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Kiwi Lockdown Insights To Design Ultimate Home

With a month spent locked in our homes we have gained a new perspective on life and how we use space, and a new initiative aims to harness these insights to design the ultimate Kiwi home.

‘The House NZ Built’, created by Stonewood Homes, aims to tap into the ‘collective genius’ of communities across the country to create a home fitting of the future the corona virus crisis has forced on the world.

“COVID lockdown has provided a unique opportunity for people to assess the space around them and what it means to be secure and connected,” said Steven Zhu Executive Director of Stonewood Homes.

“We are all looking at life differently now. Knowing something like a virus can have such a profound impact on our lives and basically bring it to a halt certainly changes what we need in a home to be comfortable and function not only as a family, but to manage work, life and our health needs.”

Zhu said the company is inviting families from across both islands to share what they love and hate about their home, what they would change, and ultimately what they need in a home.

“We believe we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to draw on extraordinary consumer insights to design a home that answers the overall needs of Kiwis and what they want in this new reality. We are calling on all New Zealanders to have their say and be involved in this special project.”

New Zealanders can take part in The House NZ Built by completing the survey at

Following the research, award winning designer Peter Mannion from Synergy Designs will collate the findings to create the home plan.

“This is such a unique project and when I heard about it, I was excited to be involved and help bring the House NZ Built to life,” Mr Mannion said. “People have never spent so much time assessing their homes, and I can’t wait to see what New Zealanders want.”

Deborah Still from Deborah Still Interior Design said the House NZ Built was a wonderful opportunity for people to get creative and rethink how space can be utilised.

“I think this time has helped people realise they need to be more creative and think laterally about space,” she said. “It’s about considering out-of-the-box ideas and how rooms can be utilised for multiple purposes, not just doing the same old thing.

“Everybody has basic needs to be fulfilled by their home, so the influence on design really rests with lifestyle. This element will impact what they want and believe their home should be.”

Ms Still shared her top tips for helping people focus their design ideas.

  1. Family large or small? Do you have children or extended family you need to account for regarding space and access? Are play areas vital? The size of the family will influence the amount of rooms you need and communal living spaces.
  2. Peaceful or playful? Do you want a tranquil private existence within your home or are you looking for daily fun and energy and a constant sense of community? This thinking will shape the level of open space in a home.
  3. Active or cosy? Do you like to exercise regularly and be outdoors or are you more the type of person who likes to spend your free time cozied up with a book? This will influence a home’s connection to the outdoors and space needed for gym equipment etc
  4. Entertainers or restaurateurs? Do you like to cook and have people over or do you prefer to eat out with friends? This will impact kitchen and living space choices and the size and budget allocated to each.
  5. Low or high maintenance? Do you love gardening and want to be able to spend time tending to it, or is mowing the last thing on your ‘to-do’ list?
  6. Warm or cool colours? Do you like deep rich colours or cool airy tones? This will affect both interior and exterior style decisions.
  7. Dream big. Always start with your dream list and what you would really love in a home, as often a plan can be worked around to meet a budget and wish list. It also helps a person drill down on what matters most for their home.

Zhu said people who contribute to the research will gain exclusive access to the design, no obligation required.

“We want to reward people who share their thoughts with us and what better way than to give them access to the ‘House NZ Built’ plan. After all, they will have helped design it.”

Research will be open from May 4 until May 22, 2020 with the home reveal and 3D virtual render launched before the end of June.

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