Loft the plot?
More and more people can’t afford to move and are making the most of what they have, writes Annie Reid
AVVY homeowners are taking the renovation route to fight the economic downturn and using clever tricks to transform wasted space at minimum cost.
Archicentre’s Robert Caulfield says building approvals for new houses have already dropped 35 per cent from a year ago as people drop plans to sell.
‘‘The financial turmoil of 2009 will see more Australians stay put and spend more money on renovating their homes,’’ he says.
‘‘In the past year, Archicentre’s design service has reported a substantial rise in renovations.’’
Andrew Piva, from B.E. Architecture, says successful renovating is all in the design.
‘‘You can fit a lot on a tight site if you plan carefully,’’ he says. ‘‘You have to be mindful of getting what you can and people need to make sure, if they’re paying to build or do a renovation, that they can sell it down the track.’’
Piva says people are going back to the ‘‘kitchen is the heart of the home’’ concept; giving up room in the open-plan living area and broadening the meals space to provide more mingling areas.
He also says correct furniture choices can affect the depth and size of a space.
In kitchens, it’s all about ‘‘hidden architecture’’. That means more drawers and fewer cupboards, with flush, self-closing doors with no handles, creating a seamless look.
Mere hanging space in the wardrobe is simply not good enough: now people want dressing room space, natural light, ‘‘his and hers’’ spaces, full-length mirrors and even separate shoe joinery.