Choosing to build on your own land is an increasingly popular decision, and rightly so, there are a multitude of benefits from proceeding in this way. One of the biggest advantages is having the freedom and flexibility to build in the location of your choice. In saying that there has been a shift to selling off smaller blocks, this is mostly as a response to Sydney’s rising land prices and as a way to accommodate the increased density of the city. Does this mean you will need to compromise on the design of your home, sacrificing space and comfort? Not at all! Below are a few hacks that can be implemented to ensure you are maximising your smaller block of land and still on track to building the home of your dreams.
1 – Go for Open Plan Living – Choosing a design that has living spaces flowing seamlessly from one space to another provides a sense of light and airy spaciousness. With no walls to act as a barrier, natural light will be allowed to diffuse into all the surrounding spaces with air to flow through. Overall an open plan is an ideal space for entertaining and connecting with family and friends and you will have a brighter, lighter and better ventilated space which can make a real difference if you are restricted to building on a smaller block. When researching your home builder make sure they have a prolific selection of designs to choose from and that there is flexibility in their designs and floor plans. A good home builder will also be able to provide resources like an onsite interior designer who can help you with the layout of your home and assist with maximising your design to best work with your block of land. At Kaplan Homes our interior designer Anne is on hand to help you design the perfect open plan living space.
2 – Invite the Outside In – Sydneysiders are blessed with fantastic weather for most months of the year so it’s inevitable that a seamless outdoor/indoor living transition has been on top of the list for new home builders. But there are other benefits for inviting the outside in, it will also make a smaller space feel larger and allow you to maximise your outdoor space. Having glass sliding doors from the living room facing the outdoor entertainment area not only allows for a seamless transition from the indoors to the outdoors, but visually provides expansive views to the outside, giving a sense of open spaciousness and visually extending the indoor space. Not to mention the natural light that will stream into these indoor living spaces. Being able to view and have easy access to an outdoor area is not only aesthetically pleasing but from a practical standpoint allows for this area to be utilised more. Parents can watch their children play whilst using the kitchen or living space and a connection can be maintained more easily amongst family members using these outdoor spaces.
3 – Mirror, Mirror – There are also a few inexpensive design hacks that can really open up a space visually. Using devices like mirrored wardrobes and cupboards and hanging mirrors opposite windows are a clever and cost-effective way to give the illusion of more space and depth. Not only will you reflect the view tricking your eye to perceiving the space as larger, but also by reflecting natural and artificial light it will bounce the light deep into spaces making them feel airier, more spacious and ultimately larger.
4 – Go towards the Light – White is well known for its reflective qualities, making spaces look brighter and fresher, but by simply choosing shades of white for your interior you will also be creating an airy and open feel that tricks the eye into perceiving the space as larger. Painting the ceiling and walls the same shade of white will help to blur the boundary between the two and give a sense of higher ceilings. This is a great hack if you need to work with smaller spaces or don’t have access to natural light. Again, working with a skilled interior designer can help with choosing the best colour palette for not only walls and ceilings but for tiling, fixtures and fittings, flooring and soft furnishings. A good home builder will also have a showroom and display homes that can give you good ideas on how to use colour to maximise the space you have to work with.
5 – Go Low – Choosing furniture that is low to the ground will help create the illusion of a larger space by the simple fact that there will be more space above them to the ceiling. Mid-20th century furniture and Japanese furniture are great choices here as not only are these classic pieces low to the ground, they also sit just above the floor with their design allowing light to flow around and under them giving the illusion of floating in the space. With smaller spaces it’s all about the creating a sense of free movement and openness.
When it comes to making the most from a small block of land there are plenty of ways to achieve comfortable living spaces that feel open and airy. Speaking to your home builder about the best designs for a smaller block will help you get the most out of your new home on your land. At Kaplan Homes we have a range of floor plans that suit small blocks, designed to maximise the available area and work with narrow frontages. Some great design choices for single story would be the Sundancer 15 , Avoca 15 or the Marese 16 which is slightly wider than the Avoca but can fit on land down to 10m wide. For double storey the Aurora 25 and Aurora 27 are great choices, and if your wish list is a double garage but you don’t know how this will fit on your narrow block of land then the Allante 20 or the Bondi 27 would be great choices. If you have a very narrow block and still want a full featured home, our Byron 22 and Boulevarde 19 designs were developed with exactly this in mind. In saying that there are many more suitable designs available which are flexible and can be customised to fit your land measurements. Speak to one of our Kaplan consultants to get the full picture and make the most of your narrow block of land.