David Kirby from Stroud Homes Melbourne North is a local man and has been in the business of putting families into new homes in the region for a long time.
This makes David an expert at understanding what his customers want and how these needs have changed over time.
“A kitchen used to sell a house,” says David. “Now, with people being so busy they look at the functionality of the whole house rather than just what looks good.”
This high level of functionality comes in features like a butler’s pantry, mudroom and even a laundry drying cupboard.
“The butler’s pantry is all the go and has the biggest interest at the moment,” says David. A butler’s pantry is a separate space located off the kitchen that houses groceries, cooking equipment and preparation area.
“We all know the kitchen bench is a gathering point in most homes, especially when you’ve got people over, so it keeps that island bench relatively clean and tidy,” David explains.
Many customers have remarked upon one feature that you can find in some of the Stroud Homes designs and that is a door connecting the garage to the butler’s pantry making the transfer of groceries an absolute breeze. David says, “A lot of people really like that!”
Another room which is growing steadily in popularity is a mudroom. A mudroom, traditionally found in English farmhouses, is a space that acts as a barrier between muddy boots and the home.
“You come in through the back door, into the laundry and you have an area where you can dump all your muddy gear.” This saves the transfer of dirt and dust into the home.
It’s also a great way for busy families to keep organised as it can act as a ‘drop zone’ for school bags, shoes, sporting equipment and the like.
David has also found he is being questioned about is a laundry drying closet. Particularly a good idea for colder climates like David has in Melbourne North, the drying closet uses the heater running in your house to help dry your clothes.
David explains, “Basically instead of putting your washing in the dryer, you hang all of your clothes in the cupboard, close the door and the heating from the house is ducted into the cupboard and dries them all.”
“I’m starting to see more and more enquiries coming in for homes with attached granny flats,” David tells us. These integrated granny flats are separate, fully self-contained dwellings that are attached under the one roofline.
In fact, you can hardly tell that there’s a separate dwelling as they are designed to fit seamlessly together. David believes the rise in enquiries about granny flats can be attributed to people wanting and needing to live in a multigenerational house.
David says, “I thought ‘Geez, I think that’s going to be the future.’” David may well be correct as according to the Australia Bureau of Statistics, the number of other related individuals in family households is projected to increase to between 781,000 and 815,000 in 2036.