The many decisions and processes involved in building a new home may be discouraging for some and overwhelming for others. That is why the engaging the help of an experienced interior designer early on in the process is advised to make this this a smoother experience as well as guaranteeing the successful results you deserve. However, for a professional Designer to be able to help take the new home where the client wants it, there must be clear directions. Or some guidelines at least; so, it is paramount, well before the building starts, to have a go at collecting ideas of what the new home should perform and look like.
There are a number of decisions that must be made from the very beginning, like plumbing, because they affect the setting of the floorplan including the layout of wet areas, kitchen, laundry and bathrooms. Electrical choices also must be made at the very beginning, to avoid the inconvenience and costs involved with changes and additions later in the build.
But not everybody is able to visualise the home they want, and some might have developed ideas and a design aesthetic by looking at pictures in magazines or social media. Even though this is a good start, and helpful to understand the type of finshes and looks, these preferences are mostly driven by appearances and not necessarily the functionality you are looking for. Display homes, however are tangible, and allow you to experience how a home flows from one room to the next, how a certain kitchen layout is better for you than another and how certain finishes feel as you can experience them in person. This includes tiles, carpet or timber floors, bathroom fittings and benches.
A few hours in a display village, walking from home to home, will provide a number of variations and solutions you might not have thought of before. Take pen and paper, write notes of what you like and equally pay special attention to what you don’t like. Pay attention to how lighting illuminates bench spaces in the kitchen and the bathroom, where there are powerpoints, how the pantry is organised, and the size and configuration of walk-in robes. We strongly suggest looking at storage solutions, where and how much, the height of the ceilings, windows and internal doors… The list of LIKE’s and DON’T LIKE’s will be long, but very important to help you get the home that fulfils your needs.
Decisions you make on the aesthetic of the house, for example the colour of the walls, styling and décor will be the final touch to bring the visual appeal to your home. Display homes are also very good at showing decorating and styling solutions. Take pictures as you walk around, look for a style that suits your idea of what you want in a home. Display homes are built to impress, and all those added comforts will also come at an additional cost, of course. But don’t let this discourage you. Be practical instead and compare this to a test-drive if you were intending to purchase a brand new car. You might not get all the available upgrades, but you’ll find a few you don’t want to do without.
The most important thing is to have fun as you walk through display homes, allowing yourself to dream, but try and remain practical and focus on the things you see as important as you turn a new house into your home.
James Treble is an ambassador for Planet Ark and firmly believes in sensible purchasing, recycling and creative re-purposing. James has three decades of accumulated experience in the Building Industry, Real Estate and Interior Design and regularly shares his knowledge and experience in adding value to properties through effective design & styling. Watch his free videos on YouTube, and follow him on Facebook and Instagram for more free information. More of James' knowledge is now accessible via Practical Design Online Course.