We've heard Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz say, "there's no place like home", and many buzzy bee jokes end with the punchline "honey, I'm home!" – but now, we can actually get a sense of what makes a house perfect, at least in the minds of Australians.
A recent survey by the Real Estate Buyers Agents Association of Australia (REBAA) has found the top 10 housing features that would be on a wishlist for potential home buyers. Once you see what these are, it wouldn't be a stretch to say that many homeowners would likely want the same elements in a house, as many of these are modern and in-line with coastal living.
So, what are the best 10 things people would ideally like in a home?
- Open plan living areas
- Butler's pantry
- Natural light
- At least one secure car space
- Close proximity to school, shops and transport
- Two bathrooms minimum
- Kitchens that flow to undercover outdoor entertaining areas
- Level yard
- Two plus living areas
- Good storage
"Ensuites are important across the board, as are kitchens that flow easily onto covered outdoor entertaining areas," said Rich Harvey, president of REBAA.
In an ideal world, the house we live in or are about to move into would have all 10 of these – but if it doesn't, there are ways that interior design can help transform the existing space to feel more like these features were there all along.
To add natural light
Choose thin, translucent curtains in sheer fabrics as your linings. Open the thicker outer curtain and leave the sheer lining drawn to let light into the room. Paint the walls in light, neutral colours such as Resene Double Alabaster or Resene Half Pearl Lusta. These white and cream tones will reflect the light and make it bounce around the room, in turn making the space look bigger, airier and more spacious.
For alfresco dining
Although it would be lovely to have the kitchen directly open onto the undercover outdoor dining area, an existing deck can still do the trick. Set up a barbecue outside for alfresco cooking, or if your kitchen door opens onto the backyard, add paved stones to connect the door to your decks using a concrete paver pathway.
Spruce up the pathway by staining the concrete pavers in Resene Concrete Stain in any colour from the Resene Decks/driveways range, especially on-trend organic styles such as Resene Autumn Leaves. Stain the wood on your deck using Resene Woodsman Decking Stain range.
To add good storage
If you're short on storage, spend an afternoon de-cluttering your house. Once you have gotten rid of, recycled or upcycled items around the home, you'll have much fewer items to keep in storage and can better manage the shelves and cupboards you already have.
To build a pantry
Not all homes come with an inbuilt Butler's pantry, but thanks to the current industrial-chic trends in interior design, an open-faced pantry can still look superb in your kitchen. Simply create a ladder shelved pantry by using wooden planks arranged onto the rungs of a ladder for a trendy, stylish metal-and-wood blend.
For a modern home, you can stain the wood in monochromatic hues such as Resene Colorwood Pitch Black or Resene Rock Salt to complement the silver tones of the metal ladder. Alternatively, keep the wood it's natural earthy brown hue and finish it in clear Resene Aquaclear to suit the 'bring the outdoors in' trend.
Once you have set up your open-faced pantry, store lentils, beans, spices and cereals by putting them in clear glass mason jars. Paint on a small patch of Resene Blackboard Paint and write the contents onto the patch using chalk for a cohesive industrial look to the pantry.