Article by Danielle King, Green Moves Australia

modern home

Current building industry research tells us that homeowners are looking to stay in their homes longer and are likely to spend time renovating and/or extending into the garden/outdoor areas.

With this in mind we’ve created The Modern Home feature at the Build & Renovating Expo this year to focus on demonstrating innovative and realistic ways to make the most of your outdoor spaces.

We have built further on the themes of sustainability, efficiency and affordability. The aim is to show the ‘not so traditional’ but ever-so-practical extended back yard in a relaxed, educational and informative environment. We will showcase efficient, sustainable, even healthy building products to create functional, flexible extra rooms consisting of a granny flat, teenagers retreat and outdoor kitchen area.

Now the ‘Granny Flat’ isn’t just for the grandparents anymore. Gone is the floral décor, the difficult to navigate bathroom and the multitude of blankets required to keep warm inside in winter. The upgraded model is constructed from Ozone Panel, an efficient, sustainable and non-toxic Structural Insulated Panel System (SIPS), combined with highly efficient, double-glazed windows/doors from Paarhamer, LED lighting and a wall bed unit for future flexibility. Together they transport the traditional ‘Granny Flat’ from crooning into ‘Cooool!’ for the 21st century.  It’s now a very comfortable, flexible and efficient space that’s now a highly desirable area in the back yard for any member of the family to enjoy, for any purpose.

That is unless you have teenage kids and a rather funky, steel box that is a shipping container sourced from Royal Wolf Containers. This one is fitted and kitted with all the mod cons (including possibly a bit of sound proofing) for the kids/teenagers to hang out in. Sweeeet (teenager speak for Cool).

Additional rooms like this could be easily transformed from kid’s hangout, to office, to studio, to man shed, to … well anything you like really. They can literally be ‘dropped in’ and ‘moved out’ as the need arises, or take it with you when you move! Now that’s flexibility.

Then there’s the outdoor Eco Timber decking area with kitchen area provided by BBQs Plus that extends that family living zone into the great outdoors. These fabulous outdoor kitchens can be tailored to suit your area and budget and can include everything from the BBQ to the kitchen sink. With such a great kitchen outside, dads are likely to want to do the cooking, works for me.

Other contributors showcased include Barefoot Grass, IKEA, Pentablock, EcoBright, Living Holmes Vertical Gardens, Super Quilt insulation and Camberwell Bathrooms sanitary ware.

So whether you’re interested in ‘the new norm’ for the great Aussie Backyard, or just want to see some excellent ideas that are efficient and affordable, you’ll enjoy the ideas that this year’s Modern Home offers. Clever outdoor room’s ranging from kitchens to living quarters that provide flexible spaces, that are highly efficient, and that might even move with you. This is the Modern Home.

Like last year, surrounding the Modern Home will be the free ‘Speed Date an Expert’ sessions. This year including everything from planning through to landscaping. Book early to lock in your times.

So bring your plans, your ideas, your questions and learn, collect ideas and see what can be done.

The Modern Home’s ‘extended backyard’ can be experienced at the Build & Renovating Expo, 4th to 6th July 2014, at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre.

We look forward to seeing you there, and you can book your tickets by clicking HERE.

Danielle_King_headAbout the author:

Danielle King is the Founder and Director of Green Moves Australia, a private company created to provide householders with a selection of sustainability services designed to help minimise a home’s running costs while reducing the environmental footprint. Danielle has an MBA, Dip. Management and Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. She is also a fully qualified Home Sustainability Assessor listed with Sustainability Victoria and ABSA, and is BDAV Accredited.