Modern Home Design

Design is the key to a luxury finish “There are significant gains to be made from making a two- or threebedroom house into a four-bedroom house with decent sized living areas, but from here the advantages taper off,” comments Bowen. “Once you’ve got a four-bedroom property with a study and separate lounge, dining and family rooms, the space has already been optimised, and there is a limit to what you can do.”

However, he adds that well-thought-out balconies and decks are always appealing. It’s here that a professional may make the difference. Ian Bassett, President of the NSW Building Designers’ Association believes it’s important to get the external look right, with any extensions complementing the existing structure and roof shape, as well as achieving an internal layout that makes sense. “A lot of older houses were built with no thought to orientation. They just faced the street,” he says. “Light and ventilation are key to making a house comfortable and inviting. This is something that can be achieved by moving the windows to better spots. These simple things add instant space and are a key part of good design.”

Installing appropriate skylights and insulation also help make the space more comfortable. This can also create a sense of luxury, even in a more mainstream home. “When we think of a prestige home, many people just think about what it cost to achieve a certain look, but that luxury look and feel is actually about the size of the rooms, and the relationship between interior spaces,” says Bassett. “There is often great simplicity in well-designed spaces and buildings,” he says, adding that luxury is all about subtlety.

This applies to the exterior as well. “People waste a lot of money tacking on extras, like shutters, that are out of character with the rest of the building. My advice is to keep it simple, because luxury is all about perception anyway.” Bassett adds that when he was young, luxury was having a flushing, indoor toilet. Now we have different expectations, he says, and people expect their homes to accommodate those needs.

He concludes that when planning to renovate to add value to a property, it’s important to consider whether you are creating a home for the super rich, which prestige property valuers might argue has to have the best of everything, including pools, home theatres, home automation and outdoor kitchens, no matter how little some of it will be used. Or should you aim for a good quality house with decent fittings and its own character, which is what most people actually want