What makes for a perfect summer home

Most Melbournians have a serious love affair with summer. After enduring months of bitterly cold, grey, wet weather, as warm days filled with sunshine creep in, we’re filled with a renewed zest for life and a desire to escape the routines of daily life by getting outside and soaking in the sun.

There’s no better way to embrace the season than with your very own private summer escape, and by incorporating these three elements into your custom build, you can create an ideal summer home that suits the family year-round.

An entertainers’ alfresco

Every great summer home features a show-stopping alfresco which acts as an extension of your homes’ main living area, creating a single expansive space.

A great alfresco begins with good door selection. Sliding, folding or concertina doors that are fully retractable or designed to disappear completely into a wall cavity will remove the separation between the indoor and outdoor spaces.

Ceiling height will also have a significant impact on the space. By selecting the same ceiling height that’s used inside the home, you can emphasise the connection between the two spaces, or if you want to create a spacious, light and airy feeling, a sloped, pitched or vaulted ceiling will usually do the trick.

It’s also important to consider how large you want the space to be. Ideally, a great alfresco will be large enough to accommodate three key zones, including an outdoor kitchen complete with barbeque, sink, fridge and ample bench space, a dining table large enough for the whole family and your guests, and a lounge area to provide a more casual space to put your feet up and relax. You could even consider incorporating a bar or spa area.

Finally, it’s important to complete the space the creature comforts that finish the space like some well-selected lighting, fans, a green wall or retractable awnings or blinds which allow you to alter how sunlight is filtered into the area throughout the day. Incorporating gas or electric heaters is also a smart idea, allowing you to continue using the space during the cooler months.

A serene swimming pool

Whether it’s a compact plunge pool ideal, a lap pool, or a swimming pool large enough for the kids to perfect their best dive bomb technique, no summer home is complete without a swimming pool.

Many contemporary swimming pool designs create a seamless connection between the water and the home, with the edge of the pool running flush with the boundary of the home.

Incorporating an infinity edge is also a popular trend which can be impressive, particularly if you have a block with a lot of fall or a vantage point that can embrace a spectacular view. If you’re in an elevated area, you could even consider a cantilever design which extends beyond the confines of the space to create something that is truly remarkable.

When considering your tiling choices, light to mid-blues and turquoises will achieve a traditional look, or you could opt to go all white or all dark if you want to create a little drama. Incorporating a mosaic pattern around the edge of the pool can also create a unique point of interest.

If your block and home design permits, you could also consider incorporating a show-stopping underground display window, creating a dramatic feature in an internal room of the home.

Today’s swimming pools can also be equipped with a range of smart technology, allowing you to control everything from the lighting, pumps, temperature, cleaning and even the cover electronically and even remotely through your smart phone, making it easier than ever to manage and maintain your pool.

Intelligent natural cooling systems

When you’ve been outdoors all day and are looking for a way to escape the heat, you’ll thank yourself for incorporating a range of intelligent eco features to keep your home cool without needing to run the air conditioning all day.

Pay careful consideration to the orientation of the home on the block, as well as the placement and sizing of windows to allow you to harness sunlight during cooler months and minimize it when it’s hot. Opting for toned or tinted glass in bronze and grey tones will also help reduce the amount of heat transmitted through windows.

It’s also important to select an appropriate form of insulation, as well as considering how best you can capture natural breezes through intelligent cross-ventilation systems. Using materials with a high thermal mass like concrete, bricks and tiles to absorb and store heat can make a significant impact, as can selecting light coloured roofing which reflects heat.

Using eco-friendly geothermal or hybrid solar air conditioning and cooling systems which can also help heat your home during the cooler months is also a smart way to regulate the temperature in the home year-round, while also keeping energy bills down.

Create your perfect summer home with Glenvill

A custom build allows you to incorporate every feature you could want in your summer home design, and at Glenvill we’re experts in bringing your ideas to life.

Contact us or visit our design centre to discuss your project.