Two-storey homes can be great for children to roam around in and even on small blocks they will create a spacious home. Just take a look at Fairmont Homes’ stylish Dunstan design.
Over the years, as a child, my family lived in a couple of different two-storey homes. I loved both of them. Especially as teenagers, that extra level of space gave my sister and I plenty of room to roam around in, or should I re-phrase that – gave my parents somewhere to tune out to our adolescent behaviours. I’m sure it did wonders for everyone’s sanity, too.
Two-storey homes were quite common where I grew up and house blocks seemed much larger back then so there was never any worry of being overlooked or seeing into the neighbours’ houses.
Today’s shrinking blocks, however, don’t always lend themselves well to double storey homes — unless they are done right, and by that I mean they offer both space and privacy.
One that does is Fairmont Homes’ Dunstan two-storey design. It will fit on a mere 300sqm block that’s 10m wide and 30m deep.
And while that may not sound like much outdoor area, visit the Dunstan display at Devon St, Enfield, and you’ll find there’s a large alfresco out back, a neat and tidy garden, plus a side courtyard halfway along.
This three-bedroom, two-bathroom design won’t overlook neighbours either, thanks to a clever floorplan which is wider on the lower level, and slimmer at the top with clever placement of windows to maintain everyone’s dignity and privacy, both yours and your neighbours.
And on those occasional days when teens and parents need time out from each other, the Dunstan’s two living zones, one on each level, will keep everyone happy.
The upstairs, undoubtedly, will be the children/teen domain with two bedrooms at either end, a snug lounge in the middle and the main bathroom (bath and large shower) set out in a long layout.
If older kids are in residence, then the option of carpet on the stairs, as shown, is probably a good idea, especially if you know teens will be thudding up and down the stairs at all hours of the day and night.
Downstairs, meanwhile, will be the living zone everyone congregates in on a daily basis, but once the kids go upstairs to watch a movie or go to bed, adults can keep the lower level for themselves as the master bedroom suite sits at the front of the lower level.
Fairmont Homes’ sales manager Graeme Baird says the Dunstan design is “beautiful stylish simplicity… in this design every room exudes space and light”.
“Everything a couple desires is located in comfort on the lower level,” he says, so this home would also suit young professionals looking for a large prestige home for a narrow allotment.
When it’s time to have a family, the Dunstan will be ready to cater to the needs of children.
“You have the practicality of two additional bedrooms / living and storage hidden upstairs.
“Upstairs could equally be a teenagers’ retreat with generous bedrooms and the upper living room.
“Equally, it is suited to more mature age clients, such as grandparents, who wants to achieve style and space while moving to a smaller allotment.”
Practically, smaller blocks mean homes need to be smarter in layout to maximise as much outdoor space as possible, and one thing that is extremely well integrated through the design is storage. There’s an abundance of it – from every bedroom to living zones to the laundry and kitchen.
I love it when the storage is so well integrated that you hardly notice it at first and doesn’t impact a room’s dimensions, but rather the layout is effectively worked around it, like the series of tall cupboards on the upstairs landing.
“Simplicity is often the key to creating the illusion of space and size,” Graeme says.
“Create rooms and areas that flow and position doors and windows well to capitalise on natural light but also to benefit furniture placement.”
Downstairs, the open plan living/dining/kitchen also includes storage fabulously well, and while this may be a specced up display home – I was delighted to see the full-height living room cabinetry running along the lounge wall. It showcases how you can add a huge amount of storage, even when you may not think there’s space for it, and it certainly doesn’t impact the proportions of this open plan zone.
While I’ve left it until last, the pristine white kitchen has to be a highlight of the Dunstan display. A multitude of benchtops greet you as you walk into the space: a high breakfast bar with seating to the right overlooks a side courtyard, which is accessed via the sliding doors next to it.
A clean wide island bench is at the heart of the kitchen, with a cook zone and fridge behind it, while on the far side, another benchtop houses a double sink, a bank of upper and lower cupboards and a window splashback. From the kitchen, you have views out to three sides of your block simultaneously.
But wait, there’s more. Walk past the sink and head into the very generous walk-in pantry where there’s another bench, provision for the microwave and a stack of shelves. Inside, push open a smallish door and you’ll find there’s an under-stairs storage room, perfect in my mind to keep as a cellar.
“They say a house is all about the kitchen… well, the Dunstan is an example of just that,” Graeme says. “It overlooks the main living area as well as a central courtyard; this kitchen is designed to be the hub of the house whether it is being used as a work area or just family gatherings.”
Other pluses in the Dunstan include a third toilet/powder room near the laundry, a further wall of storage in the laundry and a rear roller door to the back of the garage, which is always a major benefit on narrow blocks.
“As land prices rise, allotments are getting smaller,” Graeme says.
“Larger allotments are rare to find; often are price restrictive with clients having to sacrifice the quality of their build due to budget restraints.
“Two-storey designs such as the Dunstan allow clients the opportunity to explore cheaper land options while still attaining what is really important, a beautiful large home that offers lifestyle and comfort.”
And you can’t forget how much fun a two-storey home can be for children… I’m sure yours will love it as much as I did.