A GOOD SUBURB AND SCHOOL WERE A GREAT REASON TO BUILD NEW
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Purchasing an allotment with an existing olderstyle 1950s house on it, the couple decided to demolish the outdated single storey and build their first home with Fairmont Homes, modifying the two-storey Harrison, a slim design which perfectly suited their block shape.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.