Designing the much loved ‘Atlantic’ display home

Atlantic Display Feature Image

When you’re designing a flagship home for your company, you really want to put your best foot forward – and we managed to achieve that with The Atlantic.

This wonderful home has received a lot of attention and positive feedback from a wide audience. What’s more, we managed to sell the home to the first couple that walked into the display on the first open day. That means we did something right and we thought it would be a good idea to show you the process we went through to create this wonderful home. It’s the same process we use for all our clients homes, so if you’re considering building – read on!

The Brief

Designing a home always begins with a brief. In this case, we were our own clients – so our General Manager Michael sat in as ‘the Client’.

The briefing stage is where we write down all of the ideas for the home that will make it suitable for the client. Many of these are common questions such as “How many bedrooms?” and “Living upstairs or downstairs?” There’s a lot to consider so we begin with the broad questions first, then really narrow in on the detail later.

Building in Sorrento

Building a new home in a well known suburb like Sorrento meant we were very aware of the type of people who would inhabit the home. Typically 45+ years old, grown family or even empty nesters. They required a feeling of space and also demanded creature comforts. A few luxuries would be nice to have. A pool, because water is important both for aesthetics but also practicality.

Building for resale is always important for every client, including us. So when we made an assessment of the area we could see that a lot of the older homes are a little dated, so lifting the level of specification would make The Atlantic really stand out.

Here’s a quick look at the high levels of our design brief;

  • Two storey
  • Master bedroom upstairs
  • 2 x minor bedrooms upstairs + Sitting room
  • Balcony for views
  • Downstairs open plan living – very high ceilings
  • Home office
  • Spacious courtyard
  • Swimming pool
  • Garage / Laundry / Store area
  • Powder room for guests
  • Mixed materials on the facade – Modern in style

Concept Sketch

That lead to the first concept sketch shown below;

Design Sketch ground floor

Design Sketch first floor

The sketch was designed by our designer Anthony. Working by hand initially lets him flesh out the concept sketch quickly while having the tactile signals that come from putting pencil to paper connect him to the page, moreso than when created immediately on CAD.

Designing is a craft and something Anthony has honed over his career with Trendsetter Homes in architecture and design. His expertise comes to the fore when thinking of creative ways to achieve a great outcome, while working within the constraints of the building code and local planning requirements.

Once the concept sketch was complete, Anthony then took to his computer and translated the sketch into a CAD drawing, along with a few minor tweaks and adjustments for site ground levels.

CAD Design ground floor

CAD Design first floor

The details on these drawings are not as high level as we would typically present to a client, simply because as builders we can easily interpret the plans. What it did for us was confirm the design direction and spatial layouts. It also allowed us to create preliminary costings to see if the home was coming in on budget.

This is often a concern of clients, especially when working with designers or architects who aren’t attached with a builder.

Because we have both a design team and an estimating team in-house, we could see that the plans were coming in at the right price (even with some wiggle room).

The front elevation was also modelled and it’s the first real look we get into what the final home would look like.

Concept Elevation

The Revision Process

Only once a design reaches this stage can we take a good look at the home design and make an assessment to see if it ticks all our boxes.

The design and construction team come together at this point to all contribute their thoughts and ideas. This is a meeting of the best of the best in our company – all at one table thrashing out ideas.

  • “What about this window height?”
  • “Is the pool big enough?”
  • “Do we want more protection from the wind?”
  • “Could we make a room for guests?”
  • “How much would it cost to change this?”
  • “Will this pass with town planning?”

We made a list and made decisions to make changes that we agreed would result in the home we wanted to build and a home we thought people would love to live in.

This meant making some significant changes that included;

  • Flipping the home to take into consideration weather conditions especially related to the pool position
  • Converting the home office into another bedroom for guests – and adding another full bathroom on the ground floor
  • Make some improvements to the look of the front facade
  • Introducing screening on the first floor to comply with planning – this presented an opportunity to increase the window sizes in the upper floor bedrooms enhancing the view and really opening up the design on the first floor (See the image below to see how big an impact this has – or better yet, visit the display home and experience the difference in person!)

Screening example

Final Working Drawings

Now that the design sketch and the first round CAD drawings were complete and the input from all the staff received, Michael then gave it the stamp of approval to proceed. That meant the final design was signed off and we could move forward to complete the working drawings.

Working drawings are the drawings that are used on site to build the home and are fully detailed and documented. They include engineers notes, all the dimensions, structural beam sizes and so on. Below you can see a small snapshot of the ground floor and first floor plans.

Ground floor working drawings

First floor working drawings

These plans are submitted to the council for planning approval and the building license.

Once approved, we started work on site building this magnificent home!

Take a look at this fly-through video to see how following this process produced this amazing home.

If you’d like to know more about The Atlantic display home, visit this page and we would also like to personally invite you to come and have a look for yourself. We’ll be there to answer any questions you may have about designing and building your next home with Trendsetter Homes.