The Christmas break is a time when a you get to enjoy a well-earned break and spend some quality time with friends and family.
It’s the time of year when it’s not uncommon to have lots of friends and family over for lunches, dinners whether it be a casual outdoor BBQ or extending the dinner table to double it’s normal size for a roast. It’s also a time of flux when your house could be playing host to a myriad of children, who for the most part tend to be hyperactive and adept in mess creation and general demolition! Christmas also has a way of increasing the amount of “stuff” in your house meaning new spots have to be found to store that cheese platter from Uncle Ted that you plan on re-gifting later in the year. All these activities and more mean the festive season is a time when the strengths and weaknesses of your house can become obvious, there might be a simple answer for some things, for instance you might find yourself saying “If this wall wasn’t here then my living room wouldn’t be a hallway!”, on the other hand there maybe something that you just can’t put your finger on.
1. It’s so hot!
Whether or not you have air-conditioning , the lack of proper ventilation or lack of sufficient shading from the merciless summer sun can mean your house feels like an oven. Older homes also often lack quality insulation, and if you have ever held your hand near concrete or a brick wall after a hot day you will know how much heat energy they can store. When the sun goes down your house may still radiate all the day’s heat throughout the night. Stifling heat very can be an unpleasant feeling, but it is possible to change this.
2. My quiet place.
Relaxation is important to your wellbeing, and should be a priority after the stresses of the working year gone by. Whether it’s a chair next to a window with a view, a hammock under a shady tree or a lounge near the pool, you should seek out your spot, and if you don’t have one then make a list of the ways you like to relax and set about making one for yourself.
3. There’s a bottleneck!
Some homes have 4 bedrooms, a big kitchen and living room, 2 bathrooms, a laundry and a 3 car garage, but they can still lack one hugely important factor – flow & circulation. The way in which you move through your house should be natural, easy and free of obstruction. You shouldn’t have to arrange your furniture in the living room so that you don’t kick your toe on the coffee table when you’re entering from the garage.
4. Can we comfortably sit outside?
Outdoor living areas make a perfect addition to any home whether you like to entertain or lead a more quiet lifestyle. An outdoor living area can be as simple as a timber deck and some shading, or they can be like an open extension of the house with a second kitchen and living area, with a space for a BBQ, a bar fridge and screens to keep the flies and mossies out. Outdoor living areas are a fantastic way to make the most of the warm Australian climate in comfort.
5. Should we get a pool?
There is no doubt a swimming pool is a luxury, but it can also be an asset that can be enjoyed by your family for many years. There are pool types to suit a range of homes. If you have a small backyard you might consider a plunge pool or a swim spa. If you are considering a pool then you should also be considering how the pool is configured in relation to the rest of your home. A pool combined with an outdoor living area is the perfect way to tie your new pool into your home. There are also safety issues to consider, a fence complying with Australian Standards and pool safety regulations is compulsory, you should have a first aid certificate and know CPR, and the pool should also be positioned so that it is easily monitored.
There may be other examples that come to mind during the holiday period on how you could improve your home environment. An Architect can help investigate these thoughts and flesh out options with you, incorporating structural, aesthetic, practical and cost factors to determine feasibility.