Sunday, 3 November 2019

Ways to be Water Wise in the Garden this Summer

Being water wise has never been more important, with reports of current droughts being the worst to hit Australia in 800 years and water restrictions reaching level five 2 in some areas. I've put together some great water tips from TV personality and Horticulturist Melissa King on how to prepare your garden for water restrictions this summer.

Make time to Water
Restrictions dictate that watering should be done before 10am or after 4pm. Set customised schedules easily with the Rain Bird 8 Station Outdoor WiFi Controller ($379). Its WiFi connective ability lets you control your sprinklers through your mobile, no matter where you are. Create several watering settings according to the needs of each section of your garden to ensure that plants stay healthy while paving and walls stay dry.

Move with the rain
Rain sensors prevent unnecessary watering, providing savings of up to 20%. The Rain Bird Wired Rain Sensor ($87.55) easily connects to most irrigation system controllers and automatically shuts your sprinkler system off when it rains, leaving you worry free whether at home or away.

Get hands on
Hand watering is another great way to care for your garden and allows you to tailor your watering to the needs of specific crops or plants. It also provides an opportunity to get up close and personal with your plants, so you can detect any issues early and get on top of them quickly. Water restrictions state that all hoses must have a trigger nozzle, like the Nylex Premium Spray Gun ($28). It has seven different functions for all your watering needs and most importantly, allows you to easily shut the water on and off with its simple to use click control design, effectively minimising wastage.

Carry the can
Watering cans are also a great water-saving option. But regular watering cans can be painful to carry and may distribute water unevenly. The Nylex Watering Can ($10.98) however is far from ordinary. Peppered with small holes that give you an even distribution of fine water droplets, it lets water soak deeper into the roots while the two handles make it easy to hold and control, creating a more pleasant watering experience.

Pick a perfect pot
When every drop counts, the right pots can really make a difference. If you love the look of classic terracotta, look out for pots in Northcote Pottery’s CottaSEAL collection, which are treated with a water-resistant sealant that helps to prevent moisture loss. If you’re after a more modern look, turn to plastic pots. They’ve come a long way in recent years and now come in a range of fantastic designs, colours and finishes to suit any garden. I always suggest keeping darker pots in shaded locations as they can build up heat in the sun, leading to unwanted evaporation. Additionally, look for plastic containers that are UV and frost resistant as they stand up to all weather conditions and hold their colour beautifully.

Gardens and lawns are often the first areas to suffer in dry conditions, but all that it takes is some common sense, a little creativity and the right tools to conserve moisture and keep your plants happy and healthy.

Till next time... be water wise this summer!

About the company
AMES Australasia develops, sources and supplies innovative products that help enhance the homes, landscapes and lifestyles of all Australians. The company owns a range of iconic lifestyle brands including Cyclone, Hills, Nylex, Northcote Pottery, Rain Bird, Tuscan Path, Westmix and Kelso.

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Making Sense of the Modern Movement

‘Modern & Designer’ homes make up more than half of new build detached properties, but do we really understand what the term means? While popular home trends such as The Hamptons, Country and French Colonial have clear definitions, Modern is used to describe a number of styles that share common elements, but require specific considerations. 

According to James Hardie ambassador, Joe Snell, the modern trend features clean lines, confident shapes and minimal ornamentation. They are all rooted in the works of visionaries such as Mies Van Der Rohe, Frank Lloyd Wright and Alvar Aalto, and out of institutions like the Bauhaus.

There is a focus on form and function, but a number of different design trends such as coastal and Scandi have added to the style, each based on their own influences and principles. It’s important to make distinctions between these and understand the specifics of your preferred version of Modern to make it work. In this article we discuss and define the five current modern home styles and how to get them. 

Mid-Century Modern
An influential example of Mid-Century Modern is Philip Johnson’s Glass House. This style is all about being connected to nature by using large expanses of glass and revealed structure, creating buildings that have simple silhouettes that are very aware of their surroundings.

