Things I Know about Display Homes

Image courtesy APA Homes

I LOVE display homes.

I’ve always loved a bit of a sticky beak into the latest home designs. It started when I was young and my parents took us to Sydney to have a look at some of the mega display villages there.

Although I still have nightmares at the 80’s prevailing fashion of mirrored walls, I fell in love with the idea of creating and styling my very own abode one day.

Fast forward 20 or so years and I still enjoy the odd look into new homes.  I still hold that elusive dream of building my own one day, dreaming of the life I would lead in a picture perfect home.

Of course, with my family, any home would not remain picture perfect for long…but I do still enjoy the process of dreaming and planning and dreaming!

I recently visited a new display home village.  As I went through home after home, it was clear that I was loving some things and seriously disliking others…so these are the things I know I love about display homes right now:

1. I LOVE the new fashion of including butler’s pantries in kitchens. It is such a cool idea to be able to hide your mess away while entertaining in your designer kitchen. Some homes even had dedicated wine cupboards which I could also very happily have in my house…

My dream red kitchen - image courtesy Sual Eman (

2. I’m a sucker for over-the-top ensuites. If I were to ever have one, I’d have one with a luxurious pedestal bath taking centre stage with a massive two head shower recess as part of a combined bathroom/dresser/wardrobe suite which would be even bigger than my whole bedroom. Completely unnecessary but oh so desirable…

I could do with this too - image courtesy winnond (

3.  Wood is sexy. I love the increasing use of wood in modern houses. Wooden doors, windows and floors are everywhere nowadays and I love it. What I really liked this visit was the use of wood as informal feature walls, particularly wooden louvres, which really brought that holiday feel inside.

Lovely wooden windows - image courtesy Sual Eman (

While I loved these features, there were some others I really disliked:

1. Home builders – can you PLEASE put the name of the house you are displaying somewhere easy to find? Why display the home if people can’t easily identify it? I couldn’t tell you the name of most of the homes I went through which I think is pretty poor for companies looking to sell a very expensive product.

2. Water features are noisy and distracting. I like the look of them but (quite ironically) they don’t create the calm and peaceful ambience they promise when they are turned on. Why is that, exactly?

Water features don't leave me feeling zen - image courtesy Master Isolated Images (

3. I was not a fan of the sameness and similarities between many of the homes – some originality wouldn’t go astray, particularly if you don’t go to the trouble of easily identifying the design in the first place!

So there are the things I know about display homes this week. Joining up with Shae from Yay for Home for Things I Know.

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18 Responses

  1. Julie says:

    Things I know:

    They are HUGE! We currently live in a 9 square home (with 3 small kids). It is small, but we cope, and I can clean it pretty quickly.

    We are looking at doing the knockdown-rebuild thing in about 5-10 years time, but I’m already researching. There is seriously nothing less than 22 squares (in a standard home) – no, I do NOT want to clean 3 or 4 toilets!
    Julie recently posted..Give thanks on Thursday

    • Kirsty says:

      Julie, you are so right – the houses are massive and often overly so. I nearly put down as one of my dislikes the houses that have 4 different living areas and other unnecessary rooms – it is crazy! I think our houses and situations are pretty much the same – we only have one living area and one toilet and while I would love an extra one of each I don’t need 4 more to clean and look after!!!!

  2. I love looking at display homes!! The biggest problem we find is they arnt quite big enough for our family!! So we are looking at designing our own!

    We actually photograph display homes for a living, its amazing to see them so beautifully presented!
    Kirsty @mummytofive recently posted..Things I Know — 5 Easy Christmas Craft you can do with your Children.

    • Kirsty says:

      Funny you mention that Kirsty, because when I went through them there was a photo shoot going on in one of them, with some actors pretending to have a family BBQ!

      The homes are huge but they don’t often have enough bedrooms for big families – they have 4 living areas or 4 bathrooms for 4 people instead! I hope you get to design something magnificent for your family!

  3. Grace says:

    Agreed. Wood is definitely sexy ! And that bath ? Oh my, I could live in that thing 🙂
    Grace recently posted..Things I Know…About Wedding Anniversaries

  4. nellbe says:

    We love looking in display homes too. Haven’t done it in ages but we’ll have to do it soon.
    nellbe recently posted..Things I Know

    • Kirsty says:

      There’s something fun about looking through display homes! I’ve always loved it, hence my excitement at finding a new display village so close to home. And I surely have an excuse to go back if I didn’t see them all, don’t I???

  5. Trish says:

    I haven’t been in display homes for years but I agree with you – I love those over the top ensuites 🙂
    Trish recently posted..Random things I know

  6. Jayne says:

    Wood IS sexy. It makes a home very warm and inviting.

    I haven’t been to a display home in years, but I love them too!
    Jayne recently posted..Things I Know – the anticipation edition.

    • Kirsty says:

      I love wood and it’s great that it is being used more in modern homes – I can’t wait to tear out my existing aluminium windows and replace them with wooden frames – an essential part of my eventual renovation project!!!

  7. Atria says:

    I think our houses and situations are pretty much the same – we only have one living area and one toilet and while I would love an extra one of each I don’t need 4 more to clean and look after!!!!
    Atria recently posted..Tips for Arizona Residents to Avoid Tax Preparers Who Might Get Them in Trouble with the IRS

  8. Marita says:

    Ooooh I love display homes too. Regularly used to drag hubby out to look at them. Not so much now I’ve got the girls but it was fun back when we were a child free couple.
    Marita recently posted..Sunday Selections – Happy Photos

    • Kirsty says:

      This particular trip I made on my own as the kids can’t cope with looking at more than 2 homes in a row! It’s still heaps of fun though if you ever get the opportunity…

  9. Rob says:

    I agree, while some water features can be noisy and distracting, I like to think that this is because they weren’t designed properly or with that particular house in mind. A water feature that is designed by the home owner and installed by a professional with the correct design intent applied can be a beautiful piece of “moving art” and can also be of very easy and cost effective to maintain.

    Great Site and Blog, I’m glad I found it!

    • Kirsty says:

      Rob, you are right. I know water features can be peaceful but I think the builders of these display homes just decided to install and operate the most grandiose ones they could find. In this case, I think less would have been more! Thanks so much for reading and commenting, it’s very much appreciated!

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