6 Indispensable Design Features For a Modern Home You Can’t Live Without

A beautiful, well-designed home can be irreplaceable to its residents. Over and above its aesthetic value, good design can provide your household with amazing functionality. It can improve comfort and support exceptional quality of life. 

Regardless of your lifestyle, needs, and preferences, great design boosts efficiency, convenience and safety. The right design features make your home more pleasant to spend time in by creating more functional, harmonious, and ambient spaces.

So what are the six ultimate, game-changing design features for modern homes you can’t live without?

1. Spacious kitchen with a butler pantry

Your kitchen is probably the most significant hub in your home. Within it is everything you need to store appliances and food, cook your meals, and seat people comfortably for mealtimes. It’s an area where you get together, communicate, and interact as well. As such, it needs to be set out well for foot traffic, well-lit, and of course spacious.

One of the biggest design must-haves is a butler pantry. This is a smaller kitchen within your kitchen where you can store items, prepare food, and clean up without cluttering up your main kitchen. Butler pantries are often located behind another wall or door but are accessible enough to be considered an extension to the kitchen. 

Butler kitchens are especially essential if you do a lot of entertaining or could do with more storage space for appliances or for preparing meals for social gatherings. Your butler pantry should have a bench, electrical power points, sink and tap, dishwasher, fridge and freezer, and cooking appliances.

2. A homework station or home office station

Homework stations and home-office stations are increasingly important to have in homes, especially in the wake of remote work and distance learning. With more people working and studying from home, having a dedicated space for these activities can make a significant difference in productivity and mental well-being. 

A homework station, for instance, provides a quiet and organized space for children to complete their schoolwork without distractions, increasing their focus and motivation. On the other hand, a home-office station allows professionals to have a designated area to work that is separate from the rest of their living space, reducing the risk of burnout and creating a better work-life balance. 

Both homework and home-office stations offer a sense of structure and routine, which can be beneficial for individuals of all ages. Moreover, having these dedicated spaces can help maintain a healthier division between work, school, and personal life. 

Ultimately, homework and home-office stations are important in creating an environment that supports productivity, reduces stress, and enhances your overall quality of life.

3. A mudroom (or drop-off zone)

A mudroom is a casual secondary entrance that’s bigger than a coat closet. It serves as a dedicated space to remove dirty footwear boots, coats, and wet clothing before you enter the home. Mudrooms are typically located between your garage and your main home.

A mudroom or drop-off zone helps keep your home clean and organised. A mudroom can serve as a first impression to guests, conveying a sense of order and cleanliness.

Your mudroom should have a bench, coat hooks, shoe storage, and overflow cabinetry. It can also be used to store outdoor accessories and hobby equipment. Having one ensures it’s easy for guests and residents to find and access these items when needed. 

4. Home automation

Home automation gives you easy control over your systems, making your house more comfortable, convenient, and functional. From Google and Amazon to Apple’s smart home networks, you have a range of options to choose from. 

Home automation enables you to manage everything from your entertainment systems, window treatments, lighting, and even kitchen appliances like smart fridges and ovens. 

Bear in mind, however, that you don’t need a completely connected smart home system to take advantage of the benefits of home automation and simplify your everyday home routines. Start with a programmable thermostat or a smart security system and door locks and go from there.

5. Open-plan living with natural light

It’s easy to see why open-plan living is so popular in modern homes: it makes your home and its communal spaces – kitchen, living, and dining areas – feel more spacious while opening up airflow and light.

Open-plan homes allow you to get together more easily and make everyone feel more connected. They have the added benefit of turning hubs and large spaces into multifunctional zones that can be used for socialising, entertainment, working from home, or relaxation.

Open-plan living lets people move freely across different shared zones, thereby improving access as well as ambience. Large windows and skylights together with French doors, bi-fold, accordion, or sliding doors can help bring in more natural light to an open-plan space.

6. Alfresco living

Open-air or outdoor spaces add incredible versatility and utility, so alfresco living is another vital design feature you won’t want to live without in your modern home. These let you spend more time outdoors, in natural light and enjoy the fresh air and views.

Your alfresco living spaces can include an outdoor kitchen, sundeck or sunroom, living room, or dedicated dining space. You can incorporate all of these into the same outdoor space with the right appliances, furnishings, and fixtures.

A mobile kitchen island, some seating, a table, outdoor lighting, and a firepit, for example, could be all you need to turn a patio or deck into a functional alfresco living area. Create outdoor spaces suitable for your climate and spaces that let you make the most of your outdoor square meterage.


The right design features maximise comfort, functionality, and living standards in your home. Start with a spacious kitchen with a butler pantry for family and social gatherings. Homework and work-from-home stations can support productivity, learning, and focus. A mudroom allows you to transition from the outdoors to your interior effortlessly while keeping your home clean and tidy.

Open-plan living remains an enduring trend that opens up your communal spaces, makes them multifunctional, and enables people to get together more easily. Finally, alfresco living areas let you spend more time outdoors, and enjoy the fresh air and views for added versatility and enjoyment in your home.

At Plunkett Homes, we’ve been building homes in Western Australia for 120 years. Our friendly expert team can customise any design you have in mind, ensuring your needs are met regardless of your unique lifestyle, goals, and budget. Contact us today with your design idea or questions and we’ll be happy to assist.

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