Designing your own home can be a very exciting undertaking. The design process is a complex juggling act and there are 6 golden rules that you should follow designing your own home.
1. Think in 3D
Professional home designers like building designers and architects are always thinking in 3D when they’re working on a new home or renovation. They are constantly incorporating and taking away design ideas in plan and in a 3D form at the same time. For some people this skill is instinctual, but it can also be learnt over time.
Thinking in the 3D form can be difficult, especially when it comes to converting your own 2D house plans into a well form and aesthetically pleasing building. Weather you have this skill or not it is essential to always think about how your ideas will look as a resolved building form or you’ll run the risk of your building looking like a plan with extruded walls and a roof stuck on top.
2. Limit amounts of different building materials
Be very careful when using more than two types of external building cladding especially
Are you planning to build a new home? Then be sure to read the tips from home building expert Metricon, one of Australia’s leading home builders specialising in contemporary and modern homes. If you want your home to be as functional as possible, the following top 8 designs tips will put you on the right path.
1. The Open Floor Plan
Anyone building a new home should consider an open floor plan, as it creates a larger living area to entertain in and a versatile space. An open floor plan is both functional and inviting to families, as it brings all the living areas in the house into one large space. Metricon’s Chicago display home is one of the many designs which offer open plan modern living which gives the main living areas connectivity, giving a sense of space to your home design.
2. Less Is More
According to Metricon, the time of cluttered homes is long over, which is why it is important to incorporate a lot of built in storage space in your new home design. To avoid making your room feel cluttered
The key to a spotless kitchen is a well-organized pantry. These two spaces make a perfect team, with the kitchen doing the heavy lifting in terms of prep and the pantry providing plenty of room to stash tools, ingredients, and serving pieces. While storage is the centerpiece of the pantry and should be the main consideration when it comes to design, the space can do double duty as a bar or a secondary prep area for food and floral arrangements. It can also serve as a showcase for collections of glassware and china, on open shelving, in glass-front cabinets, or even on the wall. See how Steven Gambrel, Barbara Westbrook, Ray Booth, and other designers have created highly organized and beautifully functional pantry spaces.
In the pantry of a Bridgehampton, New York, home designed by Steven Gambrel, a white-oak ladder by Putnam Rolling Ladder Co. makes the tall shelves easily accessible; polished-nickel pendant lamps by Hudson Valley Lighting illuminate the space.
Antique Wedgwood and Coalport china is stored in the pantry of architect Jim Joseph and musical theater composer Scott Frankel’s upstate New York home.
Did you know that on average hot water systems make-up 31% of your total energy bill? On top of that the cost of providing instant hot water to your home is continuously increasing.
According to the Independent Pricing & Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) hot water systems consume more energy than any other device within the average household. In their 2009 report IPART also predicted a 60% increase in the price of electricity from 1 July 2010 – 30 June 2013. You will have experienced some of these increases already, but further increases are coming soon.
This article compares the costs, benefits and disadvantages of the three major hot water alternatives commonly available to Australians: electric, gas and solar.
Electric Hot Water Systems
Electric hot water has been continuously developed and used over the last century and has been the main source of hot water in homes for several decades. In 2008 the ABS recorded that around 58% of homes in NSW use electric hot water systems.
With the continuously rising cost of electricity and the introduction of the Carbon Tax, it is becoming increasingly expensive to run an electric hot water system.
The government has stated that it will try and phase out electric hot water systems
Do you want to provide endless hours of fun and exercise for your children in summer? Is there a need to escape the heat? Then you should consider getting a swimming pool.
However, because swimming pools are not cheap to build, buy or maintain, there are many factors to be considered before going any further.
Budget is a huge factor, but not the only consideration. Firstly, evaluate your reasons for installing a pool. Is it to be purely for recreation? Do you have a family member who has a health condition that would benefit from swimming? What space do you have for a pool, and what problems may this space present? Will the pool be used year round? What building codes apply in your area? What extras would you like with your pool: spa, waterfall, slides? How will your pool affect your landscaping, and what other things could you do with the space that a pool will use
Choosing a pool
First of all, make sure you know your budget and stick to it. Be confident that you can afford the swimming pool that you choose, and that you have allowed for the extras that go with a pool. You won’t have fun swimming
Awnings are a low-cost, low-tech way to summer cooling. They can serve two functions, to supply shade for the summer sun to control heat entry to the home, and also to offer more protection from rain and hail, to extend the life of the building structure and to offer shelter. About 40% of unwanted heat that enters the house is through the windows.
