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Clever design ideas distinguish project homes

January 28, 2011

The West Australian

Trailblazing project home builders in WA are proving it isn’t necessary to have an individual design or million- dollar budget to incorporate trendy and innovative design elements in a new home. Homebuyers who want a home with the latest design elements, products and materials are the winners as project builders seek out new ideas and improved features to incorporate in their display home ranges. Lee Morris, Switch Homes for Living Switch Homes for Living has established a reputation for bold, innovative and highly functional homes for the project market since its 2009 launch. Sales and marketing manager Lee Morris said seamless living was a priority for the Switch team, with homes designed to evolve as homeowners’ needs changed over time. Among key housing trends the builder has introduced are stud- framed walls for internal flexibility, and larders or sculleries for food preparation and storage. “The beauty of strategically locating stud-frame walls around a home is that they can be removed to allow for a new layout in future,” Mr Morris said. “The desire for a fresh layout may be prompted by the arrival of a new baby, retirement or grown up children moving out — for flexibility and adaptability, stud- framed walls can’t be beaten. “Our homes also feature our signature ‘clustered utility area’, which brings together the kitchen and pantry and any scullery or larder with the laundry, linking all work spaces.” Mr Morris said twin robes in the main suite — as displayed at Ellenbrook — were also gaining popularity. “This is an extension of the popular his-and-her basin idea and is best done by tucking the robes behind a feature wall where the main bed is positioned,” he said. “It’s a great way to stay organised and gives each partner their own space.” The new-look home bar was another design feature being embraced by Switch clients. “Gone are the bulky bars of the 70s adjoining a formal dining area — these days the home bar is sleek and simple. It can be as simple as a wall recess close to or incorporated into the kitchen, with storage areas above and below the benchtops where glasses and alcohol can be kept.” The growing use of colour in homes was another popular trend. “The kitchen in our Lakelands display home is accented with rich red and is being seen as a breath of fresh air by many. “It makes use of the new Metaline product for the splashbacks, which comes in a range of vibrant colours and complements the stone benchtops and custom-built cabinets.” For this year, Mr Morris predicts skylights will make a comeback as part of an increasing focus on “green” design, and indoor and alfresco kitchens will become increasingly sophisticated. “Aware of rising electricity costs, we built skylights into the raking ceiling of our Lakelands home,” he said. “It looks great and homebuyers are realising the benefits of saving money by maximising natural light.” Domino cooking appliances would be sought-after for their sleek, modular look. More people would want a series of cooktops; perhaps a standard top plus indoor barbecue cooktop and an “ultra-cool” teppanyaki cooktop. Mr Morris said the idea of the kitchen and alfresco area as hubs where friends and family gathered would remain a focal point of home design. “Outdoor kitchens will become increasingly resort-like, with a central hub where drinks, meals and snacks can be served — tipped to be the next big thing in alfresco entertaining.”

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