Future-proof your home before you build. | Ashbury Estate

Future-proof your home before you build.

Future-proof your home before you build.

May 2024 | Design Inspiration

If you’re about to embark on your forever home-building journey, it’s crucial to think about future-proofing your house and projecting how its design can meet the changing needs of the inhabitants over the course of 10 or 20 years – or even longer.

You don't need a crystal ball to make smart design choices that will serve your family now and into the future. With a little common sense and careful forward planning, you can create a home that’s sustainable, efficient, and adaptable to the changing lifestyle needs of its occupants.

Whether you’re building, renovating, or on the hunt for home improvements, here are our top recommendations to future proof your home, making it a perfect haven for generations to come.


Save with solar

Solar panels allow you to harness clean, green energy from the sun – reducing your carbon footprint and bringing down your bills. With a bit of research and expert advice, you can design a system specifically tailored to your home. Look for installers that use high-quality panels that are highly efficient, durable, and come with long-term warranties.

Make the most of your investment by considering installing a solar battery, allowing you to store energy generated when the sun is shining for later use. Even better, research shows that installing a solar system can enhance your home’s value and appeal to prospective buyers.


Enhance your energy efficiency

Today, with the increasingly stark reality of climate change, building an energy-efficient home is not just desirable, it's a necessity – and one that will pay dividends for many years to come. Not only does saving energy at home reduce your environmental impact, but it will also help save on hefty power bills.

As well as solar, there are myriad other ways to reduce energy wastage. Energy-efficient endeavours can be as grand as installing photovoltaic systems or leveraging thermal mass, or as simple as opting for an energy-efficient oven. Straightforward fixes include draught-proofing air gaps around doors and windows, glazing, and ensuring your home has adequate insulation.

But for an even more impactful investment, look to the biggest energy drainers in your home – the heating and cooling systems. Inefficient and outdated systems can be unreliable, affect your indoor air quality, and waste energy – leading to high bills and maintenance costs. Installing a new system (particularly when paired with solar) is one of the best decisions you can make when it comes to improving your home’s energy efficiency and comfort, ensuring you stay warm in winter and cool in summer.


Choose smart storage solutions

Insufficient storage space is one of the biggest impediments to staying in a home long term. Over time, we all accumulate possessions – especially once children become part of the equation. And while there are plenty of quick-fix hacks online, investing in built-in storage units upfront is a sure-fire way to optimise space, reduce clutter, and provide a permanent solution.

Built-in closets and cupboards help you organise (and hide) clutter and can be customised, complete with drawers, shelves, hanging racks, shoe storage and cabinets. Built-in window benches with under-seat storage provide a perfect hiding spot for toys. Built-in toy and book shelves, wine racks and TV units are also great ways to utilise wall space, while maintaining a stylish aesthetic that cohesively blends into your home.


Multifunctional Design

In an ever-changing world, having spaces and furniture that serve multiple functions is a sensible investment. Whether you’re building, adding on, or considering how to use existing space, thoughtful planning and furniture choices are key. Certain rooms and pieces of furniture should be able to perform multiple functions, so there’s a contingency plan for whatever happens in your life – visitors arriving from interstate, teenagers throwing parties or new working from home arrangements.

Most architects now strongly recommend the addition of a second living room that operates as a flexible space for every member of the family – whether it’s a playroom, rumpus, home office, guestroom – or all of these. Similarly, our furniture can be working harder for us, too. A desk on wheels or that folds away or a workstation inside a cupboard with overhead shelving are both great home office solutions; a sofa bed is always handy; and you should look for pieces with extra storage like a coffee table with drawers, to optimise your home space.


Invest in durability

Purchasing the best quality and toughest materials for your home may seem expensive initially, but they will end up costing less than inferior alternatives if you factor in longevity. This is particularly important if you’re building a new home or undertaking a home renovation. Durable materials will stand the test of time, offering you a home that remains polished and appealing through the years. Not every surface needs to be high-end. However, it’s a good idea to focus on the areas that suffer the most wear and tear – especially for areas that see a lot of action, like your kitchen and bathroom.

Remember, retrofitting quality later is a tougher task. So making this investment upfront can save you the hassle and add value in the long run.


Wire for the future

We are becoming increasingly reliant on technology in our everyday lives. This is also reflected in our homes and only set to grow. Smart home automation systems that control lighting, security, heating, and cooling are quickly becoming the norm. When upgrading your home, plan for a future where technology will be more connected and sophisticated. Ensuring your house's wiring can accommodate this digital revolution is a significant step towards future-proofing your it.


Embrace the outdoors

Indoor-outdoor living is a lifestyle trend that's here to stay. A well-designed alfresco, patio or deck area can be used year-round, is a great way to create additional functional entertaining, relaxing, versatile spaces that becomes a part of your everyday life. Outdoor kitchens complete with BBQ, burner plates, fridge, sink, prep spaces – even pizza ovens – are becoming increasingly popular, allowing you to cook and serve a full meal in the open air.

Modular outdoor furniture broadens your options for lounging, dining, and socialising. And regardless of how big your space is, including features that help you stay outside for longer like screening and overhead shelter, lighting systems, outdoor heaters, mounted fans and fire pits are a great investment. 


Ultimately, future-proofing your home is about marrying sustainability with innovation and adaptability. Creating a home that is energy-efficient, conveniently equipped, and ready to meet your future needs is the key to a comfortable and environmentally conscious future. With these tips, your home will not only embody modern design principles, but also serve as a tangible representation of progressive and sustainable living.