Saturday, August 20, 2011

Floor Plans & Facades - Take One

After many hours online, at display homes and looking through some uninspiring brochures we decided to take matters into our own hands and design our home from scratch. Lucky for me my Husband spent 5 years studying Architecture at Uni before deciding to completely change career paths and while he's a little rusty at his drafting skills it didn't take long for him to get back up to speed and start planning. 

We knew the basics of what we wanted:
1. 3 Bedrooms and a Study
2. Double Garage
3. Loft
4. Two Bathrooms
5. Open Living Design
6. Lots of Natural Light
7. Alfresco Entertaining Area
8. Eco-Friendly Design

All of this seemed pretty standard really ... but we wanted to jazz things up a little and it didn't take long to realise that having an 11m frontage was not considered normal as many of the designs for a narrow lot where 8m or 9m wide. So we had a little extra room to play with on the sides but not enough to allow for a double garage with a traditional style home.

We may only have 11m of width to play with but we have 40m of depth and that is what we decided to play on. After looking around our street-to-be we took note that many of the new homes had 3m, instead of the traditional 5m, between the side walk and the house and most of them had the garage built to boundary but still had both sides of the house with the minimum 90cm gap between house and fence.  Obviously this will still need to be checked with Council but it gave us something with work with at least.

Then we came across this design:

Which was made for a 8m frontage and is approximately 38m deep, so while the measurements didn't suit us exactly it is defiantly something we could work from.  We especially like idea of having a open carport style garage in front of the house rather than next to the house, this solved our problem of how to fit a double garage on our narrow block, plus by setting the house back from the street it also allowed for additional privacy.  The only problem with it was that the side entrance meant that there was a lot of wasted space at the front of the house, space that we would rather have as a backyard.  We like the side courtyard as it lets light into the house and opens up what would otherwise be a long dark hallway, plus we figure we can put the clothes line there so it doesn't take up room in the backyard. 

We also like the design of the front elevation:

As it's modern, open and a little bit different.

We had a few other designs that we liked idea's from, such as the loft from this design:

And we like the open living, study, lounge and dining of this design:

Both of those designs are far to wide with the minimum frontage of 11.6m, but there where defiantly aspects of the designs that we like and tried to fit them all into a floor plan that suited us.

So with some ideas of what we like we set about coming up with a design that incorporated the best of each design and made it to fit our block.  This is what we have come up with:

Ideally, if money was no issue, we would have the front entrance as an atrium that is partially open to the upstairs retreat (which we have already dubbed as the PS3 Theater Room) so that you can look down into the entrance from the retreat and as you walk in it will give you a nice open feeling.

  We'd love to have some sort of feature staircase just to finish the entrance off with a large window running along side it.

 The bathroom and the ensuite both have double showers and we put them together to have all the wet areas with the plumbing and pipe work together and the laundry on the other side of the hall way which opens out into a side courtyard where we will also have our clothesline. On the other side of the courtyard we have the open study/gym room, we wanted to keep this open but will probably have some nice sliding doors so that we can block it off when we have guests and its a bit of a mess as studies sometimes are.  We also want to have a sliding door so that we can close off the front and back of the house, for one thing we want to be able to stop noise travelling down the house but we also have a cat who is a strictly inside cat (although he does wish otherwise) and if we have an open alfresco area we want to be able to use it without having to worry about the cat running away.

For me it was a must to have a walk in pantry and a good size kitchen, we set the kitchen in slightly so that we can have a long window between the bench and the wall cupboards with a nice feature garden to look out onto instead of just a fence.

The dining and living areas a pretty straight forward and we would love to have sliding doors so that the whole back corner of the house can open up onto the alfresco area.

Then for the alfresco we would love to have a gas heater built in.

So that is our optimal plan ... fingers crossed it's within our budget! And the council approves it!


  1. Good Luck with your new project! Look forward to seeing the finished product.