Hottest house design trends, and a 1930’s cottage transformed

What do people want in a home today? What features will help a property sell and are a good idea to incorporate into renovations?

Everything’s bigger, brighter and more spacious because people are using their homes to display their wealth, according to Bernard Salt.

Speaking at the Property Council’s Illawarra Outlook conference in Wollongong last week, the demographer and social commentator compared the coveted home of 2017 to that from the 1950’s.

The land sizes may have shrunk but the house structure has grown with four-bedroom, two-bathroom homes taking over from the boxy three-bedroom, one-bathroom abodes.

ON TREND: A weatherboard period home transformed with indoor/outdoor entertaining, gourmet styled kitchen with stone bench tops and much coveted butlers pantry. This three-bedroom home will go to auction February 25.

ON TREND: A weatherboard period home transformed with indoor/outdoor entertaining, gourmet styled kitchen with stone bench tops and much coveted butlers pantry. This three-bedroom home will go to auction February 25.

“Guests are now entertained not in a front parlour but in the belly of the house in the kitchen and family room,” Mr Salt said.

“Guests walk down the hallway and the doors to the bedrooms are open which means … the pillowfication [meaning an abundance of pillows] of the bedroom.

“The purpose of this is to showcase wealth and prosperity.”

Real estate agents agreed kitchens were now the heart of the house with butler’s pantries much coveted.

While the melding of kitchens, dining rooms and outdoor living is on the rise with home entertaining a popular trend.

Trever Molenaar of McGrath Thirroul agreed trends to tempt homebuyers include a butler’s pantry and alfresco entertainment areas.

“Outdoor kitchens are a luxury but are well sought after,” Mr Molenaar said.

Darren Kay of Belle Property Wollongong said many homebuyers he’s dealing with class entertaining as a priority.

“The majority of buyers are seeking modern, open plan kitchen/dining/living areas leading to level rear yards with alfresco areas,” Mr Kay said.

“Generous master suites and walk in butler’s pantries are becoming more in favour.”

He also suggested a floorplan which is both functional and practical never goes out of style.

While those looking at apartments, Simon Kersten of Colliers International Wollongong said balconies with alfresco areas were a big drawcard, as were timber floors and smart home technology.

KITCHEN WITHIN A KITCHEN: The owners of 72 Willcatch Street Bulli have taken the humble abode of the 1930's and modernised it with trends of today, including a butler's pantry. Pictures: Ray White Thirroul

KITCHEN WITHIN A KITCHEN: The owners of 72 Willcatch Street Bulli have taken the humble abode of the 1930's and modernised it with trends of today, including a butler's pantry. Pictures: Ray White Thirroul

Technology was quickly becoming another must have, said Simon Beaufils of Ray White Helensburgh.

“There’s a desire and need for continued high quality internet – fast streaming TVs, computers, iPads,” Mr Beaufils said, “and high tech appliances.”

Mr Beaufils also believed “gone are the days” of carpet in living rooms as easy to maintain living areas were a big plus for buyers.

Along with the oversized pantry which is “completely on trend”, Vanessa Denison-Pender said other features that tick all the boxes include good kitchens, bathrooms, en-suites, second living areas, garaging and a “garden for the kids”.

Angie Ritchie from Zest Residential Shellhabour and Gerringong attested to buyers in her areas keen for homes with gardens which offered privacy and seclusion.

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