could just imagine myself sitting down to slip on my heels before heading out for the evening!
And finally, these stairs stood out to us because they were not only unique and a different spin on the see-through staircases that we lean towards, they weren’t directly “up”. This may be a good option for us as we might not have the room for our stairs to go directly up. And in feng shui terms, this is a good thing for our bank balance.