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Design tips for country homes
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What do you think of when you hear the words 'country home'?

Big open spaces, fresh air, amazing views, birdsong, starry skies and a welcome sense of peace and tranquillity, all enjoyed from the comfort of your own rural hideaway.

Sound idyllic?

Country homes have an inherent charm that’s easy to fall for. Homely, comfortable and welcoming, they conjure up visions of the quintessential Australian homestead, the classic country manor, the traditional farmhouse and the barn-inspired retreat with all the mod-cons.

And you don’t have to have a sprawling block either. Many of today’s country home styles can be comfortable on a standard corner block.

Maybe you’ve grown up in a country town and are planning to build a new home for your own family, or maybe you’ve got your eye on a tree-change and want something to fit your new lifestyle among the gumtrees? Or a holiday home for those get-away-from-it-all breaks. Something that’s still big enough to cope with the kids and grandkids when they descend for the holidays. Or maybe you just want to move a bit further out of town into a semi-rural spot with a bit more breathing space.

Whatever the inspiration, building on a bigger-than-average block gives you the freedom to build what you want – both in terms of size and style.

And if there’s one residential builder that knows its way around a country home, it’s Plunkett. After all, the country home has been a Plunkett staple for more than 100 years.

Our top 10 design tips to help you start planning your own country idyll:

1. Light and height

Raking ceilings are the hallmark of many rural-style properties, running the length of the open-plan living area and out to the alfresco. Combined with highlight windows, they give the space distinctive shape and volume, accentuating an open-plan layout and an easy flow from indoors to outdoors. They’re impressive in master suites too.

2. Width

Country-style homes typically have a wide frontage, making the most of a big block or corner lot. But don’t be deceived. A long, low frontage usually conceals an explosion of space inside.

3. Views

Designs for rural blocks typically take advantage of an open aspect, often capturing views from several sides. Gable-end windows allow you to star gaze at night.

4. Zoning

Many traditional farmhouse designs group the three minor bedrooms together to one side of the central living area, with a second lounge and the master suite to the other side.

5. Materials

Modern country homes team the warmth and texture of timber or stone with white rendered external walls and a dark Colorbond roof. In more traditional designs, exposed brick walls in red or cream are highlighted by classic mouldings and balustrading.

6. Style

Country style can be as classic or as fresh and modern as you like. Retro and industrial touches add character and there’s always opportunity to play with colour and pattern. Barn doors, huge rustic hanging lights, fireplaces and freestanding baths make for bold style statements.

7. Scullery

A good-sized scullery off the kitchen is a farmhouse staple, often with an extra sink and a recess for the dishwasher, plus lots of storage and prep space.

8. Mudroom

A mudroom is another popular addition, giving you a dedicated spot for jackets and boots. Good for school bags and sports kit too.

9. Size

Everything feels bigger in a country home, with wide passageways, big windows and free-flowing spaces that spill out onto generous verandas and large decks for entertaining.

10. Retreat

Consider turning the master suite into an over-sized retreat with space for a window seat so you can sit and enjoy that wonderful country view.

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