Home and Office Revamps


Change Needs to be Approached in 3 Areas:

Housing Affordability New Designs To Suit New Lifestyle Environmental Concerns

Housing Affordability


My ‘pet topic’. Who said we have to have 2 incomes to be able to afford a basic roof over our heads?? I think most people “want to enjoy life instead of being a slave to a mortgage”.

Over the last 12 years there has been a: 64% increase in single people living along
  53% increase in single parent families
  34% increase in no-child families

And yet, housing design & affordability has not aligned with these social changes. The availability of acceptable, economical housing is becoming non-existent.
A small unit was often a step into the housing market; now it is the same price as an average house.

Developers are not incorporating various housing types & broad pricing structures into developments because of the grab for the almighty dollar.
While it is about choices, the cost of housing does play a huge part in dictating a populations “lifestyle”. If housing was more affordable:

  • Less children would be in child care with the resultant lack of parental/family control
  • Less time in the workplace & more time to attend to family needs, one example being more time for meal preparation & resultant more family time together, healthier eating patterns & less take-away food consumption. Only 3% of the population have 4 meals together a week. In the very few so-called “Blue Spots” around the world where longevity in the population is evident, a strong emphasis is placed on families eating & enjoying social interaction at meal times.
  • Better eating patterns lead to improved health; the statistics for rates of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer etc. are alarming.
  • More family time together (that is not rushed) can have major beneficial social implications.
  • Less work & financial related stress lessens the health implications including mental health issues which are predicted to rise dramatically in the next 5 to 10 years.
  • Less stress in turn lessens the impact on relationships, divorce, substance & other forms of abuse.

We all need a Sense of Security to enhance our

  Sense of Identity
  Sense of belonging
  Sense of purpose
  Sense of personal competence
    “We all need a feeling of basic security before we can go on to fulfill our purpose”


Melanie Melvin   Ph.D.    


Will we ever get away from “little boxes” with no trees & nature strips in developments. Some change has occurred but not enough. Our lifestyles have changed immensely but our housing has not kept up with these changes. The classic example of this is how our homes do not cater to the changes in technology; how many people struggle in their homes with lack of or poorly positioned power points, lack of space to re-charge mobile phones, batteries etc., lack of space for positioning of various computers/laptops, printers, scanners etc., or DVDS, remote controls, leads, cords etc. clutter up living spaces & look unsightly?
Many homes emphasize large entertaining areas that are used infrequently instead of being used for more specific hobby/interest areas of family members. Because family members are so mobile, less time is spent in the home & there is less time to attend to maintenance issues.
Many large open-area plans do not cater for varying activities eg. someone playing music, someone watching TV, someone needing quiet zone. Many open areas with large expanses of glass are difficult to accommodate furniture because of lack of wall space.

Our homes need to be more adaptable to changing needs in the varying stages of the life-cycle. We are seeing teens/young adults staying at home for much longer & our homes need to be able to transform eg. flexible spaces, sliding/changeable walls, semi-permanent screenings etc.


Lets see some iniatives that look “outside the square”.



We are actually viewing change in this area, only because we are being forced to meet challenges with

  • Water
  • Waste Disposal
  • Energy

More focus is needed still in the housing industry in relation to the following areas:

  • Heating & cooling our homes using alternative methods to fossil fuels
  • Increased use of ‘grey water’ especially for garden usage
  • Choosing more natural products for building and décor