To achieve this look it’s important to reveal how the building was constructed by exposing elements like steel beams and cladding boards, which need to be beautifully crafted. The shadow line of Stria cladding premium fibre cement boards can be used to add detail horizontally to add breadth.

It could be argued that Minimalism is the opposing stance to Mid-Century. While it ostensibly uses the same pared back design, the focus is more on looking within, and being at peace with oneself. The minimalism school of thought aims to remove distractions and has become popular in Japan for its alignment with the Zen philosophy of mindfulness and tranquillity.

Achieve the aesthetic by removing joins and lines with concrete floors and large panel cladding such as Matrix, as well as expanses of glass for natural lighting. Monochrome palates, with a focus on blank white spaces are essential. This can be accented with natural elements in a controlled manner, for example, a wooden table with minimal detailing and a simple finish works well, but avoid artificial colours and complex organic shapes.

Mixed Materials
A popular device to add variety to the look of a home, the mixed materials design has been used in many neighbourhoods to reduce the blandness of rows of identical homes. It can be hard to get right as there are a lot of elements to balance, so over- complication can be an issue here. The key is to approach the property with one idea or story and stick to it. For example, it could be creating the entrance as the hero, or making the building appear broader or taller. By having a clear idea of your design goal, you avoid a cluttered and disorganised look.

Minimalism and Mid- Century often focus primarily on the repetition of a limited palate of materials across the whole home, a play play between heavy and light components. Mixed materials can go either way, with heavier materials such as masonry and brick at the base and graduate to lighter profiles as you go up. Stria Splayed boards have a larger bevelled edge to create more dramatic lines, while Axon can imitate vertical joint timber, and both are more durable and require less upkeep than traditional materials.

These Premium Fibre Cement boards are also well suited to second floor additions and cantilevered extrusions, as they are light weight, making them easier to install on top of an existing building, while offering a range of profiles.

Modern Coastal
The central themes of Modern are not constrained to metropolitan areas and Australia’s shorelines show how the trend can be combined with the coastal aesthetic. The key here is being true to both aspects, which means that this look has the biggest opportunity to create softer curved shapes.

While the on-trend Hamptons style incorporates beautiful detailing with eaves returns, balustrading and more, the Modern version remains simple and clean. The large expanses of macro detailing and clean shapes remain, but there is also a lean toward embodying the coast. This is done through the use of blues, greys and warm wooden tones.

One key component of both modern and Hamptons designs is Linea Weatherboard, which creates a similar shadow lines to timber boards but, like all Premium Fibre Cement cladding, stands up to the Aussie elements as it is resistant to flaking, warping or swelling and damage for moisture. This means you can create your vision and keep it longer without maintenance.

Scandi Barn
Another look that combines tradition with modernity and is well suited to Linea Weatherboards is the modern interpretation of the Scandinavian Barn. This style is typified by steeply pitched rooves, which were a necessity to stop snow collecting in the Scandinavian winters.

While many may think of light and bright colour palates for Scandi Barns, they have also have the potential for dark and brooding exteriors in greys and blacks with minimal window use. The basic tenants of the movement lend themselves to modern styles and include hooded windows and a strong diagrammatic house shape.

Whatever your modern aesthetic, it’s important to know the specifics of your look and how to achieve them. Generally speaking, the basics of clean lines, strong shapes, modern materials and simple colour palates remain the same, but it’s how you build from there that will bring life and personality into your home.

Till next time... find out how to get a modern look for your home at

Saturday, 17 August 2019

How to Add Style to a Neutral Living Room!

Essentially, neutral means lacking or without colour. Beige, ivory, taupe, black, grey and shades of white appear to be unsaturated with colour, but in many applications these hues often have many undertones and are a critical component of great design.

Because of this, the use of neutral colours in home decorating can offer bags of personality and interest. They provide a certain flexibility and versatility in decorating as trends and personal preferences change. Neutrals also tend to be tones that provide an excellent backdrop — a blank canvas, if you like — to many other colours no matter your aesthetic.

