With Melbourne’s whopping 44 per cent population increase since 2011, it comes as no surprise that there is also a growing number of apartment developments in the city and surrounding suburbs.
The latest Census revealed high-rise apartments have increased by 82 per cent in the same period of time, as more people embrace apartment living to make the most of Melbourne’s unique lifestyle.
If you’ve grown up in a suburban house, then making the transition to an apartment can be daunting. Many people don’t know what to look for to make a functional, liveable home.
Whether you’re planning on moving to an apartment for the first time or are hoping to make your second go a more successful experience, being able to understand what you need from the floor plan will help you to ensure your apartment meets your needs.
Let your lifestyle lead the way
It is very difficult to be able to look at a blueprint and be able to accurately assess how much space you have to work with - not just how much space all your belongings will need, but how much you will need to be able to live comfortably.
When evaluating a floor plan take your lifestyle into consideration to determine which rooms would need more space and which rooms can be a bit smaller. If you’re always the host, then you’ll need a home that is ready for entertaining. Look for a space that looks slick – a beautiful island bench, plenty of storage to keep public areas tidy, and opt for open-plan living areas to ensure you’re ready to host any type of party.
If a quiet night in is more your style then you’ll want a larger living room with enough space for a big, comfy couch; while people who find their friends and family are regularly visiting from out of town will want to ensure they have a guest room and spare bathroom so they’re not constantly crashing on your couch.
Utilise sneaky storage solutions
Sometimes we get so caught up in the idea of how our furniture will fit into our apartment that we forget about everything else – such as our clothing, food and linens.
The more you’re able to pack your belongings away, the less your apartment is going to feel crowded and cluttered. An effective apartment should incorporate at least 10 – 15 per cent storage space into the design in the form of built-in closets, cupboards and pantries.
If the plan doesn’t include many built-in storage solutions, you will need to measure how much space can be used for freestanding furniture, like dressers and shelving units to make it viable for your lifestyle. You can also look for furniture solutions that offer their own built-in storage, such as a bed with drawers underneath or TV units with drawers or shelving.
Let the sun shine in
Before buying an apartment, you will likely do thorough research on the location and surrounding suburbs to ensure you’re going to love your new neighbourhood, but your location scouting isn’t complete once you select the address.
It is important that you think about what you want from your windows when looking at a floor plan. North facing homes are often considered most desirable because they get the most direct sunlight throughout the day, especially in winter; but if you envision sitting on your balcony with a glass of wine and watching the sun set when you get home from work then you’ll want to have a west-facing balcony. Those looking for amazing views from their home irrespective of the sunlight should ensure the apartment doesn’t or won’t have any soon-to-be obstructions to their view.
There are a lot of factors to consider, so it can help to create a checklist that details how you envision living in your new apartment.
When buying an apartment off the plan it’s crucial that you not only understand what the measurements mean in the real world, but what you will need from your apartment to enable you to live in the long term.
hockingstuart director Scott McElroy is the sales agent for boutique development, XO in Collingwood. XO brings a combination of space and quality, creating larger than average apartments for modern owner-occupiers.