Separating Spaces in Your Home

Separating Spaces in Your HomeA new month on the Australian Heritage Homes blog and we’re excited to continue our goal of sharing the stories that entertain and engage future and prospective customers… right here, at the touch of your fingertips. We love keeping track of the major trends and news items that are popping up all over the Web and social media and determining if and how they apply to you. Some of the trends we share just because they’re odd or unique and some we share because we want you to be ahead of the curve when it comes to designing your dream home. Today’s fits in neither however – it’s simply good, solid knowledge and ideas that many forget about. We’re talking about separating spaces in your home.

Um, walls? You might think. That’s wonderful if they exist exactly where you want them or you live in a large abode where it’s not an issue. But if you’re located in more metropolitan areas where the square footage may be smaller, you will want to get creative. This is the kind of knowledge that you want to have in your back pocket even when you’re initially house hunting. Don’t see the space for the space as it is now, see it for what it can be!

Partitions are most common in studio apartments and in spaces where you have determined a need or a hobby that needs a fully dedicated area to itself. A sidebar – if you foresee this, also think about where this space will be. Does it need natural lighting? Does it need to be fully enclosed? Perhaps even soundproof? These are all questions that you want to take into account before you sign any contracts.

A partition or room divider can be anything, but screens and curtains tend to be the most popular if you’re looking at a middle of the room privacy solution. Granted, they won’t contribute to the soundproofing that we just mentioned, but they also are more temporary and flexible, so you can always open the curtains or shift the screen. Here are some great examples of room divider screens. All sorts of materials, colours and sizes, easy to assemble and as we said – easy to disassemble.

Large furniture items, particularly storage like armoires, bookcases and moveable wardrobes also create a unique barrier between rooms. This is a growing trend in ready-to-move-in apartments and studios in many cities, so you may not even have to worry about it. They’re a great way, in particular, to separate your bedroom space from your social space, so you don’t get caught in the “I’m so used to working from my bed” space.

Finally, and this is our most creative for the day, so go with us – plants. Plants already contribute so much to the design and layout of your home, as well as the emotional benefits that they give off. Plants are great to give structure to the perimeter of a room, versus lining it completely. Place larger pots at the end of a counter space, halfway into a room, almost creating a hallway. Bonus, the plants will be a wonderful conversation topic.

Types of Ceilings in Homes

Types of Ceilings in HomesWhen you walk into a home, the team at Australian Heritage Homes is sure that there are a variety of different things that you gravitate towards. You may be the type of person that immediately checks out the type of floors and the materials used. You may be the type of person who focuses on the inclusions like the lighting fixtures and everything to do with your bathrooms and kitchen. Today’s post is for those who look up (both metaphorically and literally) as soon as you step foot inside a new property that you want to make your own. While you may assume that there is only one type of ceiling that you’ll see in all sorts of homes, that’s simply not the case. And that’s why you’ve stopped by the Australian Heritage Homes blog, (well… one of many reasons, we’re sure) to learn as much as you can before diving into your next dream home. Read on for more information:

Drywall

There’s a reason that there’s an assumption that all ceilings are the same… especially these days. No matter what the architectural style of the home, if you’re looking for simplicity, then you’re looking for a style finished with drywall before being painted. New home construction is where you’ll see this the most – it’s dynamic, classic and doesn’t cost much to either create or maintain. The standard height you should talk to your contractor about is nine-feet-tall, although if you increase this to 10-13 feet, you’ll open up the space even further to maximize natural light, sharing a more spacious feel for anyone living or visiting.

Tray Ceilings

We’re betting that you haven’t heard of a tray ceiling – one that is approximately nine-feet-tall. It’s flat, with a central section that’s raised a prominent amount. Ah, we’re betting that you’re now picturing this style in your mind. (Hint, picture a tray). They’re very popular in many different styles of architecture and are arguably one of the most classic styles of ceilings that you’ll be able to find on the market. Many flock to these because though they give an amazing illusion of height, that doesn’t increase the price when you’re shopping around.

Drop Ceilings

You most likely won’t see drop ceilings at home, but we’re betting that you’ve seen them at some point in your history at work. They also go by a couple of other names, like false ceilings or suspended ceilings. The first reason that you won’t see them at home? They fulfill a completely different purpose – helping to hide anything related to HVAC, like sprinkler systems or even ductwork, but they’re most likely not the style that you’re looking for. The second reason is that they’re really a lot more functional than aesthetic, compared to other types of ceilings. They massively improve acoustics, simply by buffering the noise from the water pipes in surrounding areas.

