Out with the media room, in with the butler’s pantry.
It doesn’t seem so long ago that every new build and renovation needed a dedicated media room or home theatre. From a luxury item, the media room became common even in mid-range new builds around the country. Today however, it rarely features. The proliferation of individual entertainment devices, home sound systems and high tech headphones means there’s no need for a dedicated room: the family couch does the job.
As the way we live changes, the expectations we have of our homes change alongside. That means rooms that may not have existed twenty years ago are becoming the norm in today’s modern homes.
If you’re building, planning a renovation or buying a house with a view to selling it on, it’s important to know the latest in building trends. Adding these spaces to your home now will make it far easier to sell when the time comes, and provide you with the very latest in creature comforts in the meantime.
1. Butler’s pantries
Open plan layouts have been around for several decades, and they’re not going away any time soon. Once upon a time, the formal lounge or parlour was strictly for entertaining visitors, with the mess and chaos of family life relegated to the back of the house. Today, we entertain in our open plan spaces, which combine kitchen, dining room and family room in one.
This arrangement has a lot of advantages, not least the ability to whip up some canapés without leaving your guests. However, more and more people want the ability to showcase their ‘entertainer’s kitchen’ without the dishes and clutter that can accumulate.
The solution? A butler’s pantry, where dirty dishes, groceries and unwieldily equipment can be stored out of the line of sight of your guests. Your kitchen remains sleek and uncluttered so you can entertain in style.
2. Master en suites
An en suite bathroom for the main bedroom is such a must-have that some buyers consider it a deal breaker. And since the person making the buying decision is almost always the one who’ll inhabit the main bedroom, it’s a good idea to add one in where you can.
Whether it’s another reaction to our open plan living spaces, or simply a desire for privacy at the end of a busy day, master bedrooms have turned into personal retreats. An en suite bathroom allows you to hop straight into the shower in the morning, or emerge from a luxurious bath and lose yourself in slumber. And because your en suite isn’t available to guests, you can be a little more personal with the products and decor on display, making it a truly intimate space.
If you really don’t have the space for more than one bathroom, consider a layout which allows a second private door from the family bathroom to the master bedroom. Once the kids are in bed, who’s to know the difference?
3. Walk in wardrobes
That private master suite isn’t complete without a walk in wardrobe as well as the bathroom. Clear away clutter and add a sense of luxury with a room dedicated to your clothes, accessories and shoes. With more space to play with, your walk in robe doubles as a dressing room with mirror and flattering lighting that will help you start the day feeling great.
The walk in wardrobe is an increasingly common feature in master suites, but an even more recent trend is the walk through robe. This design gives you the same amount of storage, but puts the en suite bathroom slightly further away from your sleeping spot for even more privacy.
Any discussion about a new build has to encompass the issue of storage. Less glamorous than display rooms, adequate storage is a must in the modern era. Open plan entertaining means we need somewhere to whisk away those stray belongings. Since we own more than ever before, that’s no easy feat.
One storage feature that didn’t exist a decade ago is a dedicated spot to store and charge electronics. With everything from your watch to your telephone needing to be charged regularly, you need a charging station that can hide all those loose cords out of sight. Some designers are creating a specialised cabinet with multiple outlets to hold the family’s devices overnight, and this is a trend that’s sure to grow in importance.
The surge in popularity for cooking shows has also seen the home kitchen bristle with specialised equipment including mixers, juicers, pressure cookers amongst others. If you don’t have the space for a butler’s pantry, you should at least include enough storage space for these unwieldy pieces. As they often don’t fit in a standard cupboard, bespoke storage is the way to go.
Of course, the point of building your own home is to create the perfect space for your family’s needs. But if you think you might move on one day, talk to your builder about the trends they’re seeing. They might have ideas that haven’t yet occurred to you and be able to help build that dream space after all.