In order to alleviate the risk of this colour scheme from being boring and aesthetically stagnating, below is a guide for decorating with neutrals while maintaining charm, life, and tons of style.

Stay subtle but stylish
Grounding a room in a neutral palette creates instant unity and gives your eye a place to rest, while splashes of vibrant colour move the eye throughout the room to find new and interesting elements.

A room dominant of a neutral palette can form the perfect base for the vast majority of colours and a foundation of countless interior looks while allowing you to be as subtle and as stylish as you desire.

The popularity of beiges, creams, whites, black and greys are linked to the rise of another huge interior trend of the moment, Scandinavian style — and these influences have seen muted tones and subtle pastel accents infiltrate every space from living rooms & bedrooms to bathrooms and kitchens.

Throw in some cushions
The easiest way to create a designer look is to add visual interest and personality using home accessories. A soothing palette of warm, muted neutrals gives you the opportunity to incorporate different accent colours and interesting textures and finishes as your room scheme evolves.

Neutrals are the perfect grounding contrast to a host of throw cushions in vibrant colours — from burnt orange and red, to mustard yellow, teal blue and emerald green cushion covers.

Velvet cushions are also having their moment with inky navy, wine shades and gorgeous blue tones seen in sophisticated interiors across the globe which are perfect pairings to paler greys, off-whites and soft beiges.

Combine interesting textures
A room without texture can feel dull and lifeless, so add tactile surfaces for warmth and interest. Neutral interiors work particularly well layered with texture to really bring the the scheme to life. By offsetting rough with soft, shiny with matte and coarse with smooth, it’s easy to inject rhythm and depth into a living room space.

Consider using various tactile textures in a form of soft furnishings. This could be anything from linen curtains, a large velvet fabric range of cushions, cable knit throws, sheepskins area rugs and more.

Create a luxe interior finish
Many people associate neutral with bland and dreary, but this isn’t the case in a well thought-out design scheme. In fact, all-neutral rooms can be super chic and even opulent.

Just the right combination of décor elements can create a wow effect. Button tufting on the sofa, the use of reflective surfaces like glass, mirror, chrome, and silver, soft furnishings in sumptuous materials such as velvet cushions and silk window treatments all combine to create a luxurious atmosphere.

In addition, you would want to pay attention to the subtle details such as the textured features, colour combinations and the overall comfort and ambience of your space. Just because a room has a neutral scheme doesn't mean it can't be cosy and intimate with a little sparkle!
So there you have it, a few simple steps and you too could have a stylish living room no matter what the canvas. And just remember...layer, layer, layer!

Till next time... how do you add style to your living room?

Saturday, 6 July 2019

Celebrate 150 years of Matisse with Murals Wallpaper

Murals Wallpaper have recently launched a collection of cut out wallpaper designs in celebration of 150 years since the birth of Henri Matisse.
Henri Matisse invented a new medium with his cut out style, and using this he produced some of his most popular works. Matisse believed that everyone retains a childlike sense of naiveté, no matter how much they study and learn. Matisse is known for his use of wide ranging colour, fluid concepts. and decorative patterns. In the last years of his life, the artist found freedom in creating cut out art, which was neither a painting nor a sculpture giving birth to a new and unique complex art form.
Murals Wallpaper's Matisse-inspired collection aims to echo this naive part of the mind that Matisse speaks of, which is why the designs are hand-made with spontaneous shapes and charming, honest imperfections.

The Naive Shapes collection celebrates 150 years of Matisse, taking inspiration from his papiers découpés (paper cutouts).

These candid wallpaper creations by Murals Wallpaper mirror the playfulness of a method that Matisse described as 'drawing with scissors' and 'cutting directly into color'.
The crafty cut outs have a nostalgic quality, conjuring up memories of creating paper collages as a child. They embody the fun and focus of spending hours cutting out paper shapes and arranging them in just the right places, resulting in something visually appealing and personal.
Murals Wallpaper will be releasing two modern mural collections celebrating Matisse's 150th birthday this year with designs that are evocative of his cut out art; also incorporating trending earthy tones and pops of cobalt blue.
The second set of designs will launch in September and continue the celebration of Matisse's life and most influential work.

