I have built several houses over the last 10 years and made several huge design errors along the way. These, shall we just call them ” stuff ups” have led me to this list of essentials.
The must have list…
STORAGE -storage storage storage…. let this be your mantra from the very first design/ planning meeting. So many houses lack ample storage, yet there are really no excuses. There are opportunities in every nook and room to provide storage options. Why not make the kitchen cabinets to ceiling height, all that lost space that is usually bulk head can be used for those once a year platters and vases that do not need to clutter the lower cabinets. A high shelf in the bathroom for extra bits and bobs……a day seat with linen or towel storage beneath, a basket by the door with beach towels. With the cost of real estate escalating and our house sizes shrinking storage is key. Here are some great ideas….it is all about finding little opportunities and making them work for your needs.
I love the use of the dead space under these stairs, and this great bookshelf for the little bookworm ( no floor space lost.)
A (BIG) LAUNDRY – if you can….DO!
Very simply, do not compromise a laundry for anything, you WILL regret it. I can hear myself telling the builder it was all Ok and we would not increase the laundry size. I kick myself every time I walk in there. I convinced myself that it would be ok to have a smaller laundry for the sake of the extra toilet. How wrong I was. 3 kids later I wish someone had shaken me from this unrealistic moment when I told myself that I would remain organised ….as I trip over the 3 overflowing baskets in the hall that I have nowhere to put!
….Make the laundry as big as you can with as much storage and hanging space as you can. It IS that simple…..trust me on this one.
Even if you don’t have a large space to create your dream laundry, making the most of the whole space is essential! Be creative and use every nook and opportunity …play around with the plan until you get it right.
Lighting can make or break the ambience of a room.
Over lit rooms can feel surgical and cold and under lit rooms can make it hard for those over 45 to see! There is a fine balance.
Invest time in planning good lighting. There are so many available options at all budget levels and most lighting shops will provide a design and advice service so take advantage of their help. There is a place for downlights but do not get caught in the trap of too many, ceiling clutter and too much light is not the goal. Electricians tend to get a bit excited when it comes to downlighting so make sure you are armed with a plan before the building stage. Think about the function of the room and how what kind of light you will need at various times of the day in that space. Kitchens and workspaces need to be well lit, but consider a back up option with some dimmable pendants or wall lights that you can use when you don’t need the space so bright. Lamps and wall lights for ambience at quiet times in dining, lounge and bedrooms are always a good option.
….And then there are skylights. Open it up, bring in the natural light. Make glass doors as high as possible and use highlight windows when the option is available. Bring it all in……embrace the natural light!
Here are a few of my current favourite lighting shops….happy shopping.