There are so many different types of ceilings that we didn’t touch on in today’s post, but never fear. When you check back into the AHH blog, we’ll always continue the storytelling about the work that means the most to us.

April Home News

Welcome to April! The Australian Heritage Homes team knows that it’s going to be a great month. At least, if our history to date is any indicator… While the last few years have been – well, shall we say – odd? We’ve persevered and you have as well. The team at AHH is committed to positivity and positive results. We haven’t failed yet, bringing your dream home to life. While a lot of the posts on this site focus on the dream properties that we’ve had a hand in designing and constructing, one in a blue moon (okay, once in a month), it’s home news time! Welcome to April’s, a round-up of our favourite articles found all across the internet that inspire the work that we do. Read on for more information:

56 Things That’ll Finally Help Give You Your Dream Home

Everyone loves a good BuzzFeed article, and for so many reasons. They’re visual, they’re easy to follow, and frequently you walk away having learned something brand-new that you didn’t know that you needed to know. Well, gone are the “top ten” lists. Instead, and don’t worry – they make it worth your while – today, we’re talking about 56. Yup, you read that right. The title of this countdown is “56 Things That’ll Finally Help Give You Your Dream Home”. Sounds like an odd number, but honestly – who can put a number on which things will help turn your house into a home. Without even scrolling down, we were reminded about velvet curtains, oversized Turkish cotton towels and a kitchen cabinet painting kit. We knew we got your attention. Check out the whole list here.

7 Steps to Building Your Dream Home

We couldn’t say it any better than the opening of this article from The Week: “Whether building new or renovating an existing structure, creating a new home is a journey of discovering who you are, what you want, how you want to live, and where you want to be. It’s a chance for you to define your relationship to the world, to your family and to yourself. Creating a home is more than building “3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms.” It is so much more than the sum of a few parts.” They took the words right out of our mouths. There’s a bit of a theme here, this article talks about the seven steps to build your dream house. Seven? That sounds like a really low number, right? Well, that’s why we love this article. Building your dream home does not have to be difficult and you should feel empowered to take that next step in your life. Inspired? Read more here.

Thinking of Starting a Garden?

We’ve harped about your home enough. Let’s head outside, and quickly, before it gets too cold to enhance your gardening and landscaping. How do you begin to design your ideal outside? Well, you need to start with the right tools. We discuss this regularly, but it bears reminding and this article does it beautifully. Everything from gloves to digging knives, they’ve got your back. You can find the article in its entirety at this link.

Picking Art Out for Your Home

Picking Art Out for Your HomeArt is super subjective and the Australian Heritage Homes team is aware of that. Our tastes range from the most classic of pieces to the most modern. Sometimes we balk at each other’s opinions of what’s great (that’s not just limited to art), but because we know that respect is one of the cornerstones of a successful business, we have learned to just relish any nugget of knowledge or enthusiasm that are our teammates have. Enthusiasm is another cornerstone that we each have and that’s why writing posts for our Australian Heritage Homes blog are so exciting. We’re not talking about office brawls or anything like that, but there are definitely some judgmental eyes based on the different facts and figures that we want to share. With all that said, today’s post is absolutely subjective, focusing on the best ways to pick and price art, no matter your size or style of home. Read on for more information:

The first thing you need to remember is that your style can change all of the time. You might be totally in love with a painting or sculpture when you purchase it and hate it just a few short years later. Totally normal and why there are so many resources to share or recycle your art if you really can’t stand seeing it in your home. Hopefully, it’s more of a situation where you laugh when you walk past it and wonder what you were thinking, but you never know.

To the above point, be strategic about what you’re paying. We’re fortunate to live in a culture where you can find all sorts of art at any price point, simply by perusing the internet. Beautiful art can be a wonderful addition to any home, but it doesn’t need to come at a price that you’ll regret later. The prints and posters made of famous artwork can be just as beautiful as the original pieces. Check out sites like minted.

Now, it’s time to figure out where you’re placing all of the wonderful artwork that you’ve chosen. You might have read our most recent post which talk about filling large spaces in your home and art is a great way to do that. The same can be said for small spaces, even sometimes opening them up. Our tip for small spaces is to choose light and bright artwork, which can help open up the space. Our tip for larger spaces is, ‘the more the merrier’ and explore sculptures if they fit your personal style.

