Planning for a Safe and Convenient Home
Today’s parents have a lot to consider regarding the family friendliness of the home.
There is a range of things you would want to consider when designing a new home for a family who is expecting or already have small children and/or pets.
Between tech gadgets, sports equipment and toys, the average Australian kid now owns a slew of stuff. So the question becomes, where are you going to stash it all?
“Initially it may be desired to have a kids room close to the main bedroom, but kids are not little for long and we do see more popularity in designs that have parents and kids bedrooms separated,” says Nicky Lowson of Stroud Homes Northern Rivers.
“A good compromise is having a flexible and adaptable plan that can change as the family grows.”
An example of this would be Stroud Homes Kentucky 348, which includes a media room that could be perfect for a nursery close to the main bedroom, then transitioning to the other wing of the home later on.
Homes with a media/utility room can also transform into a multitude of things over the years – storage, playroom, movie and games room or home office/study.
Flooring options are often considered when a family has kids and pets, with tiles and wood or vinyl flooring being preferable for a great proportion of the home.
The reason for this is because it’s an easier clean with these types of floors, plus using rugs can help soften areas where needed.
When talking convenience and cleanliness, a well-positioned laundry can be a great benefit, too.
“For two storey homes offering the kids a bathroom and laundry shoot will mean fewer clothes everywhere and not having to carry them downstairs,” says Nicky.
“Having the main laundry close to the internal garage access can provide a space for shoes, bags, and sports equipment to be placed instead of the lounge room floor or kitchen bench,”
“Even extending your double garage to have storage space and shelves for dirty shoes etc. can be a great idea.”
Smarter homes with new technologies can be considered during the design phase, Nicky tells us.
Stroud Homes Northern Rivers offers many options for smart wiring, which gives automated systems for home appliances, e.g. turning on your air con when you leave work from your iPhone.
Having plenty of power points centrally located for the family phones, iPads and laptops is also a good idea for family homes.
The Bronte home design has a central study nook for such purposes and you can keep an eye on homework time.
Solar is an option most clients on the Northern Rivers implement.
“Not only is it future-proofing your home and good for the environment, but this sustainable energy is saving families thousands,” Nicky says.
“Good sun orientation does help create a happy healthier home so our experts will always position the design to best benefit from natural light and ventilation.”
Having kids usually means lots of toys and gadgets and the more storage and cupboard space you can get into your home the better.
Butler’s pantries are very desirable for allowing more bench space in the main kitchen area and being able to store a lot more of everything including bulk food, which is economical for families.
Also, the kitchen is a great hub for families so a breakfast bar island bench is very widely used.
Microwave nooks and ovens may be preferred higher on wall spaces if the safety of low appliances is a concern so this can be designed into a new kitchen easily.
“Having a good flowing and open house plan is great so kids can be in the living or lounge rooms or out on the alfresco and the design enables full supervision from the kitchen,” says Nicky.
A good example of this design is the Wildflower 256, with a corner stacker door opening onto alfresco from the living area.