IN THE PRESS: For those who need less space
Convenience and comfort may be some enticing aspects for those wanting to downsize after looking after a large property.
Ross Squire Homes General Manager Steve Grehan said practicality, a good-sized master suite and a home which could accommodate family or friend gatherings should be sought-after in floor plans.
“Living and entertaining areas, including outdoor living areas, will be the most important to downsizers,” he said.
“Entertaining areas, including the kitchen, which is often at the centre of most gatherings, should be well connected and include sculleries and island benches.
“Outdoor alfrescos should have large opening doors, so it flows like an extension of the indoor entertaining area.” Mr Grehan said three-by-two designs were the most ideal for downsizers.
“Good zoning is very important, with clear separation of minor bedrooms from the master suite. This allows for good privacy for family or guests if staying,” he said.
“Downsizers can forgo separate theatre rooms, activity rooms and additional bedrooms.” Brian Burke Homes Group Managing Director Michael Burke said most of the company’s downsizer clients favoured a low-maintenance, lockand-leave home, with security being a high priority.
“Many of our clients have fences and gates along the front facade, with video doorbells and security cameras installed,” he said.
When it comes to how the property flows, Mr Burke said the floor plan should be designed around their specific needs, preferences and lifestyle, with some clients designing with zones in mind.
“They have a zone for their everyday living – master suite, study, lounge, dining, kitchen and alfresco – all designed to flow together,” he said. “Additional guest suites, bedrooms and bathrooms are often designed so they can be shut off when not in use.”
Downsizers should look to avoid more bedrooms and bathrooms than are necessary, and although stairs may be unavoidable for smaller blocks, a lift could fill the gap.
To future-proof the home, Mr Burke said to look for wider door openings and hallways for potential wheelchair access.
“Single-storey homes on larger blocks are very popular, giving the opportunity for stair-free access throughout the whole home,” Mr Burke said.
“Townhouses are also popular, with lifts installed to help with access into the future.
“The smaller footprints and courtyard gardens are generally low-maintenance and easy to lock and leave.” Mr Burke said outdoor/alfresco entertaining was very popular amongst downsizers, with operable louvre roofs to allow for a yearround indoor/outdoor entertaining option often being included in the company’s builds.
“The alfresco is often designed near the kitchen and internal living areas for easy access and functional flow,” he said.
“The traditional backyard is no longer relegated to the back. More designs are creating a U-shape to bring the outdoors and alfresco to the centre of the house, closer to the kitchen and living so it can be opened up and used as one space. This also has the added advantage of bringing more natural light into the centre of the home.”