The look, colour palette and design approach of the Naive Shapes collection is livable, plays on current colour and design trends, and reflects the simplicity and joyous emotion of Matisse’s own work. Not to mention the iconic and abstract designs are versatile for any room, fun and easy to style!

Till next time... have a lovely weekend!

Monday, 17 June 2019

Ivy Australia: A Business and Project Management Platform for Interior Designers

A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to a launch by Houzz Inc., the leading platform for home renovation and design. It was the launch of Ivy, the fastest-growing business and project management platform for interior design firms and other home design companies, in Australia. 

Ivy, which launched in the U.S. in 2016, was acquired by Houzz in March 2018 to provide home professionals with software that helps them run their businesses more efficiently, effectively and profitably. Since then, Ivy has become the most used business management software by design firms in the U.S., growing to 5,500 member firms.

This centralised business management tool empowers designers with cutting-edge technology and solutions to everyday pain points so that they can more easily focus on the creative side of their business. 

Ivy provides interior designers with a variety of tools to help them run their business, including:

Project management
Ivy’s Project Tracker enables designers to manage the products and services for a project in one place, making it easier to track the many moving pieces.

Proposals and time tracking
Designers can send customised proposals, tear sheets, invoices and purchase orders through the Ivy platform. Time and expense entries can also be managed in one dashboard.

Product sourcing
Ivy’s Product Clipper enables designers to save all of the product specs and imagery for a project in their product library, eliminating the need for manual copying, pasting and downloading product information. Ivy’s Room Boards tool enables designers to conceptualise and compile products and services by room for current and potential clients.

Vendor purchase management
Ivy’s dashboard also tracks order status across all projects -- from purchased to shipped to delivered -- in one place.

On-the-go access
The Ivy app for iPhone, iPad and Android empowers designers to manage multiple projects in one place and on the go with features including task management, real-time expense and time tracking, talk-to-text note taking and more. Using augmented reality (AR), the app also captures and stores, with its built-in room measurement tool, accurate project dimensions for designers to reference when selecting products for a room. 

Community connections
Ivy’s powerful community helps designers exchange industry ideas, ask questions and empower fellow designers.

Ivy was built specifically to serve designers’ unique business needs and we look forward to building a strong Ivy community in this design-focused market. Houzz provides more than 60,000 active home professionals in Australia with the tools they need to showcase their work, collaborate with clients, connect with potential new clients and, with Ivy, manage their business. 

Till next time... check out Ivy and make your life easy!


About Ivy
Ivy is the fastest-growing business management software for interior design firms and other home design companies. The platform brings the trade industry into the modern age by streamlining and automating a firm’s workflow and business operations including procurement, client billing, vendor purchasing and time tracking. This ensures that the entire project lifecycle, including profit and loss reporting, are all managed in one easy-to-use application. Ivy has built a thriving community around its platform, including an online forum, trade magazine, educational webinars and member meetups across the United States. Ivy is a subsidiary of Houzz Inc., with teams in New York, San Francisco, Irvine, Nashville and Tel Aviv. For more information, visit

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

7 Ways to Make Your Home Office More Eco-Friendly

There are many benefits to working at home, but one that you might not have considered is having an eco-friendly office. While you don’t have much say over the state of a traditional office environment, at home you have complete control over the layout and design, your office supplies and even the temperature and lighting of the room.

And while this means you’re footing the bill for your work environment now, by taking just a few simple steps, you can make your home office an environmentally friendly haven that reduces the impact your work has on the environment – and your wallet.

Scale back temperature control
In a traditional office, it’s hard to come up with a single energy-saving action that’s more effective than moving the thermostat a degree or two. At home, though, it’s entirely up to you – and while you might be tempted to fiddle with the thermostat constantly, you could be hurting the environment more than necessary.

