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5 must-haves when designing a family home

My boyfriend and I are both fairly mad about property! I love the interior and design aspects, while he is all about the location and valuation, working in the industry himself.

We are moving in a few weeks into a new apartment, and then after that we plan to design our own family home! We both have a few ‘must-haves’ but also some conflicting ideas (I like traditional architecture like updated Victorian facades while he prefers modern aesthetics).

I decided to pen the things are aren’t negotiable for either of us as we plan for a family home in the years to come.

1.LOADS of clever storage

Ok, so this one isn’t exciting, but it’s an absolute necessity. I know my poor mum has mine and my two sisters’ bits and pieces taking over her spare wardrobes and the garage… and we’re not even living at home anymore! So don’t leave out extra storage if you get the chance, and how about changing kitchen cupboards – that can be hard to reach back into – for kitchen drawers?

2. Two living spaces

Now, this of course depends on budget and plot size, but if you can, I recommend incorporating two separate living spaces into your family home design. Why? So when you have family friends over – or even when it’s just your family at home – the kiddies can go off to their own room to play or as evening falls, watch a movie together, while the parents can have a drink or two and chat the night away. This might look like a rumpus/toys room near your kids’ bedrooms and the ‘grown ups’ using the home’s main living room. Or you might convert a study into a kids playroom. Chat to the professionals like GJ Gardner Homes who can help tailor your new home’s floorplan to your family.

3. A ‘drop off zone’

Just like there is a space to pull in and drop you kids off outside the school gates, we need a similar space at the entrance of our homes. Some countries call it a ‘mud room’. Think prams, keys, shoes, school bags and even shopping bags… I think it’s very clever to have a galley kitchen linking your garage and kitchen for this very purpose. If that design isn’t going to work for you, invest in a beautiful piece of furniture where you can designate a different drawer, shelf or cubby hole to each family member.

4. A considered entry way

This point leads on from the previous one. I really dislike front doors the open onto a room rather than a hall way. While this layout is often unavoidable in an apartment setting, when designing your own home, it’s certainly something to prioritise. Don’t over clutter your entrance hall – keep it simple with a beautiful dresser, and a statement piece of art. I love the varieties of Coolum floorplans (download brochure here), which have beautiful spacious entries and the choice of an added, adjoined study to create the perfect, professional entrance for ‘work at home-ers’ like me!

5. Durable finishes

The last but certainly not least consideration when it comes to designing your dream family home is the finishes. Opting for more durable fabrics and finishes will keep your home looking fresh and new for longer. Top-grain leather and tightly woven fabrics and not only hardier but also easy to sponge-clean. Likewise, going for a low-pile option when choosing carpets is lower maintenance than the plusher varieties. And finally, there are some brilliant paints on the market today. The most durable and easiest to clean is a high-gloss paint (great for kitchens and bathrooms), followed by semi-gloss and those beautiful satin varieties. It’s worth investing time to speak to the professionals and choose the finishes that are right for your new family home… there are SO many different paint colours and options out there!

Have I missed any key must-haves? Tell me in the comments below!

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