Here’s how to design with culture in mind

 Here’s how to design with culture in mind

While homeowners and those with a penchant for interiors are likely to be familiar with Feng Shui energy principles, there are a wealth of other cultures that both impact and influence contemporary home design here in Australia.

A person’s individual interests, lifestyle and background play a large role when they design their dream home, both consciously or subconsciously – from initial floor plan design and materials, through to styling and the final touches.

Beyond personal taste, however, there are other factors that come into play when it comes to designing your dream home. Here, Grant Whinnett, from Porter Davis Homes shares some of the most common cultural trends and characteristics that are influencing the way Australian homes are built.

Intergenerational living

Catering for different family living arrangements is a key factor for many cultural groups. We often see that our Chinese and Indian clients wish to have a guest room with an ensuite on the ground floor for their relatives to stay or live in.

The modern family unit is evolving and intergenerational living, which is already popular in some cultures, is becoming more and more popular across the board. These intergenerational living arrangements offer more than just a chance to see family more often. From reduced financial pressures to the sharing of chores, Australian families are embracing this family centric approach.

When it comes to the creation of a downstairs extended bedroom area for elderly relatives, every family is different. Some may want a completely separate space with additional bathrooms and living areas to accompany the bedrooms, while others are happy with a simple ensuite.

A simple solution many families turn to is the addition of a shower to the ground powder room. This can transform a space into a small bathroom at a drastically reduced cost. This can even be created to have dual entries, creating easy access to the ground floor bathroom.

This creation of mini suite-style rooms allows family members at all stages of life to comfortably live together. And for those moments when you just need a little space to yourself, consider floor plans that offer separate nooks or spaces to relax in breakout with your favourite book or podcast.

A facade to suit your taste

Design elements will always vary with individual tastes, but we have noticed that a number of our Chinese clients will gravitate towards a brick or rendered home with classical European façade designs, such as the Manor façade displayed on the Mont Albert Grange 56Q at Arise. These façades create a grander looking frontage, further showcasing the focus this clientele have on perfecting the home, with less focus on creating outdoor living areas.

We find some of our customers from an Indian background will take design inspiration from their culture, opting for more of a resort design that’s highlighted with intricate patterns, darker timbers, deeper tones and dark marbling.

Traditional practices

Feng Shui is a widely regarded design practise that focuses on using energy forces to harmonise individuals with their surrounding environment. Feng Shui is taken into account in many of our home designs.

There are a number of ways that we alter our existing designs in line with Feng Shui energy principles. For example, designs where the staircase runs directly towards the front entry door have an option to block off the end of the staircase with an additional wall. This relates to the belief that the good energy will rush directly upstairs, bypassing the ground floor.

Other common design features that some clients avoid are mirrors  facing from the bottom of their beds, including mirrored wardrobe sliding doors. This stems from the idea that mirrors will bounce bad energy throughout the room and disrupt your relaxation.

Room orientation can also play a part in the initial floorplan make up. Some cultural groups prefer to have the kitchen facing the morning sun on an external wall. Many people prefer to position the master bedrooms at the rear of the home, allowing them to be hidden from main energy traffic throughout the house.

Our Chinese buyers prefer not to have the entry door directly visible to the rear of the home, as this allows all the good energy coming through the main door to easily escape through the back door without circulating and nourishing your home.