Last year we completed the construction of our own new custom designed home located in ‘The Vintage Estate‘ at Pokolbin in the Hunter Valley. The most challenging part of this build, was finding the time to fit in the construction of our new home around our clients’ building projects. Pete and I spent every weekend working on our home to get it finished and we were exhausted by the end, but it was all worth it. We couldn’t be happier with our new home!
When it came to choosing a designer for our new home, the decision was easy. The home design work was completed by Linda who owns local design company, Verte Design. We have been working with Linda for many years on new custom designed homes, home extensions and renovation projects for our clients and we have developed a great working relationship.
External cladding products for our new home were chosen for their visual appeal and also for their energy efficiency ratings. NRG Green Board features on the majority of the exterior of the home. This lightweight foam type board has great thermal properties and it looks like a cement render finish once the required coatings are applied and the surface painted. To add some further interest to the facade, we installed colorbond cladding in selected areas.
Although the NRG Green Board has excellent thermal properties, it is recommended that you install insulation batts to maximise the homes energy efficiency. We installed James Hardie wrap and R1.5 insulation batts to internal walls to further assist the home to stay cool in summer and warm in winter.
For the roof, we opted to use Colourbond in a shade called Shale Grey, with a Monument coloured facia. A thermal insulation blanket was installed to ceilings, along with R3.5 insulation batts to maximise the insulation benefits in the roof cavity.
When it came to glazing options, we chose to install double glazing throughout where possible. Getting the glazing options right, helps you to maintain a comfortable temperature inside your home year round. If optimal energy efficiency is something you are interested in, it’s worth speaking to your home designer to make sure you get the orientation of the home right on your block of land. Your home designer and window manufacturer can guide you on choosing the best glazing options for your home. For good ventilation, we opted to install some overhead louvre windows. The position of the overhead louvres running through the middle of the home work perfectly – they allow natural light and air into the home from the front entrance, right through to the rear of the home.
Ceiling fans were installed to all bedrooms and living spaces throughout the home. We made the decision to include ducted air to accommodate those extreme temperatures that we experience in the Hunter Valley. We also installed a gas fireplace in the open plan living space to warm the home during the cooler months of the year.
I love to cook and entertain, so getting the kitchen right was very important to me. Valley Kitchens designed and installed our new kitchen and we love how it has turned out. There is an abundance of storage and bench space available. The kitchen includes a walk in pantry, an extra sink and high quality Bosch cooking appliances.
The cabinetry is a mix of Polytec Empire Oak (dark cabinetry) and the lighter tone cabinetry is called ‘Bespoke’. We opted for finger pull drawers with no handles for a modern look. For the splashback, we chose a beautiful taupe metallic feature tile from Jacoba Tiles. We added feature strip lighting above the cabinetry to highlight the tile. Our stone benchtop has lovely tones and is called Caesarstone ‘Georgian Bluffs’ and the sinks are a new product by Abbey called ‘Schock Stone’, which I absolutely love – they are hard wearing, easy to clean and are a nice option instead of having a standard stainless steel sink.
When it came time to choose taps, I knew I wanted the new gunmetal range and they look great with my Shock Stone sinks.
Both bathrooms have under floor heating for those crisp mornings and evenings during winter. We chose 600 x 600 tiles from Jacoba Tiles for both the wall and floor to create consistency. For a streamlined look, we installed in-wall toilets so that you don’t see the cistern. The cisterns are concealed in behind the wall. Our vanities all have stone benchtops with above counter basins and Reece tapware.
The coffered ceilings in both bathrooms accentuate the ceiling height and banks of louvre windows allow good air flow and natural light into the room. Our ensuite bathroom has a herringbone feature tile to add further interest to the room.
Our outdoor entertaining space has ample room for the large outdoor dining table and there is plenty of room for additional seating and a large BBQ. The large tiled alfresco area is easy to maintain and we are so happy with the decision to add the timber features on the ceiling and hardwood feature posts. In the backyard Pete added a fire pit area so that we could enjoy sitting around the backyard during the cooler months. We also installed some timber bench seating. Given we were on a concrete slab, we chose to install low maintenance large format outdoor tiles over the concrete slab.
We fell in love with the laminate hard flooring from Big Oak. We chose a wide 300mm board called ‘Silver Ash’ and we actually designed much of the inside of the home around it. Big Oak flooring not only looks great, but it’s amazing when it comes to cleaning as it doesn’t show any marks.
For the windows we chose a mixture of white plantation shutters, which we are extremely happy with from Maxview Blinds & Shutters. We also installed curtains from Freedom to other areas of the home.
Our garage door was custom made by Steeline Garage Doors. Garage doors can add style to the front façade of a home, we opted to make ours a feature and are very happy with it. To complement the garage door, Pete decided to use a black metal corner edging strip on our timber stairs to the entrance of the home which completes the front facade look.
We chose an exposed aggregate finish for the driveway. The driveway has different tones of grey and light coloured aggregate which works well with the exterior colours we chose for our home.
If you are looking for experienced custom design home builders for an upcoming home building project in The Vintage Estate Pokolbin, or the surrounding Hunter region we would love the opportunity to speak with you to discuss your project.
Call us on 0417 456 510. We look forward to speaking to your about your exciting new home plans.