An awning is a fixed structure attached to the outside of a building, over doors, windows or walkways. Awnings were first used by the ancient Egyptians and Sumerians. The Coloseum in Rome was shaded and protected by large retractable canvas awnings.
Awnings can be made from a number of different materials, can be permanently fixed or retractable, decorative or purely functional. The angle and size of the awning is important to get the best result from an awning. The right placement ensures that summer sun can be excluded from the windows, yet allows the winter sun to penetrate to warm the house.
A light coloured awning will also reflect sunlight and heat. A slight gap left between the awning and the house will help to vent the heat that builds up under the awning. Installing the awning at an
Whether you want to watch sport on TV away from the glare of the afternoon sun, or have a sunny kitchen window to grow basil and parsley, the way that your home is oriented can make a big difference to how you use your home.
When you choose a floor plan that faces the right way on your block, you’ll make your home more comfortable, and you can save money on heating, cooling and lighting. Your home builder can flip or rotate your floor plan to make the most of your block’s orientation.
Here is a quick guide to help you work out which rooms to position where in your home:
North- This is side of your home that will be warmer in winter. The north side is generally the best place to have living areas and rooms that you use the most.
South- This is the coolest side, so it is generally the best place for bedrooms in warmer climates, or rooms that you don’t use during the day.
East- This side is where you will receive morning sun, so it is a great idea to have your kitchen or bedrooms on this side so you can enjoy a relaxing breakfast in the sunlight.
Drawings are only a small portion of what councils in Australia require to enable them to give consent to your development application, building permit or building licence. Reports such as Statement of Environmental Effects, BASIX (in NSW), waste management reports, geotechnical reports, landscaping plans and more may need to be lodged with your plans. To determine exactly what is required by your local council you will need to contact them directly or visit their web site.
What is the BASIX report?
BASIX is the acronym for “Building Sustainability Index”. Since October 2006 all development applications lodged in NSW for new homes, renovations and additions valued over $100,000 must contain a BASIX certificate. Applications for installing a pool or spa must also include a BASIX certificate. The BASIX certificate pledges the homeowner to water and energy saving commitments that must be verified by an accredited certifier before an Occupation Certificate is issued.
BASIX – Renovation case study
Paul and Jenny’s home is located in Umina on the Central Coast one hour from Sydney. The dwelling is a small 3 bedroom home with only one living space. It is the owner’s intention to make an addition to the home as well as improve the functionality of
When Mass Design Group cofounder Alan Ricks decided to remodel his Boston apartment, he had a lucky head start: Ricks’s unit, on the top floor a charming 1850s brownstone, came chock-full of original architectural features. But there was still plenty of work to do, specifically in the kitchen; the dark exposed brick wall and wood trusses, previously stained a deep brown, didn’t jibe with Ricks’s dream of an airy gathering area where friends could mingle while a meal bubbled on the stove. Ricks promptly whitewashed those moody elements and stuck to a limited color and material palette, instantly brightening up the room and creating a simple backdrop for special elements to shine. “The idea that design affects behavior is true for the home as well,” he says. “Creating this open kitchen layout, for example, shapes the social dynamic and creates a bright, welcoming space that is great for entertaining.”
Mass Design Group has a “LoFab”—locally fabricated—approach to design, and Ricks applied the same philosophy to his personal project. “Design decisions were developed collaboratively with the craftsmen who would do the building, sourcing materials regionally wherever possible and taking opportunities to highlight the craft of construction.” Case in point: the kitchen’s custom
The living room features an Alvar Aalto lounge chair, a mink-covered Sacco chair by Zanotta, and two vintage Marco Zanuso Sleep-O-Matic sofas placed back to back. An Andreas Gursky C-print hangs in the hallway. Styling by Ana Cardinale.
An Alvar Aalto chair sits in the entrance hall.
The entry to your home can be a wonderfully functional space, yet many Australian homes don’t have one.
So what is an entry?
An entry is a transitional space, where your family and guests can be greeted, organised and redirected to other spaces within and around your home. Your entry needs to (not only look great) but most importantly it needs to function well for it’s intended use, and you may need more than one!
The following 3 easy steps will guide you through the design process of creating well designed entries for your home.
1. Confirm number of entries required
Most Australian homes have a front and a rear access, as a result you will need to design two separate Entries for your home. We call these entry spaces the Front entry and Mud Room (for the rear entry).
2. Performance specification
You need to think about the way you use the current entries into your home. Write a list similar to the following for both the Front entry and the Mud Room:
Needs to have a:
- Store space for shoes, handbags, coats, school bags and a broom
- Seat to put on your shoes
- Powder Room close to this space for tradespeople and family to use
- Enough space
The home design process can be a tricky juggling act. The nine steps below will teach you the basics of the process that is followed by architects and building designers in the building industry. Follow this process and you will have a better chance of designing a home that functions well and looks appealing.
