Our HBC build has reached a new milestone to document! My last update was at the end of July and within 9 short weeks our brickwork, plumbing, electrical and roof has been completed… As well as the float (grey cement render) and set (white plaster coat.) We’re seriously impressed, not only with the process but the whole team involved!! The build is quickly taking shape and resembling an actual home, so it got us thinking about what is left to finish after handover. We decided to make a list and start getting quotes for various things like landscaping and aggregate, built in cabinetry, window coverings, plus any furniture/ decor we want to buy new. We have decided to tackle the largest $ outlay first to ensure we give ourselves as much time as possible to save. As a result, landscaping is our first priority at the moment because we are not savvy gardeners but want to create and enjoy a beautiful outdoor space.
By making our house floor plan larger, we knew it would cut into our backyard space. We aren’t too phased though, because there is a large grassed area/ park being built a few houses down. Knowing our space is limited, I designed an outdoor area that flows on from our interior, maximises space and sunlight, is practical, functional and stylish. When I had finished some rough sketches, Paul and I contacted Landscapes WA and set up a meeting with Nic and Ryan to discuss our landscaping wants/needs. I have worked alongside their team for over 2 years now on all the current Homebuyers Centre Display Homes and am always impressed with their creations. We love our base concept and can’t wait to get started.
The look we want to achieve is a contemporary, urban style outdoor area. After looking at some products in person, I put the above textures together to form some initial inspiration. We love how they work together with the rest of our home, so they quickly became key elements in our landscape design.
- The cladding- The battens are consistent with our feature walls out the front and will be used in two areas of the backyard. To save floorspace we will have a large L shaped bench seat constructed in the same material, as well as a feature screen along part of the fence line. The spotted gum colouring works really well with our monochrome facade and the linear repetition will be fluent throughout the rest of the home and outdoor spaces.
- Magnolias- Their full foliage will provide a nice screen in front of the fence and create a nice backdrop to the bench seat. The colouring is also spot on with their brown undertone leaves and contrasting white flowers.
- Aggregate- We’re undecided on colour at the moment but we have narrowed the honed aggregate in the backyard down to two white Limecrete options. One has black and grey stones (Salt and Pepper.) Whereas, the other has green and grey- like the above image (Travertine.) For our driveway and front path, we are set on a very dark charcoal (almost black) exposed aggregate. It’s a bold choice but it will balance out the roof colour and contrast nicely against the painted render and garage. The maintenance factor of aggregate has sold us both because there are less joins for weeds to grow through in comparison to paving.
- Reclaimed/ recycled brick- We love the raw, organic texture of recycled brick and it is bang on the ‘urban’ style we are wanting to achieve. A planter box running along our fence line will house the magnolias, enhance the height and create a point of interest in front of the black fence. The various warm tones of the brick will help tie in the spotted gum battens and soften the black and white contrasting colour scheme. We will also be using this material in our front landscaping in the form of a letterbox/ low wall design.
- Black steel- The use of black is apparent throughout the landscaping and facade against white, timber and warm grey. Our roof, window frames, fence, open structure (yet to be drawn in on the design,) garden edging and some of the outdoor furniture will all be similar shades to Colorbond Monument. This ensures a continuous and harmonious flow throughout the outdoor areas.
Here’s how we maximised natural light in the drafting stage of our build to suit our home and it’s orientation. Majority of people choose to extend their alfresco longer to create a larger undercover area. We broke away from this concept knowing our space was limited and instead, chose to create a boxed recess ceiling over part of our alfresco. The roof ends at the middle pillar but you must be thinking why? Why on earth would you reduce it? First of all, it’s just our personal preference and other’s might think otherwise. It’s important you design your home based on what you and your family will use and enjoy. We both love the sun and don’t want to be lounging in complete shade. Our block faces east, so we get the northern sun down the side of the house all day. The sun then sets at the back of our home so if we kept the roof cover to the extent of the aggregate, hardly any of the open plan living (which includes the kitchen, living, dining, games room) would ever get direct sunlight because it’s covered predominantly by a large alfresco. Instead, we are having an open structure built by Landscapes WA (in addition to the alfresco) that allows the sunlight through and creates a second entertaining zone. This will ensure that the lounging area of the yard is light filled, as well as the games room which filters through to the rest of the open plan area. Our outdoor dining space will still be completely roof covered and we felt that this design made the most of Perth’s climate, the natural sunlight and the way we want to use our backyard.
We move in hopefully at the end of the year so outdoor furniture is also on the forefront of our mind so we can enjoy some warm, summer weather outside. We won’t need a sofa because of the large built-in bench, however we would still like 2x occasional chairs, a couple of side tables and an outdoor dining setting (for under the alfresco.) Quality outdoor furniture can cost a small fortune, so I thought it would be nice to share with you all, some mix and match pieces that I have recently saved. To keep costs down, I think we will choose a plain (somewhat affordable) dining table and invest more on quality chairs. In saying that, the $60.00 Bunnings rope dining chairs (further down) are surprisingly comfy!! All of the dining tables below, are priced as a 200cm or larger size- Pair it with a feature chair and you have a winning outdoor setting, that looks designer- for less.
Here are some chairs that caught my eye while scrolling through endless outdoor furniture websites. I also discovered that there are a lot of really affordable chairs, or a lot of really expensive chairs. There is little middle ground and the vast price difference purely comes down to material. The more expensive woven chairs will likely consist of an ecolene wicker and galvanised steel frame. Ecolene wicker is a polyethylene synthetic material which is made to withstand our harsh climate and weather conditions- including UV, heat, mould, sea and chlorine water. It is really durable, washable and even better, recyclable. They’re a true investment piece, whereas the cheaper alternatives will need replacing as they wear and tear.
And lastly, before this post get’s any longer, I threw together some monochrome side table options. I do love natural wood tones, but seeming as though the side tables will be next to our batten bench seat, the neutral colour on any of these will work better as an understated piece. I’m leaning towards #5 or #8 because I am drawn to the sharper/ clean lines for our style home. I also really like the nesting shapes of #3 and #4 (along with their price tag haha) so I think I’ll wait until we confirm the rest of the larger outdoor furniture… then I can match it to those selections.
|| 1. Leon Concrete Stool || 2. Kaia S/table Stool || 3. Lucas Side Table || 4. Lucas Coffee Table || 5. Hammer Stool || 6. Akoni Side Table || 7. Aksel Side table Set || 8. Livorno Round Side Table || 9. Etta Cream S/Table Stool||
Well, I am beyond excited with the progress of our home so far and I can’t wait to see where we are at within the next 8 weeks. I’ve been informed by HBC that the ceiling, cabinetry, basins, tapware, wastes and tiling are all happening within the next month! Eep! I know a lot of you are also building/ renovating/ redecorating so I hope this post has been a joy to read. If you have any questions or topics you want me to cover next, please feel free to comment below.
Have a lovely weekend and I’ll leave you with a few progress snapshots.
Homebuyers Centre WA has kindly sponsored this blog entry, based on my experience as their decorator and our own building journey. All thoughts, design work, styling and written content are my own.