Modern luxury dual occupancy home walking down hallway to kitchen and stair

What You Need To Know For A New Build On A Narrow Site

Modern luxury dual occupancy home walking down hallway to kitchen and stair

What You Need To Know For A New Build On A Narrow Site

As our metropolitan areas fill up, free land is becoming scarcer, and as a result, lot sizes are shrinking. Narrow block homes are typically between 5 to 10 metres wide and are often located in the inner city. Narrow home design is not easy. Often these blocks require specific architectural skills, knowledge, and expertise to be able to maximise their potential when building the perfect home for you. Building a home for one of these tight spaces requires thought, careful planning and great design to overcome the challenges presented by size and room requirements, light limitations, poor orientation, car accommodation, and storage requirements. 

Here is everything you need to know if you are thinking of building a new home on a narrow site.

You’ll need to get creative with space

While narrow blocks usually come with plenty of location appeal and charm, there’s one thing they don’t come with much of – space. When building on a narrow block, you’ll need to make the most of the space you have available with good design. 

How many of the rooms you are planning for the home to you truly need? Get smart with your floorplan by creating multipurpose rooms, rather than separate areas for things like living, dining, or study. For example, living and dining areas can be combined, and a dedicated office can be swapped for a study nook somewhere in a quiet area of the house. With design prowess, you can separate these zones visually with carefully placed rugs, plants, furniture, shelving or room dividers. 

Storage is critical in narrow home design. You’ll need to make sure that your home is making the best use of every spare inch of space it has available. You’ll need to think beyond built-in wardrobes, and plan to incorporate storage understairs, and concealed in ceilings. Multi-functional furniture that includes storage functions is a great way to add more storage into your narrow home. These include ottomans, coffee tables, and beds with drawers – make use of every nook and cranny available!

Height is critical for making your narrow home feel bigger, not smaller. The standard height of ceilings is usually 2,550 mm, but some people choose up to three meters. While increasing the height of your ceilings can add additional costs, homes with higher ceilings are said to sell at better prices when compared to similar homes with standard ceiling heights. Consider using higher ceilings in living spaces used by many occupants, and lower ceiling to bedroom zones typically located on upper levels.

Narrow block homes are generally multi-storey, which can pose challenges for less mobile occupants. If stairs are going to be an issue, consider including a bedroom and bathroom onto the ground floor for easy access. If mobility isn’t an issue and stairs are required, have you selected a location which will not impact on the flow of the home?

Orientation and light

Two of the biggest considerations when building a narrow site home are orientation and light. Lighting a narrow home is more challenging than lighting a traditional home and requires a little more creativity. 

Orientation has a critical role to play in how much natural light you capture in your home. To make the most of the sun for warmth and natural light, try to position the main living spaces to the north. Access to northern light may be restricted by a party wall, or due to limited space between dwellings. This is where skylights, courtyards and light wells can help.

Consider adding skylights or roof windows where possible to open the roof up to the sky. This creates a lovely expansive feeling and adds a sense of luxury to the home.

For rooms located in the centre of the home, light wells are great for spaces which would traditionally have no outward-facing windows. Staircases with open tread and glass balustrade allow light to filter through to the ground floor effectively. Read more about how to maximise light in narrow block homes.

Taking In The View

Views – often a rarity in narrow block homes, can significantly raise the value of your home. It’s worthwhile exploring how you can capture any views you might have available. Many narrow block homes are near the city, and a slight reorientation or height increase to the home could result in million-dollar views.

You can get creative here – think beyond windows. You may want to invest in a rooftop deck. American real estate agents believe that incorporating a rooftop deck to a home can increase the value by 6-8%.

Space For A Car

Off-street parking is a rare commodity in the inner city and can add thousands to the value of your home. In Sydney’s CBD and parts of the eastern suburbs, garages can add up to $150,000 to the value of a home. Inner-city homes in Melbourne with off-street car spots can add up to $70,000 to the price of a home – well worth the investment.

Incorporating car accommodation to the floor plan of your home often requires some compromise based on the size of your block, but it’s not impossible. It requires some creativity and intelligent design. Consider exploring a tandem garage (a two-car garage where cars can park one in front of the other), or carport which has space designated for storage. 