Tools you will need
- Sketch paper: you can buy purpose-made ‘Butter Paper’ from an art supply shop, but baking paper works just as well and can be purchased from your local supermarket for around $1.50 a roll.
- A3 Drafting board: these boards are portable and come with a rule that attaches horizontally to the board. It can be purchased from an art or drafting supply shop for about $150.00.
- Adjustable set square: this item is an adjustable clear plastic triangle that is essential in producing straight, angled, and vertical lines. This can also be purchased at an art supply outlet or drafting supply shop for around $30.00.
- Pencil: you can purchase a specialised drafting pencil (clutch pencil) but a standard lead (graphite) pencil will do fine. If you do purchase a clutch pencil buy one with a very thin lead otherwise. you will then need to buy a clutch pencil sharpener
Embarking on a custom kitchen renovation? Before you drive yourself crazy with cabinetry fittings and countertop consultations at stores all over town (or the Internet), consider the benefits of a ready-made kitchen. Convenient and in some cases surprisingly affordable, all-in-one kitchen designs can be customized to suit any-sized space (measurements are key) and come in a variety of sizes, colors, and styles, from Italian modern to country traditional and everything in between. Here, AD rounds up 17 stunning examples that let you choose every element—think hardware, finishes, and more—in one shot, streamlining the design process without compromising on beauty and functionality.
The brand provides an extensive range of kitchen components, including these Modena cabinetry doors in a milk-paint finish and a handsome credenza in wire-brushed oak.
The sleek new Principia kitchens by Italian architect and designer Antonio Citterio for Arclinea feature handsome wood-grain cabinetry and specially treated stainless steel in three finish options.
LOOK by Snaidero was designed as a canvas that allows homeowners to create their unique kitchen vision. The wooden worktop has adjustable heights and widths, while pantry units come in several sizes to accommodate different layouts.
A castellated yew hedge divides the boxwood knot garden from the rose garden. Stag statues from La Maison Française Antiques.
In the baronial entry hall, an antique iron chandelier hangs over an 1840s Gothic Revival library table and Bullard-designed stools, which are dressed in a Robert Kime print with a Samuel & Sons fringe trim. Seventeenth-century Oushak from Mansour.
Looking into the entry hall of Tommy and Dee Hilfiger’s historic house, where a 19th-century hunting dog painting is surrounded by antique antlers; the home was renovated by architect Andre Tchelistcheff and furnished by Martyn Lawrence Bullard.
The dining room walls are upholstered in a paisley design by Bullard for Schumacher and hung with antique Chinese porcelain. Rare Gothic Revival table and chairs by A.W.N. Pugin.
In the library, leather club chairs flank a door opening onto the rose garden.
The living room’s labyrinthine plasterwork ceiling was executed by Hyde Park Mouldings. George Smith sofa in a Clarence House silk velvet with pillows of antique tapestry and a Scalamandré leopard print; cocktail table by Bullard.
Though designer Marshall Watson was delighted with his new project’s location—in a pedigreed building with direct views of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Beaux Arts façade and into its galleries of classical antiquities—the space, as he found it, was far from problem-free. It had a palatial “head” (entry hall and double parlor), but the body, toward the natural light–deficient back, was disproportionately restrained, thanks to a subdivision some years prior.
“No surprise: our major inspiration lay just across the street,” says Marshall, whose new book, The Art of Elegance: Classic Interiors (Rizzoli New York, $55), will be released on March 14. “Since the apartment looked directly into into the museum’s Greek and Roman galleries, we decided that the residence would be a de facto extension of them.” So Marshall, a designer renowned for his meticulously researched interiors, set to work with the owners’ architect, reapportioning oversize public rooms, creating new spaces: a half bath, a prelude to the master suite, a library, and passages connecting each. With an eye toward getting the best use of natural light, the parlor, library, and bedroom were all positioned along Fifth Avenue, while the formal dining room, occupied almost exclusively at night, was set on
Wine cellars are a luxury most city dwellers don’t expect to find in a home, but soon that might change. To make the amenity more accessible, one company is digging deep, literally. Spiral Cellars specialize in exactly what their name suggests—vertical wine cellars that are wrapped around a cylindrical opening beneath your floorboards. The design, created from engineered concrete, allows for the storage of 1,900 bottles of wine, without compromising on square footage.
