Blog

Wednesday, June 20, 2018 - 12:15pm
Nude natural flooring in a Signature Home

The best flooring fades into the background while making our homes a joy to live in. Check out our top flooring trends, as well as the wide range of durable and modern options.

1. Nude natural (above image)
Inspired by the Scandinavian trend, this look is all about stripped-back simplicity, pale wood tones and clean whites. The appearance of white-washed wood is ideal for floors, either hardwood, laminate or vinyl. Natural fibres add warmth and texture, and greenery creates a connection to nature.

 


2. Deep blue
Cool grey and deep blue flooring can create a stunning contrast with warm wood, as well as adding depth to rooms with good natural light. Consider a stone-look laminate and use rugs and soft furnishings to make the coolness feel cosy.

 


3. Light & white
Black is back and contrast is king! This striking look is bold and modern, and very light or white flooring stops it from becoming too heavy. White tiles are always on trend and very pale wood effects add the lightest hint of texture and nature in sleek spaces.

 


4. Warm wood
Rich timber and polished wood are always timeless in the home. The heritage feel of chestnut, oak, mahogany and native timbers is ideal in houses with a traditional look and feel. Hardwood floors, vinyl tiles and even laminate all offer amazing options if you love walking on wood.

 

"The appearance of colour can change in different environments, so it’s important to view your chosen sample under daylight and artificial light before making your final decision. And remember; darker colours can make a room appear smaller, whereas lighter colours can create a sense of spaciousness." Cavalier Bremworth.

TYPES OF FLOORING

CARPET
Soft and cosy, you can’t go past carpet for warmth, price, beauty and durability.

HARDWOOD
A pricier choice, hardwood is long-lasting, timeless and always beautiful.

VINYL
The ideal choice if you’re looking for a specific look on a more modest budget.

STONE & TILE
Marble, travertine and mosaic effects without the costly price tag.

LAMINATE
All the beauty and tonal variety of wood with the toughness of laminate.
 
Which flooring is best for which part of your home?

LIVING

Carpet is ideal for relaxing on, but if your living area flows out to a deck, use tough hardwood or vinyl, then add rugs for the snuggle factor.
 
KIDS’ AREA
Vinyl flooring is tough, easy to clean and comes in heaps of cool colours.
 
KITCHEN
Tiles are beautiful but take a lot of cleaning – vinyl and laminate look great and can withstand anything you throw, spill or drop.
 
BATHROOM
Tiles, tiles, tiles.
 
HALLWAY
High-traffic areas such as hallways can get noisy – a warm, durable carpet is the best choice.
 
GARAGE
Carpeting in garages is the norm these days, even under the car. Tough garage carpet will also provide a good surface for your home gym.

 

This article was originally featured in Signature Style Magazine, Issue 4. Click here to order your free copy.
 

Friday, June 15, 2018 - 11:30am
Pendant lights in a Signature Homes Design and Build

Lighting is integral to creating a warm and inviting yet practical home. Drawing up a lighting plan is the best way to ensure all your lighting needs are covered, from cooking up a storm to chilling out.

Types of Lighting


Pendants
These hanging lights are designed to make a statement, as well as illuminate, so are ideal for lighting your entryway, kitchen island or dining table.


LEDS
These versatile lights are the future due to their high energy efficiency. LED strips can be mounted almost anywhere and make great downlights in kitchens, bathrooms and hallways. LED lights are also often colour-changing so you can customise the tone of light in a room (warm or cool) or switch to full-on disco mode.


Recessed
Small lights inset into your ceiling are wonderful for low-profile illumination that won’t disrupt the flow of your space. These types of lights are often the foundation of a lighting plan and can be combined with spotlights, pendants and task lighting to provide all the different types of light you’ll need in your home.


Wall sconces
Wall-mounted lights may not be as modern as LEDs or come in as many different types as pendants but this more traditional form of lighting still has its place in the modern home. Wall lights combined with dimmer switches are great for creating a more moody feel – think dimming the lights for a movie night or special dinner for two.

Other types of Lighting fixtures

Ceiling

These lights offer general illumination and will be required all over the home, but especially in areas that need good visibility, such as the kitchen and bathroom.

Desk & Table
Lamps for reading, studying or hobby work are always handy and can be swapped out when you need a style update.

Track Light
Ideal for spotlights that will illuminate task work in zones such as the dining table and laundry.

Floor Lamps
Standing lamps are super versatile and can create a real statement. Choose a secondhand lamp or curvy brass lamp for a vintage feel.

