Big, small, wide or narrow – the size of your block of land should never deter you from creating your dream family home. Many Australian homeowners are turning to smaller blocks of land to downsize, to save money, and to fulfil their dream of building a manageably sized modern home. While some may see building on a narrow block of land a challenge, it actually gives you the freedom to explore innovative home designs and to think outside the box.
If you’re ready to get your creative juices flowing, here are some simple rules for creating the modern look on a narrow block of land.
The biggest priority when building on a narrow block of land (a block with a frontage of less than 13 metres) is creating the illusion of size to help the home look and feel larger than what it is. To combat this dilemma, many homeowners may cram as many rooms into their home as possible to create a false sense of space, when in reality fewer rooms equal more room. Instead of building four small bedrooms on one level, can you add a second storey with two decent-sized bedrooms? If you don’t have room to build up, can you create an open-planned kitchen and eating area and remove the formal dining room?
Regardless of how small your interior rooms are, if you have high ceilings then the space will look and feel larger thanks to increased vertical space. If you’re keen to create more vertical space and the illusion of grandeur from the exterior, an angled roof pitch is the way to go. What’s more, higher ceilings make way for an abundance of natural light, which is essential to creating the impression of space in a smaller home. To keep in line with a modern home design, explore skillion (also known as lean-to), gable, and cross-hipped roofing designs.
Many homeowners may shy away from vivid colours and textured materials when building on a narrow block as they assume that these intense elements will detract from the potential of more space when the opposite is actually true. Contrasting colours and textures not only create a modern look in a home but also add visual weight to a space by drawing the eyes more seamlessly. Add visual weight to the exterior of your home with textured weatherboard, cladding and dark accents. Linea™ Weatherboard is a timeless exterior treatment and works brilliantly when complemented with dark coloured accents on front doors, garage doors and window frames. For something ultra-modern, Axon™ Cladding is a vertical cement composite cladding that can add visual height to your exterior.
Eye-catching corner designs are another way to add visual weight to the exterior of your home to create the illusion of more space. Better still, sleek geometric designs are highly favourable if you’re adopting a modern home design. If you’re looking for a way to add a contemporary look, contrasting colours, texture, and geometric designs to the exterior of your home, a cement composite cladding material such as Matrix™ Cladding by ticks all four boxes. The Matrix panel profile with defined 10mm joints is designed specifically for those looking for a simple treatment but one that will make your home look like it’s been architecturally designed.
Small touches will make big impacts when it comes to window designs in a small home. Remember that you’re trying to add as much natural light as possible while still trying to keep in line with contemporary design, so aim for large windows with sleek accents. Panelled windows are a great way to bring in natural light and scream contemporary living. Angled windows are another great design in contemporary homes and are particularly useful when your boundary space is at a premium. Whichever window designs you choose, make sure that you think carefully about how these will tie in with your exterior treatments, as there’s great potential to marry all the contrasting accents and textural elements beautifully.