It’s a wine lover’s dream, as it’s not only an über-luxurious way of showcasing your collection, it’s also practical. The storage unit has a commercial-grade climate-control system, which means that bottles can be kept at the ideal temperature as the ventilation setup swaps out warm air for cold.
Best of all, though, is how easy the unit is to install. The in-home process only takes three to nine days when done by Spiral Cellars. Plus, it doesn’t require any foundation work or breaking into belowground, as it can be housed within a basement or crawlspace.
Of course, collecting wine as a hobby is going to cost you—so it might not be a shock that Spiral Cellars run between $23,000 and $67,000 each. Take a deeper look at what goes into
This article gives a brief explanation of some of the architecture styles found in Australian houses. Just as these styles have developed from previous ones, the current styles are also being combined to create new hybrid designs, some of which work better than others.
The Triple Fronted Brick veneer
This style of house has a brick facade (exterior) with timber frames supporting interior walls, usually of gyprock. Roofs are always hipped or gabled and tiled. This style dominated suburban architecture in the 50’s – 60’s. In its basic form it is a bland and unimaginative style which has been propagated by developers. Due to its familiar and cheap construction, it still is the dominant style in housing estates and many consider the style the scourge of Australian domestic architecture. The basic style can be made much more interesting by rendering and painting, adding more angles, porticos, verandahs, and bay windows. Larger homes (2 stories) of this style have been described as “McMansions”.
The original fisherman’s cottage was built in many coastal towns between the 30’s and 50’s. It was originally a simple timber framed structure of one or two rooms and a verandah which was clad with asbestos sheeting. The floors were generally
Today marks the launch of The People’s House: Inside the White House with Barack and Michelle Obama, the first-ever Facebook 360 project filmed inside the world’s most famous home. The piece, produced by Emmy-winning cinematic virtual reality creators Félix & Paul Studios alongside the Oculus team at Facebook, takes viewers to nine famous areas within the iconic building—from sitting with the President in the Oval Office to walking around the Situation Room to stopping into the Old Family Dining Room with Mrs. Obama.
“Michelle and I always joke, ‘We’re just renters here. ’ . . . The owners are the American people and all those invested in creating this amazing place with so much history,” President Obama says in the VR experience. “What we wanted to do is make sure that everybody felt they had access to the White House, . . . that as many people as possible could come in and appreciate the place where Lincoln, FDR, or Reagan made the decisions that helped to shape America.”
“This house belongs to you, and to every American. For eight years, just a short chapter in the long story of our democracy, my family also had the privilege of calling the White House home.” —President Obama.
With the popularity of smart speakers like the Amazon Echo and Google Home on the rise comes an influx of other products designed to make your home a little smarter. Whether you want some extra help in the kitchen or a way to monitor your pets when you aren’t home, there is a smart home product for all of your needs. From a refrigerator equipped with a touchscreen for looking up recipes to a sleep machine that analyzes your bedroom to create a “sound blanket,” these seven devices will take your home to the next level in 2017.
With features like two-way talk and one-way video, smart visitor detection, and notifications right to your phone, Vivint’s doorbell camera makes knowing who’s at your front door easy, whether you’re upstairs or out of town. Monthly plans start at $40.
Master the sous vide method with the Anova Precision Cooker. Easily attachable to any pot, the device allows for flavorful, expertly cooked meals every time by using temperature control. Download Anova’s app for tips and hundreds of recipes for every skill level; $149.
Master the sous vide method with the Anova Precision Cooker. Easily attachable to any pot, the device allows for flavorful, expertly cooked
Cork has taken a few stops on its winding journey to showstopping interior design element: From the wine industry as bottle-stoppers (its most common and most lucrative use), then to badminton shuttlecocks and bulletin boards, next to a purely functional use in architecture as sub-flooring and insulation, and finally the walls, ceilings and floors in the homes featured in AD. The woody material’s pragmatic use in architecture is well deserved because of its elastic, cellular structure, its thermal-regulating and soundproofing qualities, and its natural resistance to fire, but it’s the cork’s natural warm hue and subtly dappled texture that are the secret to its modern design success. The versatile material can be dyed or painted (and still maintain its speckled look), it can be applied to walls and ceilings, and its inherent durability make it a prime choice for floors. Here, AD explores the varied uses of cork in spaces like one of Seth Meyers’s dressing rooms, a summer house designed by Thom Filicia, and the modernist home of GQ‘s Fred Woodward.
Designed by Ashe + Leandro, a dressing room backstage at Late Night: Seth Meyers features the warm, natural texture of a cork wall covering by Wolf-Gordon. The space, which