Canvas for an active lifestyle

Holly CoomeyThe West Australian
Brad and Ainslie Watson needed lots of help to design their home.
Camera IconBrad and Ainslie Watson needed lots of help to design their home. Credit: Supplied.

After years of planning to build, Brad and Ainslie Watson decided 2021 was the year to make their vision a reality.

Speaking to New Homes, the couple shared the experience of their recent build.

What made you decide to build your own home?

As a generalisation, the houses in the area we live in are either older – 1960s and 1970s – or newer and on subdivided blocks that are relatively small, two-storey, expensive and have fairly generic layouts without major distinguishing features.

We decided building a home was the best way to cost-effectively get into a newer and larger home, which was a bit different and better suited to us.

What research did you do before deciding on a design?

We spent a long time researching elements of the design and working through design revisions with Atrium Homes. We visited numerous display homes, researched energy-efficiency guidelines online, considered the orientation of our block and what it meant for the relative position of the sun throughout the year and the afternoon sea breeze.

Which design did you base your home on and did you make any changes to suit your needs?

Our house was based on Atrium Homes’ Boston Way design. We made numerous changes – more than half-a-dozen design iterations. Most of our design changes attempted to make the design even more practical for the way we wanted the house to support our lifestyle.

How did you decide which builder was right for you?

We visited a lot of display homes from many different builders and we loved the feel of Atrium Homes’ designs and their attention to detail, so that’s why we went with them.

We hadn’t built before, so we needed lots of guidance and help with the design process. Atrium Homes provided us with all the help we needed over an approximate six-month design process.

What was the inspiration for your interior and exterior design?

Our house was designed to be the canvas for an active and open lifestyle. The design features large open-plan entertaining areas, as well as storage and parking bays for things like camper trailers and small boats.

What is the favourite area of your home?

Our favourite part of the home is the rear entertaining area, including the kitchen, the wet kitchen, the dining and family rooms, and how it integrates with the alfresco, backyard and pool area. The area is a great platform for spending time with friends and family.

What is your advice for people choosing to build their first home?

The design process is one that involves compromises. Our advice would be to think about the lifestyle you want and prioritise the house features that best enable the lifestyle you seek.

CONTACT Atrium Homes, 6310 8888,

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