Finally, make sure that you take proper care of any art investment that you make. They look beautiful and perfect when you first purchase, but that can quickly change, especially if your art is susceptible to an excessive amount of moisture, which can warp any variety of art – or, equally as challenging – sunlight, which can dull colours faster than you may imagine.

Follow these tips and let us know the art that you choose!

Filling up Big Spaces

Filling up Big SpacesIt’s very common, we have, and will continue to share information around the trend of small spaces. If you live in a big city where rent might be very high, you may be dealing with some very small spaces where you need to get very creative. We have lots of resources and recommendations on that front and if you have questions (on anything to do with your current or future home), definitely reach out to the Australian Heritage Homes team. But a topic that isn’t frequently covered is big spaces. There’s so much square footage. They contribute to the minimalism trend, truly, because people don’t know how to fill them. Well, most people don’t. But we do! And here are some of our recommendations in this blog post:

Space things out. “Duh”, is I’m sure what many of you are thinking, but sometimes the simplest advice is the best. If you’re dealing with a large space and you have a reduced amount of furniture, make sure that every portion of the room gets a little bit of love. To our point above, this is a trend – and a popular one at that.

Create vignettes. A little bit contradictory to our point above, but you don’t want to have one chair or sofa in each corner of the room where you’re yelling at each other when trying to have a conversation. Instead, parse out the room for a few different purposes – a living room set up here, a bar set up there; you have a tonne of real estate to play with and you should have fun doing so!

Take advantage of light… and art. They don’t always go hand in hand, but as we’re talking about using different parts of the room for different reasons, first – think about light. You want your guests and your family members to appreciate whatever you’ve got, so tilt social spaces towards natural lighting (as long as the sun won’t be directly in their eyes). Art is a little bit of a different beast, but it doesn’t always need to go on the walls, it can take up a lot of space and it can serve as the best possible conversation starter (don’t take that as bait to pick out the most controversial art, believe us, you’ll regret it).

Pick major pieces of furniture that you’re going to absolutely love and that will cater to social settings. That sounds like two goals, right? Well, we like to challenge our current and prospective customers. It’s the best feeling in the world to walk into a room, see a piece of furniture, décor, really anything and simply smile. You may have a great story behind it, you may just be really proud that you were able to add it to your arsenal. It simply doesn’t matter, it’s a part of your home. Like the above, it then becomes an easy conversation piece and something that your guests will remember when they leave.

What Does Your Kitchen Need? – Part 1

What Does Your Kitchen NeedAh, the kitchen. One of the most magical rooms in the house. It doesn’t matter if you’re a good cook or chef, it’s likely that many of your nearest and dearest do tend to gather there on a regular basis. There’s a weird pull that the kitchen and other social spaces of the home have, but it seems to work. That said, the Australian Heritage Homes team wants to ensure that yours is equipped with everything that it needs. Sure, the basics may seem… well – basic, but if you’ve worked in the industry as long as we have, you’ve figured out an additional thing or two. Read on for more information.

We’ve talked about building your best home, and what that means for the rooms that will make a world of difference. But the kitchen specifically needs some love and the AHH team is here to share what you need to include to ensure that it remains the hub of the home where both occupants and visitors frequent. For a room this nice, we’re going to blog twice… just to get our prospective readers and customers back here.

A really great oven. Of course, we start with something that’s totally subjective, because “a really great oven” can mean a dozen different things to anyone. They’re generally powered electric these days, but you never know. You have all of the potential extras, which are growing year-over-year. Well… in 2021, we think that you can get creative for your needs, but keep these baselines in mind. Size is a big one. Even if you’re a single person now, or even a couple, think about those holiday celebrations when you didn’t know that a few unexpected guests would show up. You’ll be a lot less stressed, not having to rotate through your dishes. Another element of the oven to look for is whether it has convection heating. What this means is that your oven will use a fan and circulate hot air around the oven… cleaning it!

A properly spaced out seating area. Normal transition, right? We told you we’d cover all sorts of information in a couple of different posts. But, if a kitchen is going to be a social spot, you’re not going to want to cram into a corner, standing over counters. Those who have smaller kitchens, don’t shake your heads, this is an exercise in creativity. Look around your space and see where you can move things around. Invest in things like counters or tables that can fold down from the wall and stools that can stack elsewhere – even out of the room. Explore storables that are off the floor, because you want an important focus to be a place where you can actually enjoy a meal.