For inspiration on you can incorporate a carport in your narrow block home take a look at the home we created in Hawthorn.

How neighbours can impact your narrow block home

Neighbours can have a big impact on elements of your home, and this is especially relevant to narrow block homes. Neighbours can guide your window selection, landscaping plans, and if you have shared walls – your build.

A party wall (also referred to as a partiwall), is one that is shared between two or more residents of individual dwellings. If you require a party wall in your residence, you will need to make sure it complies with Australian building regulations – meeting the minimum thickness and insulation requirements. Unfortunately, party walls often cause problems between neighbours. Even if you are the sole owner of the wall, you are restricted from commencing any work or renovations on the wall without first getting the consent of your neighbours. You can read more about your rights and responsibilities here.

Sound transfer between party walls is something you need to consider in the planning stage of your build. You will need to insulate your walls to minimise the sound transfer between dwellings and follow some good design practices such as; placing quiet areas in areas adjacent to quiet areas in adjoining dwellings or using acoustic grade insulation in sound-rated walls and ceiling cavities. More on this here.

Good lighting will make or break a narrow block home. They’re essential to opening up spaces and giving homes a sense of space. There is, however, one caveat – not all walls are suitable for windows. Make sure you consider the room’s purpose and whether you’re opening up the space for your neighbours to see. After all, sometimes you need your privacy.

Finally, make sure you identify any trees or services located on your neighbour’s site that may be impacted or impede your plans. You have the right to trim back any branches or greenery that enter your property (at your own cost) which is known as the ‘right of abatement’. Be sure to take care when you are trimming back any neighbour owned trees – you will be liable for any damages. If you are based in Victoria, you can find out more about your rights here.

Hidden costs of building on a narrow block

Unfortunately, the complexities that come with narrow block homes, make them more expensive to build. The lack of storage on-site means that all building materials will need to be delivered just in time can which can add additional transportation costs. Additional cost drivers include the premium added working in confined spaces, site access limitations, and the custom material required for the shape of your narrow block home.

While they come with complexities, a narrow block home when thoughtfully designed, can capitalise on the natural features of your block. 

At Destination Living, we create bespoke home designs for you. Our designs work with the land, your brief and budget, and champion the elements of your narrow block site. We have continuously perfected our processes working with narrow blocks over the last 20 years to ensure we can design and deliver the very best home for you. Find out more about Destination Living’s approach to building on a narrow block.


The best approach for designing and building sloping block homes

The best approach for designing and building sloping block homes

Over the past 20 years, we have continued to perfect our processes for working with sloping blocks so we can design and deliver the very best home for each sloping site. We collaborate with you throughout the pre-design process to ensure we create a home perfect for you, your site and your lifestyle. Our approach is one of informed pre-design – only once we’ve gotten to know you and have gathered all the information about your sloping site do we begin the design work; ensuring your home meets the brief, suits the site, and falls within your budget. 

Continue reading to find out more about the Destination Living approach, and to see if this option is right for you when creating sloping block house designs.

Advantages of the Destination Living’s approach for sloping block house designs

1. Feasibility assessment

Sloping blocks can be rife with challenges and unexpected complexities, so we undertake extensive feasibility assessments before we design. We know all about your site – from council and authority constraints, to the impact of trees and neighbouring properties. Taking some time at the start of a project to adequately research the site will help you avoid a redesign and surprises in construction (therefore saving you time and money).

2. Tailored to your site

At Destination Living we never use set plans; instead each design is individually created for your sloping site. This means your home will take full advantage of the elevation, views, natural light and landscape of your site. 

3. Extensive briefing process

Our thorough briefing process is what makes our approach so successful. We take the time to understand how you want to live, what’s important to you, what you like, and how this aligns with your budget before we put pen to paper.

4. Making the most of your block

As part of our feasibility process we get to know your block from above. We use drones to set viewpoints on your block and identify everything that your site has to offer. The best way to find the nicest views on your block, is to fly up and see for yourself!


5. Built for you

We ensure that the design and build process is a collaborative one. We get to know you, what you need and what you love so we can create a home tailored for you and your budget. Not only that, we do our research on your site to ensure the plan is ideally suited for you. 