This is especially true if you’re the only one around while working from home. Moving the temperature a degree or two to make your office more comfortable causes the system to heat or cool your entire house – whether you’re using the other rooms or not. To combat this, find ways to regulate the temperature more precisely. Use a fan or open windows in the summer, and close vents to rooms you aren’t using when you need to use the thermostat.

You should also raise or lower the thermostat slightly past your comfort level and put on a blanket or a comfy sweater – after all, you’re in charge of the dress code at home. Working from home is a sustainable move, but you’ll still have to put some effort in.

Use efficient office products
Going out and replacing all your office supplies immediately isn’t a sustainable move, as it takes energy to make any new goods, green or not. But when you do find yourself in need of an upgrade, buy efficient, sustainable office products from a reliable source.

This can include more efficient electronics for office work and responsibly sourced recycled paper for printing needs. Nowadays, eco-friendly office products are usually priced comparably to their more wasteful counterparts. And as for electronics and other long-lasting items, these can save you money over the long term by using less energy.

See the light
While relocating an existing home office might be tricky, you should always consider how much natural lighting a room receives when choosing a space in your home for work. In the Southern Hemisphere, choosing a north-facing room will ensure that your office receives abundant natural light, especially if the room has large windows.

If windows are lacking in your office, a skylight can be an excellent solution for providing more light during the day without having to switch on electric fixtures. And you’ve heard it a million times, but as for the lights you do need, make sure they’re fitted with energy-efficient bulbs like LEDs. These last longer and save money while providing plenty of light for you to work in.

Organise sustainably with reclaimed wood
A typically useful piece of office organisation advice is to add in wall-mounted storage – primarily shelving – to keep your clutter corralled. But while this is a good idea that will do your home office many favours, buying brand-new shelves isn’t the most environmentally responsible move you can make.

Installing shelves made of recycled (or preferably reclaimed) wood reduces environmental effects from manufacturing while also adding a more rustic look and character to your office. In fact, you can use reclaimed wood for many things around your office if you use your imagination. If you’re handy, for instance, you can make bookshelves or even desks out of discarded wood.

Shop for second-hand furniture
Outfitting a brand-new home office can often get expensive, but a good money- and earth-saving move is to give an old piece of furniture new life. If you’ve ever bought anything second-hand, you know by now that “used” doesn’t necessarily equal “worn out and broken.”

Often, companies will go through redesigns, or people will just find that they don’t need particular pieces. Those perfectly good pieces of furniture – from desks to office chairs to cabinets – then become available to you at a much lower cost. Getting your desk, tables, shelves, and other furniture from second-hand sources will both save you a heap of money and eliminate the impact of buying a newly manufactured piece of furniture.

Get green (plants)
It’s hard to get more eco-friendly than nature, and adding some to your office can make things greener in more ways than one. The clearest and possibly most important impact is that plants can help freshen up the stale air that accumulates indoors, especially during winter months. While this improves the smell of your office, it also comes with the very real benefit of boosting your overall health and reducing illnesses, thus upping your happiness and productivity. Add to that the fact that plants are just plain nice to look at!

Paint the room green
Repainting is an easy way to liven up your home office before you move in – or even to reinvigorate the space if you’ve been working from home for a while.

When you do this, though, take care to cover your walls with green paint – not in terms of colour, but in eco-friendliness. There are several motivations for not using traditional paints on the walls in your office – and elsewhere in your home.

This includes the fumes they release (and that you’ll breathe in while repainting your walls) and the chemicals that might harm the environment if the leftovers aren’t disposed of properly. Buying eco-paints is an easy step to take. It lets you beautify your home office without sacrificing the environment!

Till next time... why not make your home office more eco-friendly?

Friday, 17 May 2019

Tap-ping into the Latest Trends!

Modern or classic, chrome or matte black, choosing tapware can be a true test. Whether you’re doing a complete home renovation, or just fixing up the fixtures in your bathroom or kitchen, here’s a summary of the latest trends to tap into and tips for choosing your tapware from Nick Swan of leading tapware and shower brand, Methven.

