Finding the flow in your home design

16 Feb 2021

Building gives homebuyers the chance to design a home that suits them to a tee, but with so many facets to the process, how can you be sure you’re making the right design decisions?

Humphrey Homes Owner and Director Dean Humphrey said functionality and liveability within your budget should always be priorities, with the design to flow from there.

“Ask lots of questions and see what is possible,” he said. “Homes should start as sketch drawings on a blank canvas.

“If you can find a team that can listen and create as you talk about your dream design then that is the best way to explore your options.”

Mr Humphrey said orientation was the key consideration when choosing a floor plan, to make the most of where the home would be positioned.

“Choose a design that is responsive to the block and considers solar-passive principles to maximise light and ventilation,” he said.

“Good designs should flow and feel welcoming when you are in them, both for residents and guests alike.”

Whether zoning across a multiple or single-level home, Mr Humphrey said to keep active zones such as living areas and passive zones like bedrooms separate.

“If you want privacy from the street, consider zoning the sleeping quarters at the rear of the home and keeping the public areas at the front so the private areas are more protected,” he said.

“We have recently designed homes as a cluster of pavilions around a central courtyard accessed via glass sliders – this is a clever way to zone areas, as the visual permeability is still there but there is an element of privacy in the different spaces.”

The golden rule for a home’s main living area is connectivity, Mr Humphrey said, as it acts as a connector to an alfresco lifestyle and to the kitchen.

“Consider designs that let these rooms speak to each other and allow flow and ease between the spaces, particularly the outdoors,” he said.

“Many of our clients enjoy an alfresco lifestyle, so the designs we create speak to a seamless indoor/outdoor space.”

While typically spaces reserved for quiet time and relaxation, Mr Humphrey said it was important to think of bedrooms in terms of purpose and flexibility.

“Often they can be multi-purpose rooms, so consider flexibility with storage and window placement,” he said.

“Today’s bedroom could be tomorrow’s study or sewing room. We recently designed a yoga room in a downsizer in Swanbourne for a couple, and they tell us they convert that space into a bedroom when the grandkids visit.”

Playing a large role in the final feel of a home’s layout, Mr Humphrey said aesthetics should not be forgotten about, with texture and materiality key considerations.

If this is overwhelming for you, Mr Humphrey suggested utilising the expertise of the professionals.

“Partnering with a company that offers an in-house interior designer is a great solution, as they act as an interior architect who can help you with colour palettes and selections to match your ideas,” he said.

“This service is a huge time-saver and will result in a more cohesive aesthetic.”

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This story first appeared in The West Australian's New Homes liftout on February 13, 2021.