6. Bright living spaces

Natural Light is one of the most critical elements of good home design. It helps create the mood, ambience, as well as lifting the overall aesthetic of a home. Unlike set plan homes, our homes are designed to maximise the availability of natural light, and our living spaces always have northern light even if the orientation doesn’t facilitate it.

7. Collaboration

Our approach is a highly collaborative one, as we know how effective it is to work together and not in silos. You will work with three key stakeholders from the start to the end – the architect, interior designer and builder. To prevent heartache, we price along the way to ensure you are aware of the costs as you move through the design phase.

8. Immersive virtual reality

We use 3D design work and immersive virtual reality to bring your home design to life, meaning you can open the door and submerge yourself in your new living spaces. This allows you to experience the design, see how the light fills a room, and feel the flow of the plan. Not sure if the scale of the island bench is going to work for your new kitchen? You can use our VR experience to stand behind your island bench and survey the space as though you are in it.


The Destination Living approach to building on a sloping block is best suited to homeowners who want to make the most of their investment. Our approach of informed pre-design means an extensive and rigorous analysis of your site to uncover and assess your site’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats before we start designing.

We create bespoke home designs tailored to you, your lifestyle and your budget. Our designs maximise the natural features of your site to make the most of the views, the landscape and the natural light. Find out more about building on a sloping site


The ‘quick concept approach’ for creating sloping block house designs

The quick concept approach is the building industry’s equivalent totry-before-you-buy’, and is often preferred by architects, custom builders and building designers. The designer will quickly draw you a concept for little to no cost to see how you like it. 

This approach to creating sloping block house designs may seem like a bargain… however, keep in mind heavy discounts on price do come at a cost.

Building on a sloping block – the pros and cons of using the ‘quick concept approach’

Sloping block homes which follow a quick concept approach can deliver plans with plenty of design flair, maximise natural site features and offer a customisable approach to design. However, the reality is that often the designs aren’t feasible and plans usually need redesigning, as there wasn’t adequate time to understand and work with the complexities of the site. Cheap home design, lack of design personalisation, and lack of collaboration between designers and builders could eventuate to a budget blowout.

Read below to find out if the quick concept approach is right for you when creating sloping block house designs.

The advantages of using the ‘quick concept approach’ when designing and building on a sloping block

1. Design flair

One of the most attractive advantages to taking the quick concept approach of designing your sloping block home is that your custom builder/architect is likely going to demonstrate more exceptional design flair than homes using the pre-set plan approach. This is done to woo you and your business. It’s an aggressive (and powerful strategy) which can ultimately come at a cost.

2. Maximising the natural site features

Quick concept designs are more likely to make good use of beautiful sloping site features, like elevation, views, and natural light. Unlike a pre-set plan, your architect or custom builder has the flexibility to consider the features of the site and design to suit. Views are considered and assigned to the most suitable living spaces, natural light sources are used to enhance the mood of the home, and the floor plan is designed to best suit the layout of the site.

3. Customisable approach to design

Homes are a huge investment. Whether you’re building your dream home or an investment property, it’s crucial that the design of the house meets your needs. Having the ability to customise a plan is so important when designing a home, as it ensures that the flow and features of the house enhance the liveability of the home. Being able to customise the plan to suit a sloping block will also enhance the saleability of the home.

The disadvantages of using the ‘quick concept approach’ to designing and building on a sloping block

1. Cheap home design

Deep discounts on design come at a cost. Quick concept designers often don’t take the time to complete a full site feasibility assessment before drawing up the plan, meaning that critical components of the design may be impacted by the features of your sloping site. Often your quick concept design will result in drainage difficulties, landscape challenges, soil retention issues, or require additional structural materials to complete the build ultimately rendering your original sketch useless.

2. Lack of design personalisation

Quick concept home designs are turned around quickly, but this comes with significant drawbacks. It’s unlikely your architect or custom home builder has taken enough time to get to know you and your requirements in detail. Without this critical briefing step, the designer is not going to understand what you really want in a home – so you probably won’t like the plan.

3. Lack of collaboration

It’s essential when designing a home that you feel like you’re in the driver’s seat – after all, building a new home is a significant investment. The internal processes for custom builders are silo driven rather than collaborative. Instead of communicating directly with the designer, a client manager will take you through the design process and direct any of your requests onto the designer. It can often result in a time-consuming game of ping pong to refine the designs. Think Chinese whispers with real-world implications.

