I’ve been holding my breath, afraid to say anything and jinx it before the finance was approved. But the official letter came through,–our summerhome is going to be built. Technically this is Jamie’s, but it’ll be our home and is being designed as such, and I thought it would be nice to record most things as we go.
With street names like Cuttlefish and Campground, the theme understandably is beach, not just for our house, but for the development area. Our property, a 420 square metre block, is located a few streets from the water, an easy walk, and near a park. While I’m sure it would be nice to go big house-wise, our biggest priority was choosing something we could pay off quickly, so we went with ‘cosy’. There is, afterall, just the two of us. Having a comfortable backyard since we spend a lot of time outdoors and since we have StellBells, was also important, so that’ll be 14 meters by 7meters at it’s narrowest, while one area dips to 9 meters, plus an alfresco area.
The actual house has a master bedroom adjusted for two walk-in robes, with an ensuite, two smaller bedrooms, a theatre (this is ‘Jamie’s room’), a guest bathroom, toilet (these are put in separate rooms here), laundry room, the main area has the kitchen, dining room and family room all as one and to finish it off, a garage which we plan to use as a workspace rather than parking our cars. I’ll be honest, being from Canada, I find the lack of attic or basement for storage a bit unnerving, but we’ll work on that issue somehow…
Like a lot of Perth, our place is being built in a development community, I think that’s the right term? Where you buy either land or a house and land package. And with it comes a whole list of design guidelines! Fortunately they pretty match up with the beach feel we want anyway.
Although for landscaping this is what they say. “A combination of native vegetation and drought resistant vegetation, suitable hardscape materials and lawn will be installed between the street and the front of the house.” If you saw some of the landscaping that a lot of places have… you’d die. Fortunately I went to a talk on edible landscaping which touched on native edible plants, so I’m actually really looking forward to doing all the research on this . Many native edible plant posts ahead, I’m sure.
Because of the process, you basically go through prestart, choose you’re pieces, sign off and sit back and wait till the house is done. You had lots of choice with your tiles and counters, but there were two choices for sinks. How much you can upgrade is limited based on the finance company you were going through, so our priority was choosing plugins (3 in the bedroom, one on either side of the bed etc. 1 in the kitchen cupboard so my handheld vacuum cleaner can charge, etc etc), junction boxes so we could bring someone in to do downlights later, tv points, adding an additional garden tap (plans for an outdoor shower since we’re so near a beach), additional tiling to the ensuite, making sure there was a place for a dishwasher. Yowsa. It helps when there’s two of you, especially when you each think about different things, but so glad Jamie has been through this before.
Summerhome House Colours
The design side of things is my favourite. We wanted something that would look light and open, and wouldn’t date, and then we’d add in accessories that would give it the feel of ‘beach’ later. So our bathroom tiles are all white, with splashbacks in the kitchen and bathroom a slightly textured streaked grey, and the bathroom floor tiles a light colour, but not white. Meanwhile the cupboards are gloss white, since we had no choice but to go with a modern straight door, rather than a classic style. We’ll see how it looks, but I’d love for the house to have a more classic feel to it, so may find a way to change the doors over once we move in. Then again I may see it and think it fits perfectly.
In the main area, kitchen, family room and dining room, the splashback stays in the kitchen but we chose large light-medium grey tiles. Jamie had his heart set on it and I can see it working gorgeous with light coloured furniture.
Because of the design guidelines there weren’t many choices for the exterior, but they all matched what what we wanted anyway. The roof is colourbond (once upon a time I used to cringe, very Aussie outback, but put it on a beach style home and it suits it perfectly) in Surfmist.
For the external walls, the house is rendered just on the front and brick around the rest of the house which they seem to be doing with all the new houses. But the house colour is pretty, light but slightly grey to hide dirt. There’s a small feature wall at the front of the house, which is in the dark colour.
And to finish off the choices we had, these are the pavers for the driveway. It’ll help keep it light looking.