Seating and ovens, total picture, right? We’re joking, but like we said, we have lots more advice to share and hope that you return to the Australian Heritage Homes blog for our next post.

News of the Month for February

News of the Month for FebruaryIt’s a new month and a new compilation of home news for our readers of the Australian Heritage Homes blog. We welcome you back and are always pleased to have a prospective or current customer reading about exactly what we’ve been working on. To that point, we’d like to cover off what you can find on this blog on a regular basis. There’s a lot and it’s not just related to the products and services that we supply to the valued community of customers that we appreciate so much. We love what we do and we think that you should as well, so whenever there’s something about the home industry that we learn, it’s on us to immediately share it with you. Read on for what we thought would be worth knowing this month:

Comfort Doesn’t Have to Be Plain

One of the unexpected things that the AHH team loves to give advice on is the inside of your home. Sure, we’ve already helped you design and construct your dream vision. Now, it’s time to ensure that the inside is as beautiful as the outside. We loved this article because it brings up one of the points that we reiterate all of the time – comfort doesn’t have to be plain. They’re not separate entities, in fact, when you get creative – comfort can be really fun to design. As this article shares, “You want your home to be beautiful, but most importantly, you want your home to work for you. But, while a functional home is ultimately the goal, that doesn’t mean it has to be boring or lacking in your personal style or concepts of beauty! Repeat it with us: practical does not mean plain! You can have all the practical must-haves that emulate traits of your personal style.” Read the full article here.

Landscaping Services Market 2021 Report

Equally, you’ll always find landscaping as a common theme on the blog. It makes sense. When we build a beautiful home, we want to ensure that every part of your property speaks to our expertise. When you have great landscaping, great. When you don’t… well… not so great. The beginning of the year is always really important to take a look at the trends that you’re going to see throughout the year. They change all of the time, so we always like to keep a pulse on what is going on. While this article itself may seem clinical, it links to one of the most comprehensive reports that we’ve seen so far, with all of the information that you could want to properly set you and your landscaping up for the year. Visit this link.

Serena Williams’ Striking Florida Home

It never hurts to share aspirational articles – if only to encourage you to pursue that dream project that you’ve been thinking about for so long. She’s called the Greatest of All Time for women’s tennis and now we know that her architectural design skills aren’t too shabby either. Serena William’s humble abode can be found in Florida and the title of this article sums it up in one word – striking. She designed it with her sister Venus and it’s one to be checked out. You can do so here.

Deciding How to Paint Your Home

Deciding How to Paint Your HomeThere are a lot of decisions that you need to make when it comes to your home. Some are huge ones – like where are you going to live, what is the size of your home going to be and what are the non-negotiables as far as the rooms that you include in the floorplan. Others are equally important, but maybe not as top-of-mind. One of these is what today’s post is all about. Like we said, equally important, but probably something that you don’t think about until you’ve moved in. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it can cause undue stress that the Australian Heritage Homes team would like to help you avoid. If the title of this post didn’t give it away… we’re talking about how to decide how to paint your home.

There are both internal and external factors here. Hopefully whichever contractor you’re working with is helping you paint both, but the focus does tend to be the exterior. Most likely, your contractor will either go with a neutral colour for the interior, or – if they’re really great (no names mentioned here) – recommend third parties (or even own) the painting of the interior with the customer’s input. Let’s focus on the interior today. (It would be really weird if the exterior of your home wasn’t painted to your liking. If that’s the case, give us a call ASAP!)

So, what colours to choose? Totally depends on the room, or at least the purpose of the room. Here are a few of our favourite tips:

  • If a room already receives a tonne of sunlight, let the sunlight speak for itself and go for more of a neutral tone. You’ll be able to then focus on what’s actually in the room – be it beautiful artwork, the activity which you want to use the room for, or honestly: the natural lighting, a blessing in itself.
  • If you’re working with a room below ground-level or facing a particularly dark space, again – you might want to think about the lightest and most neutral paint tone. This will open up the space. If it’s an office, it will be a mood-upper. If it’s a collective family space, a lighter color will lend well to hanging any sorts of family photos or art, so that they truly stand out.
  • If it’s a bedroom – have some fun! Paint colours can always be changed, and especially if you have younger children, they’ll appreciate the opportunity to weigh in. Maybe it’s their favourite colour, or simply a way to compliment the furniture, but it will inspire fun memories and you can always change the paint colour of one room (or all!) whenever you please. In fact, bonus points – painting a room can be a very fun family or household activity… just make sure that you follow tips like this.