Outdoor
Lighting your garden and entry areas well will make your home more secure, as well as more stylish. Consult a specialist for ideas on lighting your home’s exterior.

ENERGY SAVING TIPS
Here are a few easy ways to choose lighting that will lead to lower energy costs and a happier planet:
  • Recessed downlights have a narrow beam so you’ll need a large number to provide even light, resulting in higher energy consumption. These lights can also compromise your home’s ceiling insulation and thermal comfort, resulting in higher heating bills. To mitigate these drawbacks, choose modern LED downlights that are rated IC, IC-F or IC-4. They can have compatible insulation fitted over them to keep the heat in and offer lower lighting costs.
  • The ‘flood’ effect of surface-mounted ceiling and pendant lights means they light large spaces easily, so you won’t need many. Fit them with energy-efficient LED bulbs for low lighting costs.
  • Dimming your lights can help cut down your electricity bill and increase the life of your bulbs. If you dim a bulb by 50 percent, you can make 50 percent energy savings.
  • Pale-coloured walls and furnishings help to maximise natural light by providing a reflective surface. Skylights and solar-tube-type fittings increase natural light and therefore reduce lighting costs.

For more energy saving tips visit energywise.govt.nz

This article was originally published in Signature Style Magazine, Issue 4. Click here to order your free copy.


 

Friday, June 15, 2018 - 10:45am
10 Questions about your House & Land

Whether you’re looking to demolish, subdivide or start fresh on a brand-new section, Signature Homes can help you find the perfect solution.

1| What is a house and land package?
House and land packages are created when a company such as Signature Homes secures land from a developer or property owner and matches the land with a home design perfect for the section. The company then finds the right buyer for the section, works with them to personalise the home to their tastes, then manages the consent process and project manages the build. It’s an easy, secure way to buy a new home.

2| What makes Signature a great provider of house and land packages?
There are lots of house and land packages out there but Signature Homes offers a service unique for its guaranteed outcome.

“We give people transparency and surety of costs,” says Brad Hay, National Sales Manager for Signature Homes. “Where possible, we offer our customers a firm and final price that we can go to contract with, as per our advertisement.”

3| Where in New Zealand can I purchase a house and land package?
Signature Homes has House & Land packages available from Northland to Otago and pretty much everywhere in between. We have worked with developers to find great sections, then match each section with the perfect house plan to suit its climate, topography and orientation to the sun – all you need to do is add your personal touch.

4| Can Signature Homes help me demolish my home and build fresh?
Yes! If you are thinking of removing or demolishing an existing dwelling, you have many different options to choose from (see the Knock Down & Rebuild home on page 36 of Signature Style magazine, Issue 4). You can knock down the old house and build the home of your dreams, or build two, rent one and live in the other, or simply sell one or both. The Signature Homes Knock Down & Rebuild service offers expert guidance on all aspects of your project. Signature will manage the project for you and guide you through the process every step of the way.

5| Can Signature Homes help build my dream home from existing plans?
Signature Homes has been building houses across New Zealand since 1983, and can build from architectural drawings or plans that you have drawn up for your new home. We will work with you to ensure your home is built to plan and on budget. Quantity Surveyors are on hand to price up your plans prior to construction, and a Guaranteed Completion date will be set.

6| How long will it take for my house to be ready for moving day?
From the date of signing the contract, your Signature home can be ready in approximately 40 weeks, depending on the complexity of your build and time for the consent process.

7| What will I need to do to move in?
Signature Homes can provide all utility connections as part of the service. Any changes of address are facilitated on your behalf and ensuring a stress-free move from your existing property to your brand-new home is our priority.

8| Can Signature Homes help find the perfect home and section for my family?
If you’ve decided a Signature Homes House & Land package is right for you but can’t see an existing home on our website that suits your needs, we can help. Our expert team can help you find the perfect piece of land and take you through the process of selecting and building a home to suit you and your family.

9| I love my existing house but want to subdivide. Can Signature Homes help?
Subdividing and building on your property can be a great option, potentially offering very good financial rewards. However, the subdividing process can be complex and time-consuming, with consents, hidden costs, council restrictions and planning regulations just a few aspects of the project that will need to be considered. And all of that comes before a new home is built on the site! Signature Homes has created a one-stop solution we call Subdividing Services. This streamlined service puts together a number of specialists to guide you through the process of subdividing from start to finish. Our team will also be able to give you a much clearer idea of the costs involved to complete your project.

