So here's what I have learnt so far - the most important thing about building is giving yourself time...time to get to know your block, time to get to know how you live as a family, time to really work out what design style you love and can live with for many years to come. When Jon and I bought our block, we had a one year old son, MJ and we had just found out we were pregnant with baby number 2, who would turn out to be our son LX. At that stage of our life as a family, we really hadn't yet worked out how we lived as a family and what would be important for us as our kids grew. We also weren't sure if more children may come as well....and they did, our daughter SJ.
The first scribbles of what our house may have turned out to be, are very different to what is now... almost... our final design. With the kids now 8, 6 and 3, it has become very clear that we all need our own space - space for the adults to retreat to do some work (or get some much needed peace and quiet!), space to be together as a family and space for the kids to hang out, make a mess, make noise without mum constantly telling them to keep it down to a dull roar or to tidy up after I have stepped on another piece of lego!
As a working mum with kids at school, my nights evolve around washing, school lunches, washing, cooking for the next day, washing....you get the drill! Where we live now, the kitchen is away from the main living area, so most nights Jon and I are in different rooms. It is really important to us that the kitchen and living areas are well connected as well as the functional spaces such as the laundry, butler's pantry and mud room. Here is a snip of our functional family zone.
This zone has been designed around our family and how we live. We have included a study nook in the kitchen next to the fridge space and our butler's pantry has room for a second fridge, oven and dishwasher. These appliances were originally not part of the design, however after much thought and consultation, we have opted to include them. We also have a considerable amount of shelving in the pantry, this is to manage a slight obsession I have with Costco! The laundry is a space I am actually looking forward to spending time in (still sad I know). We have included a laundry chute, drying cupboard, elevated spaces for the washing machine and dryer and extensive bench spaces. Thanks to Louise's advise (Our Hamptons style forever home), we have included three built in drawers for laundry hampers. Each laundry drawer can fit two baskets in them, so I can sort laundry to my heart's content (very sad, definitely a problem!)
The mud room is basically a second laundry come store room. It is connected to the garage and will be where we enter the house most. This is the place for the school bags and associated paraphernalia to be deposited at the end of the day. Our cabinet maker has designed this to be a very functional, practical space - a bag space for each family member, drawers with white board facia to allow reminders and notes to be jotted down, shoe drawers, coat hooks, cupboards and even a seat so you can put on/take off your shoes - can't wait to use this space..ahhmm, and to show the kids how to use this space.
The family zone can be shut off from the rest of the house with what will be a sliding barn door. This will help with noise, heating, cooling and giving this space a cozy feel in Winter. In summer, this space can be opened up to the alfresco/pool area making this a large space for entertaining and providing a great flow for indoor/outdoor entertaining.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all,
Thanks for stopping by,