In the 18 months we’ve been planning to build our own home in Woodlea, we contemplated many home designs. Of course, the design we would finally choose had to suit whatever land we managed to scoop up at Woodlea, so we kept an open mind.
While we at times had our eyes on a Boutique Homes and then a Metricon design, we always came back to Porter Davis, whatever land size we were considering. I am not sure if if I am just a sucker for Porter Davis’ divine styling with gorgeous, on-trend colours and furniture and attention to detail that makes the display feel like a real home, or their designs really are more functional and suited to current-day life than other builders…
Here is our preferred home-design thought process/journey and what we loved, and didn’t love so much, about each of the five homes we considered. Interested to hear what others think about Porter Davis’ designs!
Dream Home 1 – the Porter Davis Vancouver
Pros: At 33 squares, the Vancouver is spacious and inviting, especially in the Whitsunday’s theme that the Riverwalk display is styled in. The kitchen is massive, with all the room you could possibly need, and the option to place a window instead of your backsplash, allowing you to look outside as you stir your risotto and bringing more light into the kitchen. A formal lounge in addition to rumpus and family gives you room for a cosy formal lounge with a fireplace (or in our case, a piano).
Favourite feature: The way that the rumpus, family, dining is laid out, with all rooms looking out into the central alfresco, also allows you to see into the rumpus from the dining/family area and vice-versa, even if you close the rumpus door. This is definitely a bonus when you have a group of noisy kids playing in the rumpus (they can be out of hearing but not out of sight).
Cons: At 33 squares, with three living areas and 4 bedrooms plus a study, we realised that the Vancouver was probably too big for our three-person family. Added to that, the fact that there are so many living areas means that the minor bedrooms, bathroom and ensuite aren’t really that generous for a house of that size. Also, we were unlikely to snag the 16m wide block that this home required given the high demand at Woodlea.
Dream Home 2 – the Boutique Homes Capri
Pros: I fell in love with the Capri as soon as I walked in. With its skillion roof, it feels like the kind of house normal people don’t live in, so of course, I wanted to live in the Capri! the bedrooms were all a fantastic size, with 2 living areas, it ticked all the boxes. One of the minor bedrooms even has a walk-in-robe, which would have been useful for our son’s room.
Favourite features (the Capri has 2):
- Most definitely the kitchen. It has heaps of bench and storage space and a huge island, and I think sits really nicely along side the dining/living space. We were going to be really clever with the design, putting in a wall oven tower and creating bench space for kettle/toaster where they had the cooktop, and moving the cooktop to the side bench, so you could look out the window-splash back while stirring that pesky risotto again!
- That skillion roof throughout one side of the home, letting in gorgeous light and just giving the home that “wow factor”, especially at the back where a stacker door opens up onto the backyard, with extra high windows above it courtesy of that extra high roof.
Cons: Not many. I mean the skillion roof facade was going to cost us close to $40k, but we were seriously considering it, so in love with the Capri were we. Unfortunately, practicality set in, and we became concerned about how we would keep the home warm and Boutique tried to ad-on extraordinary amounts to the Miele appliance pricing (which were expensive enough without the exorbitant builder’s commission added on). And then we purchased a block that was too small for the Capri anyway (14x28m, while the Capri needs a 14x32m block)…
Dream Home 3 – the Porter Davis Charlton 33
We’d checked out the Charlton display when drooling over the Vancouver, and I had its impressive kitchen imprinted in my (usually not) photographic memory. So when the opportunity to purchase a 14x28m block in Woodlea came up, that would fit the Charlton perfectly, we snapped it up, excited to try living in a double-story.
Pros: Absolutely amazing kitchen (seriously you need to see it) and feels cosy, even though the extended kitchen and living version we were looking at was getting close to 39 squares. Option to have a massive stacker door opening out onto the backyard.
Favourite feature: While I am a sucker for fantastic kitchens (and the Charlton’s extended version with its dreamy island bench is a doozy) my number one favourite feature in the Charlton is the two massive walk in robes in the main bedroom, especially the one that opens directly into the ensuite – perfect for jumping in and out of the shower and in and out of your pyjamas (or work clothes) without getting to exposed and cold!!
Cons: Besides being way, way too big for our three person family, again with three living areas, four bedrooms and a study – there wasn’t much to dislike about the Charlton, except perhaps the price -because the home is part of their Advantage range it comes with the bare minimum standard and absolutely everything has to be upgraded. I’m also not sure if Porter Davis price their upgrades for Advantage designs differently to their other ranges as everything seemed to cost a lot more for the Charlton than it does for the London (though it is a smaller home). At the time we decided not to build the Charlton because we found the Metricon Merricks 37 that could deliver everything the Charlton had, and more, for less.
Dream Home 4 – The Metricon Merricks 37
Pros: The Merricks 37 had an even better kitchen than the Charlton, once I’d worked my magic to remove the nib wall between the kitchen and the pantry and relocated the sink from the island bench to the external wall side, leaving a massive island in the middle, perfect for my weekend baking antics. Another pro was the walk-in-robe in one of the minor bedrooms for our son, and lots of storage both up and down stairs, along with a massive main bedroom dressing robe/walk in robe.
Favourite feature: The kitchen island bench that I was going to rearrange so that there was no sink on it. Other than that, the Merricks was a little blah on reflection.
Cons: Metricon took a long, long time to get us from initial quote to contract signing stage (over 6 months). While it was frustrating at the time, it worked out well in the end, as all the time gave us an opportunity to really, really think about what it would be like to live in a 37 square, double-story home. During this period, whenever I had to get up in the middle of the night to get a drink, or get my son a drink or something else, I kept imagining having to go up and down stairs each time instead of having to walk the 7 steps I currently do between my bed, kitchen and my son’s room. Call me lazy, but while living in a massive double-story may be a dream for some, I just don’t think that I could cope!!
Dream Home 5 – the Porter Davis London 24
As soon as I had my revelation that I just did not want to live in a double-story home, I started searching the net for single-story homes that could fit on our sung 392m block. Of course, I started with Porter Davis, and pretty much stumbled upon the London design straight away. I immediately felt this could be our home, and the next day, checked out the London 22 display in Allura. It happened to be the last week that this display was open, but as soon as I walked in, I knew the London would be the home for us.
Pros: Great size bedrooms, two well-proportioned living areas and a generous kitchen with butler’s pantry, all in a compact 24 squares that will be energy efficient and still leave us with a small yard at the back with room for a shed. What more could we want.
Favourite feature: Two generous walk-in-robes (one for me and one for hubby) in the main bedroom, and the ensuite is just the perfect size, still fitting in a large shower and extended vanity with two basins and lots of storage. I also like the way the home is laid out, with bedrooms towards the front and all the living in the back – it kind of reminds me of an older terrace home that has been extended and renovated.
Cons: One thing I had to compromise on was that dream window-splashback (you know, so I could look outside while stirring my risotto!) Alas, that won’t be happening in the London. But we’ve added a huge stacker door to the back wall, so at least we will have a lovely view to outside from the kitchen, and there is a cute little window letting extra light into the butler’s pantry.