10| I live in Auckland and am worried about how the Unitary Plan might affect me. Can Signature Homes help?
We are the Auckland Unitary Plan experts and can give you a quick and easy assessment of what could be possible on your property.

This article was originally published in Signature Style magazine, Issue 4. Click here to request your free copy.

Thursday, May 17, 2018 - 1:00pm

Easy, relaxed elegance and a breezy colour palette are the key elements to coastal chic. If you want your home to have understated style and oodles of natural light so you feel like you’re on holiday all year around, this could be the style for you. More relaxed than a traditional Cape Cod or Hamptons house, coastal chic has a charm that is uniquely Kiwi.

Details to consider:
•    Weatherboard exterior cladding in white, grey or blue
•    Gable roof
•    Raked interior ceilings
•    Open plan spaces
•    White, grey or cool blue interior walls combined with natural details such as wood and stone
•    Bespoke or repurposed elements that give character
•    Panelling detail on walls, kitchen cupboards and interior doors
•    Natural handmade textures such as rattan and linen.
•    Plantation shutters or airy, draped curtains
•    Skylights
•    Pendants or chandeliers that blend in rather than drawing the eye.


Coastal chic flat lays by Jacqui at Twill Design

 

Flat lays are all over the internet, and they're a great interior design tool. When creating each room, you and your Signature colour consultant will pull together colours and textures to create a mood board. The flat lay is a photograph you can take of your mood board taken from above, to capture the essence of the room.

“When pulling together a scheme, balance is king! It’s a constant process of viewing the colours and textures objectively, and visualising them en-masse. Imagine viewing the space from all angles, and in different lights. A favourite saying of mine is “Good Design is Invisible”. Jacqui Mitchell, Twill Interiors.

 

The key architectural feature of a Coastal Chic home is airy, open rooms with lots of natural light and an easy flow between indoor and outdoor spaces.

Suggested plan: Caroline, Pacific Collection
Signature Example: Papamoa showhome
 

Wednesday, April 4, 2018 - 12:15pm

A well-designed splashback can transform an ordinary kitchen into an extraordinary space in your new home.

What should you look for when designing your kitchen? Functionality rules of course, but the look and feel of the kitchen is just as important. As the hub of the home, there is good reason to design an original space that reflects your personality, stage in life and lifestyle. A tiled splashback is one way to make a style statement in your kitchen.

Splashbacks no longer have to be plain and boring or made from a single piece of glass. Tiles are an excellent alternative as they are easy to clean and come in a huge variety of styles, from the classic subway look to chic statement tiles. With the hundreds of colour, pattern and texture options available these days, tiled splashbacks are a great way to show off your design flair and bring additional value to the property.

Things to consider:
What is the overall style of your kitchen? Is it minimalist? French country? Coastal chic? Your choice of splashback should reflect and complement your kitchen’s style and colour scheme.
Do you want your splashback to be a feature with wow-factor? Or do you want something understated? Choosing a colour or texture that contrasts with the rest of your kitchen will draw the eye away from other features.


“From earthy tones and calming spaces to inspiration on walls and vibrancy, 2018 is a mixed bag. Think peachy pink and earthy mustards and turmeric tones to peacock green, deep navy and rich crimsons to inspire and invigorate.” Tile Warehouse, 2018 Tile Trends.

If you want a splashback in white or the same colour as your kitchen, you could add subtle personality by choosing a geometric shape, or by laying a classic subway tile in a new pattern such as herringbone. Textured or 3D wall tiles are another way to add interest.

“White is a neutral tone that we associate with simplicity, cleanliness, and minimalist chic. An all-white or mostly white colour scheme is a versatile approach to create rooms with modern or classic looks.” Tile Warehouse.

Once you have decided on your colour scheme, you also have the choice of rectified or pressed tiles. Rectified tiles are mechanically trimmed, so their specifications are very precise and can be used with thin grout lines for a seamless look. Alternatively, pressed wall tiles have rounded edges, which define and accentuate grout lines for that traditional look.


Whatever colour or type of tile you choose, your final decision is the colour of the grout. A contrasting grout colour will enhance and highlight the shape of your tiles and their layout. This can be a beautiful way to add interest to an otherwise monochromatic kitchen. If you want a seamless, minimalist finish then choose grout in a colour that matches your tiles.

Choosing a splashback can seem like an insignificant decision in the planning of your new home, but getting it right can bring personality and style to your kitchen, and bring together the design of your whole space.

For the latest designs out of Europe and from around the world, click here to download the Tile Warehouse Tile Range for Signature Homes, and start planning your stunning kitchen space.