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Open Plan, the Key to Aussie Dream Homes

When it comes to dream homes, Aussies have given open plan living the thumbs up, with more than a third saying the modern living style is a “must have”.
An online survey, commissioned by homebuilder Henley, shows 36 per cent of the 3000 respondents say they will not consider buying a house if it does not have a free-flowing modern design.

In fact, the architectural layout is so important it ranks higher than extra bathrooms (34 per cent) and a lavish alfresco or barbecue area (33 per cent), when it comes to essential elements in a home.
The feature at the top of Australian homebuyers’ wish lists is having three or more bedrooms (42 per cent), followed by a garage or carport (39 per cent).
Next comes the open plan design (36 per cent), a separate laundry (34 per cent) and extra bathrooms (34 per cent).
Malcolm Gunning, Real Estate Institute of Australia President, says open plan living is key and shares his observations as the Australian dream house undergoes a generational shift.
Jeff Bugeja, Henley National Design Manager, provides insights on why Australians are shunning closed-in living spaces and how family is influencing design. Neb Delibasic, Auctioneer for Del Real Estate in Melbourne, confirms modern plan is what buyers want.


Open plan living offers lifestyle benefits
The entertaining area is the heart of the home and Australians have overwhelmingly favoured a free-flowing space when it comes to their dream home and lifestyle living.

Jeff says, “Open plan is the most popular design. This very much suits the growing family and the entertaining style for Australians. Being able to sit in the kitchen or open the home up to the outdoor dining as well creates a certain feel. It is just a really relaxed way to live.”

Malcolm says, “The open plan is what is most desirable because you no longer have the rumpus room and TV room. It is what the family room used to be.” 
Neb adds, “Right now with the way the family structure is, people want an open plan design. It is more practical for entertainment. It is a big aspect for buyers, nobody likes closed spaces.”


Home sweet home

When it comes to the dream home individual and generational tastes may change, but space for the family remains a common theme. Jeff says, “The three bedrooms has always been around. It is enough space for the 2.5 standard family and when extra family and friends come to visit it is pretty important to be able to have space for them.

“Multiple toilets are definitely more popular, especially for parents having their own ensuite connected to the master bedroom. In our world of new builds all of our homes have an ensuite and in some cases there is a third toilet.”
The appeal of open plan living is undeniable and when it comes to building a dream home and it can be incorporated into any design on any block size.

Published by iBuildNew in association with Henley

Emily Felton

Following a degree in Marketing, Emily cut her teeth in the world of journalism, writing features for various national publications. Her particular areas of interest are sustainable housing, renovation and good old interior design.


iBuildNew is the market leading aggregator dedicated to residential home construction and land development. As an independent platform, iBuildNew helps Australians identify and compare new home designs, house and land packages and land estates. It’s the smart way home buyers, who are considering a new build, can find the ideal options to match their individual needs. Home building is a big decision, we make sure you get it right.

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