This home comes with a workshop
Renovating a home before you move in certainly has its benefits. We did this in our current home and, with a young family in tow, I was extremely grateful not to have to live around the guttered kitchen and bathroom, gyprock dust and the early morning start of tradies.
But not having first lived in the home did have its drawbacks. Had we spent some time getting to know the space within its walls – and how we wanted to use it – we might have done things differently. Perhaps extended the garage just a little bit more to allow more room for storage shelves, or reconfigured the layout of our home office so that the glare from the windows doesn’t detract when we’re working at the computer…
Sure, they’re just minor details but they can add so much to the overall enjoyment of a home.
It’s this attention to detail that features strongly in Hickinbotham’s Belmont Alfresco, a spacious single-storey home designed to suit large families with four bedrooms, two bathrooms and three living areas. The design is showcased at Woodbridge estate, Angle Vale, in the northern suburbs.
First there’s the little things. Like the double undermount sinks and handle-free overhead cabinetry in the kitchen to give a clean, sleek look. Or the decision to stop the shelving in the spacious pantry well before the lofty 2.7m ceiling, which means there’s plenty of room up-high to store the items that never fit on regular pantry shelving, such as the picnic basket that gets pulled out once a year and the oversized soup tureen that you never use but can’t bear to part with!
At home with Sarah Hall
Executive two-storey townhouse living
But then there’s the bigger things that really make a difference to how you use your home – a powder room off the front entry so that guests don’t have to endure the mess of bath toys on the floor and toothpaste in the sink of the family bathroom, a workshop for the home handyperson to store their tools without cluttering up the garage (I wish I had thought of this during my home renos) and a bathtub in the ensuite so you can enjoy a soak in privacy, away from the rest of the family.
Then there’s the helpful features such as the sizeable pantry and the fact the garage has an entry door directly to it, which is just what you want on grocery day.
Hickinbotham’s design director Ruth Vagnarelli says the Belmont Alfresco design is the perfect blend of luxury and practicality.
“It is a design for large families who want plenty of room to spread out but also beautiful spaces to congregate in,’’ Ruth says.
There certainly is plenty of space, in fact 301.45sqm total size. This design boasts generous living areas, starting at the front of the home with a room that Ruth says could easily double as a home theatre or parents’ retreat.
The entry then leads to the enormous main living area (past the powder room), which consists of a practical, L-shaped kitchen with island bench and meals, family and games zones.
Even with such a vast floorplan, the large windows provide plenty of natural light into the home, particularly in the kitchen, and two sets of sliding doors give easy access to the undercover alfresco at the side of the home and to the rest of the backyard from the games room.
On display, you’ll find the 2.7m ceilings extend the space, and especially in larger homes, having this extra height is a good choice to ensure a home doesn’t feel closed in or too low for larger living spaces.
The Belmont Alfresco boasts four bedrooms. Each of the minor bedrooms include built-in wardrobes as standard and are serviced by a three-way bathroom. An adjacent laundry has a simple, long layout.
If you can drag yourself away from the tub and double vanity in the ensuite, the rest of the master bedroom includes a three-sided his-and-hers walk-in robe and – possibly my favourite feature – magnificent, corner windows, providing near 180-degree views of the front garden. These windows are an optional upgrade but I think they are well worth it if the budget allows.
Not even the decor has been overlooked in this thoughtfully planned display, with an American Tribal-inspired theme, complete with leather elements, timber and textured fabrics, that carries through the entire home, offering a contemporary – yet family friendly – look.
“The Belmont’s interiors are a successful marriage of warm, neutral tones paired with darker, urban finishes for a style that is both modern and inviting,’’ Ruth says.
“In the bedrooms and home theatre, a softer palette of materials ensures the spaces are calm and perfect to retreat to.
“While in high traffic areas, such as the kitchen and laundry, a more moody palette of dark cabinetry and flooring creates a scheme that is edgy and hard-wearing.
“The kitchen features the warmth of dark timber, which is contrasted against the cool white stone (of the benchtops) and glass.’’
I’ll admit, I love the details included in this home but it is worth remembering that many of them, including the tapware, Essastone benchtops, cornices, front windows and internal doors are upgrade options and will add to the starting $154,800 price tag.
But as Ruth says, it will always be cheaper to include upgrades from the beginning of a build, rather than adding them afterwards or retro-fitting them a few years down the track.
And if you can afford them upfront, I doubt you will be left wondering if there is anything else you could ever need.