Hot Tap Trends
Organic, round styles and shapes continue to be the most popular designs as compared to the more geometric, sharper designs. What is increasingly becoming more popular is the combination of the two with a square foundation softened at the edges and complemented with curves. Such a soft square design has greater versatility in design as it has the ability to complement both round and square aesthetics.

Small, petite tapware is having a moment as trends move to a more minimalist aesthetic which demands simple, subtle choices.

Chrome continues to be the most popular finish followed by Matte Black. However, what we are seeing is almost a blending of these two most popular finishes with Graphite and Gun Metal growing in popularity and demand.

Stainless steel is proving more and more popular not only for the industrial finish and design, but also for its sustainable properties. Long-lasting and hard-waring, stainless steel can be re-purposed for reuse and reconditioning and devoid of any lead it also helps preserve water.
[Waipori Basin Mixer]

Statement Styles
A high-rise or vessel basin mixer over a stand-alone basin can make a real statement in a bathroom. It also gives you the opportunity to get creative with tapware placement. Traditionally the tap would be placed at the back of the basin – however with a high-rise/vessel mixer you can place it to the side of the basin.

Wall mounted basin tapware can be an easy way to create a statement in a bathroom. With it being wall mounted, the tapware is typically positioned higher and closer to the eye line – catching people’s attention and drawing their curiosity.

When selecting kitchen tapware, look for pull-out or pull-down sink mixers which add a touch of class to the space. Inspired by industrial kitchens, these types of mixers provide a higher degree of moveability in and around the sink as-well-as looking striking. Look for the Culinary range from Methven.
[Culinary Gaston Pull Down]

Tapware To Last
A round minimalist design in a chrome or metallic finish will stand the test of time. Chrome and metallic finishes will always be the most popular finishes as they pair with everything – meaning you can update your bathroom design and styling without having to change your tapware. Look for simple classic shapes which are unlikely to date as trends change. For example, Glide & Blaze tapware collections from Methven.

3-piece tapware can be another safe option, heralding back to a traditional style of tapware. It can also save time if you don’t want to re-arrange plumbing fixtures you can always retro-fit to existing pipework with new spindles and tapware to refresh a design.
[Waipori Wall Top Assemblies with Basin Spout]

Top Tapware Tips
Gather options together, take your time and do your research. Create a mood board or a scrapbook of design ideas and products. Then go and find those (or similar) products on display so you can feel the quality and get a sense of how the product feels as you use it.
Once you are happy with the basin tapware selected, it will be part of a family or range which you can use to complete your bathroom so the design looks cohesive. The basin mixer is typically the foundation of a tapware collection.

Once tapware has been decided upon, look for complementary showers and accessories to complete your look. Add a touch luxury with shower spray technologies such as Aurajet®, VJet® or Satinjet® from Methven.
[Turoa collection]

Perfect Pairings
A free-standing basin will require either a wall mounted tapware set or a hob(deck) mounted high-rise/vessel. A wall mounted tapware set can be a great way to keep your vanity bench top clear & allow space for other items.

Consider the spout length of the tapware selected in regards to the basin itself. If the spout is too long or too short, it can result in water splashing out of the basin. Ideally, water should be directed towards the waste/drain. Getting this marriage of basin drain and spout length right can be troublesome, so look for mixers and spouts which have adjustable stream aerators. These allow an extra bit of water direction control to reduce the chance of splashing.

If you are selecting a hob or deck mounted basin mixer, ensure the fixing underneath is solid. Look for ‘twin-stud’ mounting as opposed to ‘single-stud’. Single studs can easily loosen after use.
[Minimalist Basin Mixer]

Think about the size of both basin and the tapware. If possible, they should be selected together so they can be proportionately sized to match each other.

Till next time... will you be tapping into the latest trends?
About Methven
Methven Limited is a subsidiary of GWA Group Limited and is a market-leading designer and manufacturer of showers, taps and valves. Our business is headquartered in Auckland where we design, develop and manufacture many award-winning products and technologies. Our international operations see our products distributed in Australia, China, UK, Middle East, USA and Europe in addition to our home market of New Zealand. In 2016 we celebrated 130 years of innovation.

