New House Design Perth – A Primer for Your Journey

A new house design is both exiting and daunting, with all the possibilities and potential headaches that invariably go along with the largest investment of most people’s lives. We’ll explore some concepts you should consider at the start of your planning…

Where do we start? The best idea is to do your research, cut out images from magazines and start a Pinterest board and send us a link :), and, within reason speak to those who’ve gone through the process before. Be careful to take advice with a grain of salt from all involved, as some will embellish horror stories, and others will gloss over the details and offhandedly recount to you ‘how perfect and smooth everything was’. Take online advise with even more caution as the internet is rife with illusion and vested interests, with the truth always somewhere between. Make sure you cross-reference all vital information and don’t be afraid to do it in your own way.

It might be years in the making before you’re ready to speak to a designer or consider an architect, so here are some ideas to start your journey or flesh it out a little more.



New House Design Perth - Style

While taste is entirely personal and all about how you stamp your personality on your living space, style is built up over a period of time and grows collectively as our communities develop their own culture. This is certainly true for new house design, with trends and fashions gradually becoming a style, dividing opinions and sparking conversation about their historical value.

Starting with a design style can make it easy to convey your ideas quickly to your design team, how you wish to stay true to the style’s conventions or break the rules and place your own interpretations on your new home. We’ll explore the various historical styles further in another article, but below is a list of some style that can start your process and ideas for a new house design.

New House Design – Modern or On-trend Designs:

  • UP-sizer – Modern 2 Storey
  • Single Storey – Bungalow
  • Boutique

Historical Perth Styles

  • Bungalow
  • Federation
  • Column & Stone
  • Beach House
  • Farm House

Historical Architectural Styles

  • Hampton
  • Art Deco (big right now – 2016)
  • Mid Century Modern
  • Craftsman
  • Colonial
  • Tudor
  • Victorian
  • Georgian
  • Cottage
  • Baroque
  • Mediterranean
  • Just a few…



New House Design Perth - Details

The devil is in the detail as they say, and with a new home design there are many details that need to be considered. Many of the styles mentioned above are renowned for particular details that evoke a range of emotions, and it’s true that the decisions you make for your new home will have the very same effect on the generations to come. The concrete cast columns and sculptures of the seventies and cyclone fencing in the Eighties might cause apoplexy in some, but others look back with quite some nostalgia and fondness of ideas that were modern or functional in their time. That’s not to say everyone should play safe with design decisions and stick with a conservative approach, but there should be some consideration that the building may stand in the community for a good deal of time.

These details are how your house will become your home, how you can stand out from the crowd or follow the Joneses. It’s possible to save a great deal with clever choices and splash on the items that will gain the most impact. It’s easy to get overwhelmed or carried away by the vast number of choices you are presented with when dreaming of your new house design, especially with todays endless feed of possibilities a finger swipe away to distract your from life and work. The research is a whole lot of fun, but bringing the ideas together and making them work to enhance your lifestyle takes time and skill, which is why it makes sense to work with a house designer to bring your concept to life.

Again we’ll explore these in more depth in later article in our series on new house design in Perth, but below is some ideas for the details that will make or break a good home design:

New House Design – Structural Details

  • Single or double storey
  • Roofing colour
  • Eaves or no-eaves
  • Wall material, colour and finish
  • Garage or carport
  • Driveway finish
  • Front door colour and design
  • Window trims
  • Many… many… more

Killer Details:

  • Tap-ware
  • Kitchen bench-top finish
  • Front exterior lighting
  • Interior lighting
  • Outdoor entertaining


Sustainability and Environmental Impact

New House Design Perth - Sustainability

Our legacy and footprint left for the future generations are being brought to the front of mind when building a new dwelling. Cost still remains a massive factor in how the reality of construction plays against ideological approaches, but there are many opportunities to make decisions that have minimal cost impact over the build, but can create operational savings of the life of the residence and can have dramatic impacts on the environmental impact. Quite often simply questioning the ‘This is the way we have always done it’ mentality can uncover new opportunities to create solutions that are both good for us and good for the environment.