4. Budget blowouts

It’s not just the designer-client relationship that lacks collaboration. In the quick concept approach, the architect and builder processes are also silo driven. Once the architect has completed the detailed design, it is then sent to the builder for pricing. The lack of collaboration between the architect and builder often results in heartache when the design comes in significantly over budget, requiring redesign. 

The quick concept approach usually seems to be the affordable option when building on a sloping block, but costs can creep up if redesigns are needed, due to the lack of collaboration between the designer and the builder. Make sure you consider these risks when deciding on the approach you’re going to take when building on your sloping site.

Destination Living’s approach to building on a sloping block

At Destination Living, we create bespoke home designs for you. Our designs work with the land, your brief and budget, and champion the elements of your sloping block. We have continuously perfected our processes of creating house plans for sloping blocks over the last 20 years to ensure we can design and deliver the very best home for each sloping block site. Find out more about Destination Living’s approach to building on a sloping block.


The ‘set plan approach’ for creating sloping block house designs

sloping block sketch4

Pre-set plans are preferred by volume builders due to their speed and efficiencies, and are a ‘one-size-fits-all’ option for your sloping block build. With little to no customisation allowed, many builders tend to avoid sloping blocks due to the necessary modifications, or simply cut a hole into the site creating a flat floor plate for the home. 

It is essential before choosing an approach that you are aware of the advantages and disadvantages of each approach, as there are short-term and long-term financial implications for each option.

The pros and cons of using a ‘set plan approach’ when building on a sloping site

Sloping block homes that follow a set plan approach can deliver plans which are cheaper and faster to build/design. You can even tour a previous build to alleviate the fear of the unknown. However, they can also result in trade offs including design incompatibility, ignored opportunities, lower quality materials, inadequate passive design principles, build centric processes, inexperienced consultants and limitations of 2D plans.

Read below to find out if the set plan approach is right for you when creating sloping block house designs.

The advantages using a set plan approach for designing and building on a sloping block

1. Homes are cheaper to build 

The set plan approach is best suited to builds with tight budgets. The compromise for financial savings however is a reduction in design elements such as orientation, site layout, natural light and architectural design.

2. Fast and inexpensive design process 

Since you are choosing from a selection of set plans and inclusions, the design process is much faster and cheaper than a custom build. This is because they are making an existing design fit your block, rather than starting from scratch and custom designing each room.

3. Tour a previous build 

Building a new home without first being able to inspect it is a daunting experience. With the set plan approach, the team has likely built a similar house to yours before. This allows you to check out the property prior to starting your build, and help mitigate the fear of the unknown by identify any lurking design flaws you may not notice in a 2D plan.

4. Faster build time

Perhaps the most appealing benefit of using a set plan approach for building on a sloping block is their quick build times. The builders have likely built the home (or variations of it) many times before, meaning the house will be move-in ready before you know it.

Disadvantages of using a pre-set plan approach for designing and building on a sloping block

1. Design incompatibility

Out of the box pre-set plan homes aren’t explicitly designed for your sloping block’s orientation and fall of the land. The set design will be modified to suit your slope, and because of this you may face several design issues, awkward room sizes, and a disjointed flow. Set designs can hinder how natural light is captured in the house – impacting the warmth and mood of the home. Views over the surrounding landscape are often gifted to the wrong rooms, or missed entirely. It’s a costly decision to give the best views in the house, say, to the spare bedroom and not the living room.

2. Opportunities Are Ignored

It’s the subtleties of your sloping block that should be considered and even celebrated, but a one size fits all approach is not going to achieve that. Little to no consideration is taken for the opportunities or limitations present on your sloping block with a set plan approach. You’re taking a design and reworking it to fit, rather than designing it to hero. Similar to buying an ill-fitting shoe, you could be in for some pain in the long run. 

3. Lower quality materials

Wiping tens of thousands of dollars off your build quote may seem attractive when you’re starting the project, but can cost you more down the track. Cheaper materials may settle, rut, wash out, warp, fade, break, chip or corrode, diminishing your profitability long term.

