It’s time to buck those (eye-roll) home trends that just aren’t trendy and instead move to add something to your home, that will actually add value.
That’s the message from Andrew Winter, star of TV shows Love It or List It and Selling Houses Australia as he sifts through the contemporary changes in modern home design.
The former real estate agent and Gold Logie nominee has been at the coalface of change in the property realm while filming the latest series of the Foxtel’s hit Love It or List It. And there are some trends out there he really likes, and well, there are some that he doesn’t.
This is what he believes will and what won’t add value to your home.
WHAT DOESN’T ADD VALUE
The butler’s pantry
“I’m not quite sure why, but the butler’s pantry has come into vogue,” Mr Winter said.
“It’s not market-led, it’s design-led. It’s a concept thing. It’s somewhere to put your dirty dishes, stack other things, to do your messy prep and keep things out of the way when are entertaining.”
However he feels the space could be put to better use.
“Do you really want to be hidden over there when you are entertaining or cooking for the family?” Mr Winter asks.
“Where there’s a lack of natural light, you can use that space instead for a second fridge or even overflow storage. That makes more sense.
“Or even open that area up for something that is aesthetically pleasing and useful.
“An alternative is the corner pantry, which is something we all had as kids but you don’t see anymore. They can be great for storage.”
The media room
Media rooms have traditionally been something of a mansion trophy room for those who could afford them. But like the butler’s pantry they too have crept into the property mainstream.
“Can we please just stop with the media room?” Mr Winter pleads.
“Unless you have a mansion, it’s not a good idea. It’s a dated feature and it doesn’t add value to your home. You’re better off having that living area or that second living room that can be put to better use.
“If you have toddlers they can play and all their toys can be stored there out of the way. Or if you have teenagers they can go there and be on their own, away from parents.”
Now for the renovations or refurbs that can add value to your home.
WHAT DOES ADD VALUE
These are not the skylights that you used to know — the ones that could fog up when it was cold or wet. The ones that might let the rain in during the bigger storms. The ones that could crack under rain, hail or shine.
No the modern sky light has ushered us into a whole new, perhaps Blade Runner-style of existence.
“The sky light was a feature in Australian homes from the ‘60s through to the ‘00s but the ones you can buy now are very different,” Mr Winter said.
“You can buy intelligent skylights now and also hybrids.”
The higher ceilings in modern properties, and technology, have opened up more possibilities for skylights. Intelligent skylights allow for both low and high angled light to be absorbed, that results in more light at any time of the day. Hybrids are ideal for situation where traditional skylights are impossible to install or not appropriate.
“These new skylights can light up dull areas and you can see the sky. We are starting to see it used a lot in design,” Mr Winter said.
A second ensuite
This is a design change or addition that can add to the quality of your lifestyle and/or put more money in your pocket.
“Designs are incorporating more four bedroom (homes) these days,” Mr Winter said.
“With the second bed with an ensuite that has access to the living area. It’s like a second master suite, you could have for a relative, a guest, even a lodger. It’s a self-contained space, it adds value to the home, and can give you an income. It can be lucrative. If you are renovating it adds great potential in lots of areas.
“In a coastal town for example, with holidays, it gives you options and again adds value to the home.”
Urbane principal and founder George Nikos, a seller’s agent who specialises in Sydney’s inner west, has seen first hand the impact updated bathrooms can have upon sales in metropolitan areas.
“Most people think it’s the kitchen that can add value to the home but in most cases it is the bathroom,” he said.
“A renovated bathroom, or a second bathroom, is one of the best ways to add value to a home. And these days there is so much you can do with a bathroom. It adds value but it can also help to create a better style of living for you and your family.”
“As an ex-Brit I am used to seeing three-storey houses and now we are starting to see more of it here in Australia,” Mr Winter said.
“If you are on a sub 400 sq m block and you don’t want to use the whole block, for example, it’s an option to go up, depending of course on zoning.
“And we’re seeing it in more in urban and central areas.”
Love It or List It airs on the Lifestyle Channel, and will be available to stream On Demand on Foxtel.