On the flipside, there are also many technologies and ideas that are great in theory but either have little impact or large cost implications, but don’t make for a great investment for your new house design. Unless you really need to make a statement or are a devoted follower of a certain philosophy, it’s wise to avoid first generations of technology and use an evidence-based approach to Perth house design.

New House Design – Sustainability and Environmental Ideas:

  • Vegetable and herb gardens
  • Adequate shading from our harsh summer sun
  • Taking advantage of North facing sun in winter
  • Skylights
  • Natural ventilation (Summer sea breeze)
  • Selecting natural equivalents rather than chemical solvents, glues etc.


Energy Efficiency

New House Design Perth - Energy Efficiency

Carrying on from the ideas mentioned above, the big push for both sustainability and environmental impact both during a build and during the life of a dwelling is in energy efficiency. The majority of household bills are spent on cooling in summer to heating in winter, so opportunities to reduce those costs have a benefit to the residents and to the environment. Efficient lighting and appliances are another big source of cost reduction and net impact to the environment.

Climate change is a reality for most, and though it’s easy to look at it from a distance, there are real ways that everyone can make a difference.

New House Design – Energy Efficiency Ideas:

  • Double glazing windows and doors
  • Choosing efficient building materials
  • Insulation
  • LED lighting
  • Skylights
  • Solar panels
  • Shading west-facing sun
  • Using the sea-breeze


Size & Space

New House Design Perth - Size and Space

The size of your house is the biggest factor in how much the building will cost to build, fit out and eventually maintain. Many people are looking to upsize from their previous home, with growing families having new requirements that need consideration when drawing up plans for a new house design. From an investment perspective, the number of bedrooms, bathrooms and features will have an impact on the resale value, so should be considered when drawing up the specifications for your design.

On the other hand there are those looking to downsize, which brings challenges and opportunities to a project. If the majority of the budget isn’t being spent on sheer volume, it allows for clever design solutions and luxurious elements to be included, with more design choices made around lifestyle requirements as a result. Fittings and finish can become real features, giving a sophistication and prestigious feel to the home, which can in turn raise the value of the initial investment.

Space is more about how to optimise the size of the house and clever design can have a huge impact on the efficiency of each area. A quick trip to Ikea will even have naysayers chattering about the space saving possibilities… ‘if we were to get x and y, we could put all of our stuff away and have more room for the kids play area’ …

Smart design is the key to maximizing your space, keep building costs down and make the most of our progressively smaller block sizes.


Outdoor Living

New House Design Perth - Outdoor Living

And finally the most important aspect of life as a West-Ozzy, outdoor living. With a climate blest with more cloudless days than raindrops, making the most of our endless sunshine is a must for any house in the metro area. The ability to have friends and family over around Christmas time, and accommodate the hoards of kids battling at get-togethers means we need enjoyable outdoor spaces, and this is best accomplished by integrating the lifestyle requirements into the design of the new house, rather than stuck on as an afterthought.

The size of outdoor areas is becoming smaller as in general houses are getting bigger and blocks are getting smaller, but that means that there is a smaller investment needed to bring the area to life and people are really getting creative with putting together affordable, beautiful and low maintenance spaces that can be enjoyed year round in your new house design.

Being big fans of outdoor life, we could talk for hours about ideas for make amazing outdoor spaces, but we’ll save that for another post. In the meantime here are a few ideas to start thinking about:

New House Design – Outdoor Living Ideas:

  • Patios and Pergolas
  • The BBQ
  • Decks
  • Outdoor paving
  • Trees, grass and plants
  • Playgrounds
  • Storage for equipment:
    • Sporting
    • Gardening
    • Beach gear


It’s Just the Start of the Journey…

There are lots of great ideas and Perth people are notoriously inventive and good at doing it themselves. How will your new house design dream project take shape?

Drop us a line to start the conversation on how your new house design can come alive or contact us if you’d like some help in the design process.