4. Inadequate passive design principles

The passive design principles exist to ensure new builds take full advantage of the local climate and the surrounding landscape to regulate the temperature of the home. Passive design can reduce or eliminate the need for heating or cooling systems impacting the ongoing energy spend of the homeowner. 

In pre-set plan homes, the passive design principles of the house are likely to be inadequate despite meeting the minimum 6-star rating.

5. Build centric process

The set plan approach is entirely build-centric. The focus is placed on getting the build completed as quickly as possible at the expense of good, thoughtful design. This can be an expensive trade-off long term and will likely impact the future saleability of the home.  

6. Inexperienced consultants

Designing a home for the complexities of a sloping block requires enormous skill, training and experience. Unfortunately, builds following a pre-set plan approach can be critically impacted when design modifications are requested. This process is typically managed by untrained sales consultants, rather than professionals trained in the field of design.

7. Limitations of 2D

Many set plan homes are designed in 2D format, impacting your ability to read and really feel the spaces you are creating. Being able to immerse yourself in the design of the home is especially important on a sloping site where depth, scale and orientation can make (or break) a design.

The set plan approach will undoubtedly expedite both the design and build phases of your project, and will also save you money in the short term. However, are the long term financial risks of choosing a pre-set plan home persuasive enough to shift you towards a more customised, tailored approach to building on your sloping block?

Destination Living’s approach to building on a sloping site 

At Destination Living, we create bespoke home designs for you. Our designs work with the land, your brief and your budget, championing the elements of your sloping site. We have continuously perfected our processes working with sloping sites over the last 20 years to ensure we can design and deliver the very best home for each sloping block. Find out more about Destination Living’s approach to building on a sloping block.


How do I choose who to design and build on my sloping site?

Moyo Chinogara

A guide to choosing the right designers and builders for sloping blocks

If you are looking to design and build your dream home on a sloping block, it can be difficult to know who to work with as sloping sites have many complexities to be considered.

To help, we have quickly summarised the 3 most common design and building approaches taken to sloping sites.


1. The Set Plan Approach

Favoured by volume builders, they have set plans to choose from and there is little to no customisation allowed. Often they won’t do sloping sites because of this, but if they do, the common approach is to cut a hole into the site and create a flat floor plate for the home to be built on.

Set plan custom builders also have a range of pre-designed plans for sloping sites. They then choose a plan for you that best suits your block and customise it to make it fit.

More on the Set Plan approach >

2. Quick Concept Approach

Favoured by architects, custom builders and building designers – they’ll quickly draw you a concept for a nominal or no cost and see how you like it. They may even have you order a survey and soil test.

This approach to a sloping site is a sales tactic and a great bargain, however, it’s likely that whatever they have drawn won’t work and will need to be redesigned as they haven’t taken the time to complete a full feasibility and understand what you want and how that will work with your sloping site and your budget.

More on the Quick Concept approach >

3. Planned Pre-design – Destination Living’s Approach

We have continuously perfected our processes working with sloping sites over the last 20 years to ensure we can design and deliver the very best home for each sloping block site.

We have an informed pre-design approach, meaning we seek to gather all of the information we need about the site, what it has to offer, what the issues are, and what you want for your home and lifestyle.

Only once we have gathered all of the information above do we begin the design work. This ensures that we have captured everything you want, and we understand everything the site offers as well as its constraints and how it fits your budget. This is why we are consistently able to deliver unique, well-designed homes for our clients.

Click the link below to learn more about Destination Living’s approach to designing and building sloping block homes.

More on the Destination Living approach >

We create bespoke home designs tailored to you, your lifestyle and your budget. Our designs maximise the natural features of your site to make the most of the views, the landscape and the natural light. Find out more about building on a sloping site


Bathroom trends and ideas

post bath

Lots of new and ever fabulous bathroom trends and ideas are emerging. In this blog we will be exploring the come back of feature tiles, the use of concrete as a material and look, timber & greening your bathroom with plants.

Fabulous Feature Tiles

Feature tiles are big news in bathrooms right now. Feature tiled create visual excitement and an unexpected luxury when used well. The sterile minimalist bathroom seems like a distant memory, instead replaced with stunning tiles that really create a gorgeous warm and welcoming bathroom.

