Build jour­ney


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Aes­thet­ics are an im­por­tant factor when build­ing your dream home, you want a de­sign that will not only com­ple­ment your lifestyle but will also look mod­ern for years to come.

For cou­ple So­phie and Fann Huo, the vis­ual ap­peal of their home was al­ways go­ing to be im­por­tant, but func­tion­al­ity was the big­gest draw­card.

As a for­mer ar­chi­tect and now full­time mum, So­phie wanted a spa­cious home that was aes­thet­i­cally con­tem­po­rary but highly prac­ti­cal for her fam­ily, with all the mod­ern must-have ex­tras.

“Liv­ing with my hus­band, 10-year-old son James and six-year-old daugh­ter Leonie, the first pri­or­ity for us was func­tion­al­ity and prac­ti­cal­ity, then style and charm,” she says.

The fam­ily chose to buy a 673sqm block in the east­ern sub­urbs, plac­ing them closer to work and within the zone for sought-af­ter pub­lic schools such as Mar­ry­atville High School.

“The main rea­son was my hus­band was chang­ing his job and the highly rep­utable pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion in the east­ern sub­urbs,” So­phie says.

“We were also at­tracted by the park op­po­site to our house, when we first vis­ited the site it was so leafy and quiet.”

Pur­chas­ing an al­lot­ment with an ex­ist­ing old­er­style 1950s house on it, the cou­ple de­cided to de­mol­ish the out­dated sin­gle storey and build their first home with Fair­mont Homes, mod­i­fy­ing the two-storey Har­ri­son, a slim de­sign which per­fectly suited their block shape.

Their mod­i­fied Har­ri­son de­sign gives the fam­ily four bed­rooms, two bath­rooms and a games room on the up­per level, and the main liv­ing on the ground level, where there is the con­ve­nience of a pow­der room (with third shower), sep­a­rate laun­dry and un­der­stair stor­age.

Up­stairs the mas­ter bed­room is a point of lux­ury, open­ing via dou­ble doors off the games room, with a long walk-in wardrobe on one side of the room and a spa­cious en­suite on the other. A bal­cony fac­ing the street is an­other added lux­ury.

“The de­sign makes the fam­ily liv­ing have clear func­tion zones, the down­stairs is more like a liv­ing area and the up­stairs is more of a quiet and pri­vate area,” So­phie says.

On the ground level, a dou­ble garage (with rear door ac­cess) and a home the­atre come off the home’s en­try at the front, and past the stairs the de­sign opens up to a large space com­bin­ing the fam­ily liv­ing, din­ing and kitchen.

Look­ing out to a side-fac­ing gar­den, this com­bined liv­ing also opens to a large, pri­vate un­der­cover al­fresco at the rear where So­phie has added a fully-equipped out­door kitchen. It also has di­rect ac­cess to the in­door kitchen for a smooth tran­si­tion when en­ter­tain­ing.

A walk-in pantry at the other end al­lows So­phie to have clean spa­cious bench­tops and keep the kitchen as a show­piece of the home.

“We chose Fair­mont Homes mostly be­cause the sales con­sul­tant was so pro­fes­sional and help­ful, he helped us think up a lot of de­tails we didn’t even no­tice.”

The flex­i­bil­ity given by Fair­mont Homes al­lowed the fam­ily to make up­grades to the de­sign, which were es­sen­tial in mak­ing it feel homely and per­son­alised.

“We up­graded the stairs to a Hamp­ton style, we chose mer­bau hard­wood be­cause the tim­ber’s nat­u­ral tex­ture is just so gor­geous, it re­ally makes the house have a homely feeling for us,” So­phie says.

“An­other up­grade was the slid­ing doors in the liv­ing and din­ing area, and the ad­di­tion of black colo­nial bars on win­dows and doors, mak­ing the space more mod­ern, and also putting per­son­al­ity and charm into the room.”

Choos­ing to build a two-storey 11.5m-wide de­sign on their tra­di­tional-size block al­lowed for plenty of out­door space to land­scape and also the large al­fresco, an im­por­tant area for en­ter­tain­ing and fam­ily time.

“I de­signed the land­scap­ing and had Bet­ter Brick­work and Land­scap­ing help us to make it hap­pen. We now have a wa­ter fea­ture, lawn, gar­den beds and trees,” So­phie says.

“We use our out­door area quite of­ten, every day al­most, we use it for din­ing, gar­den­ing, play­ing, read­ing books and re­lax­ing.”

The fresh con­tem­po­rary aes­thetic can be seen through­out the house and also on the home’s fa­cade and ex­te­rior, which has been rendered in white from front to back, ac­cented with black­framed win­dows and trims, while tim­ber-style garage doors add warmth to the streetscap­e.

“The fa­cade is ex­actly my per­sonal style, I still remember (Swiss-French ar­chi­tect) Le Cor­bus­ier’s words ‘less is more’. I truly be­lieve the rule,” she says.

“I chose black and white as the main colours for the fa­cade as a strong con­trast and in­tro­duced tim­ber garage doors to bal­ance the cool­ness, of­fer­ing some warm feeling for the whole house.”

The per­fect bal­ance be­tween func­tion­al­ity and vis­ual at­trac­tive­ness, Fair­mont Homes worked along­side the Huo fam­ily to cre­ate a home that is every part stylish as it is a fam­ily oa­sis.

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