Moving with the times – the changing use of homes

Going back to medieval times, homes were a fairly simple construction of four walls, foundations and a roof. All life went on in just one large communal space. We didn’t worry about many important requirements for homes today especially WIFI. Over time, and with new wealth and health, interior walls were put up with living and bedrooms born.

It was the Victorians who took the concept of each room having a specific purpose to new levels. The grandees demanded drawing rooms, dining room, breakfast room, study, morning room, billiard room, smoking room, library and some even required several bathrooms! Although considerably scaled down, this trend was adopted in many homes across the country where the front parlour was kept strictly for entertaining and impressing visitors and the kitchen was banished to the rear of the property. The reception room had arrived.

Today, we have come full circle. Most people now want a large communal kitchen/family room and the formal dining and drawing room is rarely used. Also, the days of everyone in the house sitting together to watch the same TV programme, is also in the past.

Reception rooms are an anachronism – very few people “receive” guests as they did in Jane Austen’s time. The reception room is, like the front parlour, dead.

Our homes are built to try to exceed customer expectation. We think about what people want in their home including storage as well as space to live.

Today buyers do want more en-suites, a separate utility room, downstairs cloakroom and a roof space for additional storage and garage/outbuilding for parking multiple cars and storing larger items including bikes. To provide all this and a large communal living space, many housebuilders reduce the size of other rooms, stairwell and hallways so that a buyer has their preferred layout but has had to compromise on size.

Wherever possible Troy Homes takes a different view to space and design. We do not try to shoehorn a four-bedroom home onto a three-bedroom sized plot, because it just does not work. We try to consider our likely customer and design homes to suit their likely requirements. The proportions of a home are critical not just for aesthetics, but for practical reasons as well. For example, a long, narrow kitchen/family room can feel like a railway carriage and the furniture never fits properly. Or, if it is too small, then the noise of the extractor fan will drown out conversation. When the proportions and design are right, then everything fits and works.

We also make sure that rooms are adaptable. So, instead of thinking and providing the Victorian labelling: “This is the dining room,” we make sure that the room could also be the perfect playroom, office, gaming room or home cinema. Likewise, while bedrooms are mostly for sleeping and dressing, they may also be places for homework or can become a great dressing room; music room, or a place where kids entertain their friends. Therefore, we make sure that there are ample power points for hair dryers, straighteners, computers and TVs, not forgetting a bedside light and BT socket.

Most important we ensure our homes work well with all modern media. We often wire homes with Cat 6 cabling and HDMI cables as well as providing fibre optic, wherever we can, to the homes to ensure great WIFI around the homes. We know the home is a hub for leisure activities.

The way we live in our homes has changed – formality has been replaced by relaxed adaptability. For housebuilders the challenge is to build homes with well-designed spaces that buyers can easily style to fit their changing needs. At Troy Homes, this is what we do best.