The Birdwood - JFK Custom Homes. Custom Home Builder Perth

It’s time to rethink your new home features!


The necessity for urban infill, combined with increasing housing prices has had a profound impact on the way we build our houses today. Aussie homes, once famed for being the most spacious worldwide, are now condensing. Once popular statement features and ‘aspirational’ design elements are quickly disappearing. But with change comes innovation, and a new wave of neater, smarter, savvier designs are here in their place. So unless you’re wedded to becoming the next Beverly Hills housewife, take note of what’s trending right now.

Study nooks

Study nooks make far more sense than the outdated ‘study’ room, which even in its day was a bad use of space. Why waste an entire room when all you need is a quiet place to put your computer and a few bits and bobs? With the environmentally friendly push to go paper-free, along with the absolute blessing of cloud software, there’s no need for an endless archive of files, books and stationery.

A study nook can be cleverly hidden in a wardrobe, under a stairwell or fitted neatly into a bedroom or lounge area. But if your house design already includes a study, look on the bright side and improvise. Turn that leftover space into a guestroom, bedroom or yoga/exercise room.

Photo by Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects – Discover home office design inspiration

Single bathroom vanities

‘His and her’ bathroom vanities are starting to look a little dated. Although they might be a nice indulgence, ask yourself, are you always in the bathroom at the same time? Are they the best use of your valuable space? A single vanity, providing it’s the right size for your bathroom, is probably enough. Keep it simple and use the extra space for (always) appreciated storage, laundry facilities or simply a little more leg room!

Wall-to-wall wardrobes

One cleverly designed wall of wardrobes and storage space in the bedroom is a heavenly feature, and a far better use of space than a walk in wardrobe. The truth is, even in their heyday, walk-in wardrobes were never a great use of space. And today? Along with looking a touch ‘Kardashian’, they’re not as appropriate for today’s lifestyle. Conversely, a wall-to-wall wardrobe looks sleek and tidy and can hold a colossal amount of belongings.

Lifts and spiral staircases

Elegant, clean-lined designed staircases that fit seamlessly into a wall, maximising space rather than demanding attention are far more on-trend for homes right now. Lifts are also gaining in popularity and tick a lot of boxes: prices have come down, they’re an excellent space saver, and given the trend for multigenerational living there are a great option for the elderly or disabled.


Photo by Fearns StudioDiscover exterior design inspiration

Alfresco areas and clever outdoor spaces

One of the most significant changes resulting from urban infill is the decreasing amount of space left for our infamous Aussie backyard. But once again, with change brings innovation.

If we look back at bygone decades, you’ll notice that we didn’t use our outdoor space is much as we do today. No longer just a flat block of lawn and a Hill’s Hoist, today’s homeowners are using the outdoor areas more as an extension of their home. Indoor-outdoor flow is key, even using your outdoor space for conventional indoor activities, such as alfresco eating, or even including an outdoor kitchen or barbecue.

And the fun doesn’t stop there. Ugly or dull exterior walls can be camouflaged by attractive laser-print screening, creepers or espalier plants, and water features such as fishponds or fountains can transform a small, nondescript area into a peaceful place of beauty. Think very carefully about your outdoor space. Given our fantastic Australian climate, you may find this will be one of the more lived in areas of your new home.

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