There are many other tips that the AHH team has, not just on painting, but decorating your home in general. We’d love to share with you, so reach out via phone or email.

Building in Cities

AHH - Building in CitiesThere are so many benefits to living in a metropolitan environment. You’re surrounded by so many things to do, be it educational, cultural, environmental or more. You’re most likely able to walk outside of your door and explore a variety of activities that you may or may not have experienced, which the Australian Heritage Homes team totally supports. Not only do we support, we’ve done our homework and can provide the best intel on what not only makes living in a city great but how to do it right.

Yes, doing it right is a question and sometimes a tough one. The Australian Heritage Homes team loves helping you design and then construct your dream homes, no matter where you find them. Most of the time, that’s in more rural (read-scenic) areas, because so many of our current and prospective customers are looking for the best view around. We’ve discussed this topic on the blog before. It’s not only timely, it’s classic.

There are multiple topics like that that we’ll always discuss on the blog without apology. We’re committed to our customers to make sure that you’re up-to-date each and every year on what we think are topics that are engaging, informative and entertaining. Well, this certainly falls squarely in that category. That said, here’s what you need to know about building in the city or metropolitan areas:

  • You’re going to have to work with far more council and government groups. We apologize in advance, but it’s for your own good. They’re looking at whether your building is up to code, if you’re using the right materials for it and if there are ways that you’re cutting corners. Remember that they’re on your side and any questions that they ask or items of note where they give you feedback will only help make your home stronger and safer.
  • You will be working with limited options in some capacities. If you want to build a home and have a full vision for it, be ready to know that some functionalities might not be allowed in the area where you’re building. That’s not to say that that will always be the case, but if it is for now, be ready to be flexible and open to conversations with your contractor (cough, cough, us….)
  • It could take longer. This combines both of the above, but if you live in a city or metropolitan area, we’re guessing that there is a part of you that appreciates city life. We’re right there with you, but we also know that that can bring in elements like traffic, noise, etc. Know that if this is something that you want to commit to, it will most definitely be worth it (we have some very beautiful cities in the area), but you will have to put in the work in the interim. The great thing is that if you work with companies like Australian Heritage Homes, we make this part as easy as possible.

Questions? Let us know. Or, if you have stories about where this has been successful (or not), we’d love to hear these as well.

January Home News

January Home NewsOh, home news, how we’ve missed you here at the Australian Heritage Homes team. We made you a priority in 2020 and the years prior and that will not change this year. In fact, we’re ramping it up. For those unfamiliar with this enthusiasm, all you have to know is that you should check back in on the Australian Heritage Homes site at least once a month to know what’s going on in the home construction world. It might be entertaining. It might be informative. It will always be engaging. Whether you’re just kicking off a new project – of any size – or you’re finally making the move to build your dream home. We’re guessing that’s why you stumbled upon this site – or even better, thoughtfully knew that we’re the best in the area of designing and constructing your dream home. All of the above is true. Today, however, we’re focusing on information-sharing. Read on for our favorites of the month to kick off the year 2021:

This first article was interesting to us, because we’re always focused on building you your dream home, but you don’t always know the information that we need from you. Even that statement might be confusing but this article helps clear it up. The House Company writes about exactly what they need to know when they work with you. This is something that’s paramount to the AHH team – having regular and consistent conversations with you about not only your needs, but your wants. As we’ve said often on the blog, this is going to be your forever home and the process should be exciting, not stressful. Learn more here.

This next category is one that we never shy away from, especially if you’re working from home right now. We’re talking about home renovation shows and there are some good ones in the mix. You may love the classics, but if you’re anything like us – you’re running love on inventory before you start the whole cycle again. Thank goodness for us, some of our classic favorites and some new kids on the block are ensuring that we kick off 2021 with all sorts of inspiration and information. Grand Designs, 100 Day Dream Home, The Really Big Flip and Stay Home all make the list and you can learn exactly what to expect in upcoming seasons. You can check out the whole list in this article.

We will never shy away from sustainability, or promoting it. It’s the right thing to do and a huge piece of our business ethos to ensure that your home is not only best, it makes you feel good about your carbon footprint. That includes your landscaping and this article totally agrees. It discusses “Earth-kind Landscaping” which can be construed a number of different ways, but the bottom line is always the same. It’s the right thing to do. Not only will it make you feel good, you’ll save more money than you realize. Here’s the whole article.