Buying a new home is an exciting process — you get to research new apartments and create a checklist of your ideal home. To help you in your search, we’ve compiled a list of some apartment design flaws you should remember to look out for — even when you get caught up in the excitement of a new project.
Studies have found that natural light affects our mood and overall well-being. Sunlight regulates a hormone called melatonin, which affects our circadian rhythms. Melatonin, in turn, affects our serotonin — in other words, the hormone which makes us happy. So steer clear of apartments which have little to no access to natural light.
It may be tempting to compromise on natural lighting if the apartment has every other element you’re looking for, but don’t make the mistake of thinking you can achieve the same effect with artificial lighting. While bright artificial lights can enhance your mood, they can also impact you negatively if you’re in a bad mood.
Image: Your new home should have plenty of access to natural light, like the apartments at The Beckworth
Badly designed kitchen
Have you heard of the magic kitchen ‘working triangle’? Developed in the early twentieth century, it refers to the invisible line between the centre of the sink, oven/cooktop and fridge — an area of the greatest activity in the kitchen. Each leg of the triangle should be between 1.2 and 2.7 metres, and the sum distance of the triangle should not be less than 4 or more than 8 metres. So, get the measurements of the kitchen and measure out at home — you can use your current space as a reference point.
The kitchen is the domestic heart of the home, so while you keep an eye out for the magic triangle, look for other features like plenty of storage, a kitchen island bench for additional bench space, and (if it’s important to you) details such as soft-close drawers and task lighting.
Bedrooms adjoining noisy areas
You don’t want to be kept up all night by the sound of the television in the lounge room, so make sure you choose an apartment in which the bedrooms are placed as far away from the communal areas (and each other) as possible.
Not enough storage
Storage solutions are a vital aspect of apartment living. You want to make sure your new home has a linen closet, overhead storage, and expansive built-in robes so you can make the most of the floor space. Check the apartment specifications to see how wide and deep the drawers and closets are, and compare these measurements with the storage in your current home. If it’s smaller, then that’s a good indication you should look for somewhere else with more adequate storage.
Image: The ideal apartment has plenty of built-in storage, as seen at Ringwood Residences
The finer details
Lastly, comb the new apartment for the finer details. Check to see where power points are placed as you don’t want to move in only to find there’s nowhere to plug your microwave and toaster and look up the brands of fixtures and fittings to see if they have been rated well online. These things can always be changed once you move into your new home, but do you really want to go to the additional expense? It makes more sense to choose a new home which has everything you need, exactly the way it is.