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5 of the best custom home design ideas of 2018


Here are our custom builders’ five top insights to make your bespoke build the new home of your dreams:



This is one of the smallest but most useful spaces for the custom home builder. It’s a transition space between inside and out, often next to the garage or inside the back door, to change out of wet coats and muddy boots before coming in, or to grab an umbrella or raincoat on the way out. Mudrooms are often fitted out with a bench against one wall which doubles as a space to sit down and change shoes, with shelving, baskets or cupboards underneath and hooks overhead for coats and hats. Schoolbags and sports gear, umbrellas and gardening shoes all have their place, saving time finding what you need running out the door, and making it easier to keep everything tidy.


A second kitchen

English manors had a scullery where all the food preparation was done out of the way of the main kitchen. Now the new home builder is incorporating a second kitchen to take all the mess out of the main kitchen so you can maintain a clean bench top especially when entertaining. It might be an adjoining butler’s pantry with tailored storage for food and a dedicated space so appliances are ready to use but out of sight. Some custom builders are incorporating sinks and a dishwasher, fridge and separate freezer or wine fridge. Others are self-contained duplicate kitchens for cooking and food preparation, with an oven and excellent ventilation, to ensure cooking smells don’t waft through the house.


A home for everyone

The cost of housing means adult children are living with their parents for longer. And the parents’ parents are living longer, often dependent on their children for support but still wanting to live independently. It all adds up to an increasing demand for houses that can give several generations their space under the one roof. Granny flats in the back yard have evolved into “in-law suites”. They’re like a separate wing, self-contained but still under the main roof and on the ground floor to avoid stairs. They’re also perfect for young adults who want their space but aren’t ready to leave home or to help them save for their own house.


The latest in day spas

We all love a luxurious soak in an over-sized bath but we’re so time poor we don’t ever seem to have time to have one!


Instead the custom builder is adding spa-style showers for more practical indulgence every day. Think body massage shower jets and rain shower heads with ceiling height to create an expansive sense. Custom builders are also incorporating showers with seats, steam features and shelves built into the shower wall for seamless storage.



Darker wood and more organic materials are emerging as the trend for the new home builder with textured walls and patterned wall coverings. Colours are moving away from all white to warmer tones like charcoal, tobacco and caramel. Satin finish brass and mixed metals give understated luxury while distressed timber and vintage details offer a more rustic look.


The custom home builder is also exploiting high technology solutions for more energy efficient building materials and windows, incorporating passive solar and natural ventilation in their design to cut energy costs.