What’s hot in 2014?

  1. Live able value-for-money homes.
  2. Upmarket fixtures and fittings.
  3. Separate living and entertaining spaces including private areas in which to get away from it all.
  4. Wide entry (920mm) doors and high ceilings.
  5. Substantial island kitchen serveries.
  6. Large walk-in kitchen pantries.
  7. Outdoor rooms with fitted kitchens.
  8. Reconstituted stone bench tops.

HOMEBUYERS love well-designed houses which offer both space and variety, according to an Indian Weekly survey.
Upmarket fixture and fittings are also on the must-have list, say a range of builders. Sherridon Homes marketing manager Sue Zivkovic says homebuyers “obviously want the best value for money available, but they’re not willing to skimp on quality building just to cut costs’’.
“Quality fixtures and fittings, live able design with separate living areas, and of course outdoor living areas rank highly with our homebuyers – allowing space for socialising as well as private spaces to get away from it all,’’ Ms Zivkovic says.
The Sherridon Homes spokesperson adds that entry areas with wider or over-sized doors as well as higher ceilings are popular additions to the homebuyers “must-have list’’.
Kitchens continue to be a family home focal point, with buyers wanting style, space and practical features in the cooking zone.
“Decent-sized pantries rank highly as our homebuyers like to have uncluttered kitchens, and a good pantry is great for hiding all the kitchen clutter,’’ Ms Zivkovic says. “Extra wide kitchen island benches are often requested which provide excellent work spaces as well as a place to interact with family while preparing the family meal.’’
Orbit Homes director Paul Millson agrees that dual living areas as well as “quality bathroom and kitchen fixtures and fittings’’ are of major interest for buyers.
“When it comes to the affordable home market we try to give buyers a bit of value added by providing things like single-lever tapware,’’ Mr Millson says. “Those buying homes bigger than 28 squares (290sqm) want an even better quality fitting than that, and we provide it.’’
Dennis Family Homes chief executive officer Peter Levinge says buyers are becoming more “discerning’’ about what is included in their homes.
Mr Levinge concurs that the kitchen is a particular area of focus for homebuyers at the moment.
“Our more recent home designs have all typically included larger, walk-in pantries,’’ he says. “Many customers are including special fit-outs in the pantry to create additional bench space and storage options.
“They are also regularly selecting further luxury touches such as upgraded kitchen bench tops and cabinetry.’’
The Dennis chief adds that space is a priority in other areas such as the main bedroom ensuite and the laundry.
“Popular space-saving luxury upgrades in the ensuite include
free-standing baths, while special fit-outs in the laundry are also becoming more prevalent,’’ Mr Levinge says.
Housing Industry Association state executive director Gil King says outdoor rooms or alfresco zones continue to be popular features of a new home. Mr King adds that these covered outdoor spaces are becoming more sophisticated.
“We are moving away from portable barbecues (in this space) to fixed fully fitted outdoor kitchens with a sink, bar fridge underneath and a cooking space. It’s like a tarted-up barbecue, but better,’’ he says.

By Andrew Brasier

Published in The Indian Weekly (First Weekly Indian news Magazine in Melbourne, Australia)