Chevron tiles

Chevron pattern tiles are also very popular in bathroom design this year. The design has all the hallmarks of the luxury of times past. However we are seeing a more contemporary take on chevron, and combined with contemporary materials and sleek design, these beautiful V-shaped tiles really do look absolutely stunning in bathrooms.


Ultimate houses and smart spaces

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Be Unique: Window Furnishings In Modern Décor

When considering décor, most property owners immediately think of rugs, sofas, and artwork. The more astute owners may even consider colour palettes and attempt to weave a consistent blend of shades and tones throughout a room, but often even this is reduced to finding a yellow rug and yellow sofa to match the yellow painting and the other elements of the room aren’t even considered.

Ultimately, décor refers to a culmination of every aspect that makes up your space and it’s often these subtle, overlooked elements that can have the most significant impact on the ambiance and even function of that space. One of the most significant is the style and design of your window furnishings.

Many underestimate the impact of windows on the overall look and feel of a space, but windows often serve as the starting point for many interior designers when formulating the décor of a particular room. Windows are a powerful design element and the right furnishings let you harness and sculpt their impact on your home.

In order to better understand the important role windows serve in design, let’s take a look at a few of the different furnishing options popular in today’s market and how each serves a different purpose and says something different about a room.


Curtains are perhaps the most evergreen of window furnishings. From the heavy, ornate draperies of the baroque era to the sleek, organza fabrics of today, curtains have been in use since time immemorial.

Arguably the most malleable window coverings, curtains can be made to order with any fabric, heading and style you choose and can easily match your color scheme and interior design style, enhancing and even setting the tone for your space.

Roller Blinds

Roller blinds are the ultimate modern window furnishing. Though they are most often selected for their functionality and ease of use, aesthetically roller blinds are sleek and simple and can be made to fit a variety of colour schemes.

As a result, roller blinds are the prime choice for modern window décor when designing with a minimalist, modernist or contemporary style in mind. The simplicity and understated charm of roller blinds lends elegance and sophistication to a space.


With their iconic look and pastoral charm, shutters add warmth andcosiness’ to a space whilst bearing a great deal of often overlooked functional value. Shutters not only do a sublime job of regulating light and insulating heat and cold, they’re easier to clean than other furnishings, which is particularly important for the allergy prone.

Window shutters carefully control the influx of natural light, meaning you can easily regulate the temperature of your home, keeping it cool in summers and warm in winters. Shutters come in a range of styles and designs – classic, plantation, panel – each with its own advantages and each with its own aesthetic elements.

Roman Blinds

Roman blinds are the cosy, upscale and more evolved version of roller blinds. They offer a simple, straightforward style that can lend a warm, sophisticated aura to your interior. Roman blinds are fully back-lined with soft fabrics which gives them their cosy feel.

Available in a range of colours and fabrics, Roman blinds are becoming an increasingly popular choice for those looking for an alternative to traditional blinds, but who still crave the ease of use and privacy that roller and venetian blinds offer.

Venetian Blinds

Arguably the most common type of blind, deployed around the world in residential, commercial and retail settings. Venetian blinds consist of long slats that are manipulated to diffuse, block or let in light, and are available in a variety of finishes and tints.

Timber is one of the most popular choices for venetian blinds and like plantation shutters, add a classic, rustic charm to any space, particularly for windows overlooking scenes of nature or lush backyards. With the right choice of materials, venetian blinds can add an understated elegance to your space.

It’s important to consider all the elements of a space when formulating your décor. Any experienced interior designer will tell you that even the side of the house in which a room is placed makes a big difference to the choices that go into creating its aesthetic. Think carefully about what you want your room to say and decide whether it’s best said by Roman blinds, roller blinds or perhaps a classy set of S-fold curtains.