Sunday, 12 May 2019

A Modern Tone for the Future of the Average Australian Home

Do you love the romantic notion of living in a historical architecturally rich home? Well, according to the findings of a James Hardie survey, Australia’s younger home owners are preparing to end the country’s love affair with brick houses.
The findings of the study indicates that of all the people surveyed who have built their home in the past five years, or are currently planning to do so, only one third preferred the traditional brick cladding or veneer facades found in quintessential Aussie properties. Meanwhile 44% preferred to use a mix of cladding types and styles including horizontal, vertical and panel arrangements. This trend clearly points toward a preference for modern, seamless design.
According to Cathleya Buchanan, Australian Marketing Director at James Hardie, data shows that almost one in three (31%) new builds are being undertaken by people under 30. These younger home owners are most likely to want a contemporary appearance that mixes a number of building materials and profiles to ensure their home doesn’t look dated in the near future. 
However, unlike other styles such as Queenslander and Hamptons, this modern movement encompasses a number of looks. The term modern is used in housing in the same way that pop is used in music, it’s not just one thing and is constantly evolving. The term is used for anything from updated versions of established trends like ‘modern coastal’ and ‘Mid-Century Modern’, through to ‘Minimalist’ and ‘Designer Mixed Cladding’ aesthetics. There is a clear preference leaning to clean, angular lines, monochrome palettes, cantilevered second levels and open plan spaces, while moving away from detailing such as eaves and balustrades. These basic tenants of modern design drive toward new materials like Premium Fibre Cement Cladding, which can be used to create strong, striking shapes. It’s also lightweight making it suited to large open-plan spaces and second stories and overhangs.
While the market is softening following the 2015 building boom, there are still a large number of new builds compared to historic standards. According to Australian Bureau of Statistics figures there were a record number of homes under construction in NSW in 2018, while Victoria was marginally below its own construction record so while numbers have and will likely continue to fall, there are still a considerable number of projects being planned or finalised in 2019.
The trend, which will affect approximately one million new build homes is being driven by higher value projects, with more home owners working with an architect or designer (61%) requesting an individualised modern look, compared to a those using a volume builder (44%).

When asked to choose the most important factor of their project four out of five (80%) prioritised the look of their property over the cost (70%). However, it’s important to know how to communicate your aesthetic to your architect or builder.

According to Cathleya, we all want a home that reflects our tastes and lifestyles, which is why it’s important to know how to communicate what you want, for example the research shows that what most home owners call ‘modern’ is referred to as ‘contemporary’ by architects and building professionals. It’s also important to specify the right materials, with two thirds (65%) of young home owners citing this as an important part of their project.
The move away from the brick look is being driven by a preference for building products that help create architectural design motifs. Modern looks require more design variation using modern materials, such as James Hardie’s range of Premium Fibre Cement Cladding, including the large panel format of Matrix Cladding, or the vertical lines of Axon Cladding. Combining these and other profiles can deliver striking features like floating walls, overhangs, and protective cantilevers that define a contemporary style.
Considering the longevity of the property when defining your vision is also very important. It is important to avoid focusing on the finished home, without thinking about its longevity. No one wants to deal with ongoing maintenance, which is where Premium Fibre Cement Cladding adds another benefit as it resists flaking, warping or swelling, as well as fire and damage from termites and moisture.

If you would like to read more about renovating or re-building your own home from scratch, read this blog post: Beyond Renovation - When to Consider a Knock Down Rebuild Project!

Till next time... what do you prefer? A romantic old brick building or a modern build with trendy cladding?

About Scyon
The Scyon™ brand is owned by James Hardie Technologies™ Ltd and was invented in the research and development facility at James Hardie Rosehill, NSW. Launched in 2006, Scyon products are made from sand, cement and cellulose. Scyon is manufactured at plants in Rosehill, NSW, Carole Park, QLD and Pernose in Auckland, New Zealand.
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