Additional Information

Interior Design Tile Trends 2017

Moroccan Arabesque inspired patterned tiles

There is a continuation of this tile trend with more of a Moroccan bent as well as the introduction of colour- look out for botanic greens & blues

This trend is likely to step outside of the bathroom into the landscape, entrances & staircases and is especially suited to Victorian heritage style homes & renovations

 Big is beautiful

Large format tiles continue to be a consistent choice for luxury homes when renovating or building a new home. Large format tiles create the optical illusion of a larger surface area. They tend to open up a space and lengthen a room and widen a wall space. They are best used in larger area, and not a very small space such as a powder room, where tile cuts will be very obvious. Large format tiling like Dekton from Cosentino, create a wonderfully luxurious appearance with their sheer impressive size. They also look fantastic due to the reduction of grout lines. This also is advantageous as there is less cleaning of the grout, and who doesn’t hate cleaning grout !

Slim large format tiles

With the development of slim profile large format tiles at only 12mm thick, they can now be used in areas where their use was previously cumbersome both internally & externally. They look great on kitchen benchtops, fireplace surrounds, on walls, doors, shower splashbacks, really you are limited only by your imagination & budget. Check out CDK ‘s neolith & gallery for inspiration.


Mix & don’t match

An increasing trend in home design has been the mix of larger tiles on the floor, mixed with timber. This look is quite quirky, but really interesting visually and looks great for the right space.

It can also delineate & create a separate space within a room, this is especially effective if you have an oversized space.

It also works really well in staircases, adding a point of interest to the landing or a design highlight to the riser.

New colour trend- botanic greens & blues

We are seeing the emergence of shades of green & blue in tiling & bathroom colour. It is the more muted shades that work in well with greys & black, brass & copper accents. If you feel brave you can be bold with colour however you can easily play it safe. Get inspired with  some images below





Where to start your design journey

The start of a renovation or building a new home is always very exciting. We immediately turn to magazines and more increasingly, the internet for inspiration. Today there are so many fantastic mediums that specialise in absolutely everything for your home.

Social Media Forums

The increased popularity of sites like Houzz and Pinterest offer a plethora of visual images. Sites such as these are incredibly addictive and hours of looking on these sites, turns into weeks which can turn into months of laboriously trawling through the minefield of visual information that is so readily available at our fingertips. This can become incredibly overwhelming and incredibly frustrating.


  1. Create order with  individual boards by room, theme or colour rather than one big bucket of images
  2. Periodically cull them as your tastes may evolve and change on your journey
  3. Look for patterns in what you pin, you may find you repeatedly pin the same colour or style


Enlist a the help of a professional

Enlisting the help of an Architect and/or Interior designer can immediately help you in a myriad of ways. They will take all of your collateral that you have spent sleepless nights and endless days collecting and start to make some sort of sense of it. More often than not, when we are too close to a subject we end up being able to see the forest for the trees and we can end up feeling helpless. Many people actually get to a point where they feel like they have lost track of what it is they even wanted and become disillusioned.


How an Architect & Interior Designer can help

The Brief

Seeking the help of an Architect for the structure or an Interior Designer for the Interior, will help you get back on track. Initially a client brief will be undertaken with you. This is an opportunity for you to sit down with your Architect or designer, and really start to have a verbal catharsis. It’s quite incredible the sort of information that they will be able to extrapolate from what you will say. While there may be information you don’t see useful, they will actually be able to take all of your likes, dislikes ,hopes ,dreams and visions that you discuss in the meeting, and turn it into a document that actually makes sense !

This document will immediately allow your Architect or Interior designer to discern what it is that you actually require. From the number of bedrooms right down to how many ovens you will need. The brief is a remarkable tool that allows the Architect or Interior Designer to start formulating conceptual ideas relatively quickly.


Story Boarding

Your visual collateral will also be sifted through, and interestingly at this point, what no longer may make much sense to you, you’re Architect or Designer will be able to start to see definite patterns and similarities forming in the collection of selected images. A select amount of images, along with the insight gained in the briefing session can then be used to create story boards. These boards are a great too for you to instantly have a visual reference of the vision for your home.



Finishes Board

Once these have been agreed on, all of the information gained up to this point will be reconciled to ensure that budgets are aligned with wishlists! This can be a more complex phase and involves a lot of managing to ensure the very best outcome is achieved. For instance, finishes in one area such as a laundry, may need to be more modest to allow for a feature stone on a kitchen island. The next phase becomes very exciting as forms and shapes and materiality starts to take shape.

Stay tuned to a future blog for what you can expect for the next fascinating stage of how your home gradually starts to appear.