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Changing rooms, changing lives

DID your childhood home have a pantry or larder? How about a dining room or utility room? Open fireplace or bookshelves?

All familiar features in older homes but many of them are now missing from contemporary layouts, according to homeowners who replied to the Britain at Home survey.

Today's householders are much more likely to make space for modern essentials like the home office − 28% of those surveyed for Lloyds Bank Insurance say they now have one − or a flat-screen TV (86%) that's ideal for Xbox or PlayStation gaming as well as watching the latest blockbuster movie or talent show.

More than half say they had an open fireplace in their childhood home − but not in their current home − and 48% had a pantry. Other features lost since growing up are a living room display cabinet (31%) and bookshelves (13%).

Joint buyers gaming

The findings come as no surprise to Bromford Homes Head of Sales Alan Bradley. "They reflect the many social changes and technical innovations that have transformed the way we live our lives, what's important to us − and what is not," he says.

"For instance, a living room-diner or kitchen-diner (pictured below) is usually at the heart of the typical Bromford home − and you will almost always find a downstairs cloakroom as well as the family bathroom upstairs.

Farthings Friend

"Instead of the traditional fireplace, a large flat-screen TV is the focal point of most modern living rooms. But who's to say that will continue? Some people have already switched from their TV to streaming programmes on a laptop or iPad − and, of course, many householders use all of part of their second or third bedroom as a home office. Some even convert their understairs cupboard by slotting in a desk if it's big enough!

"One thing is sure − these changes will continue. We are always talking to first-time buyers about the layout of our homes and what they regard as the must-have features. A lot of care and creative thinking goes into every new home with the aim of making sure that buyers can get on with their busy lives − now and in the future."

Rosedale floor plan

Alan highlights our three-bed Rosedale at Mulberry Gardens, Meriden, as a fine example of contemporary layout (pictured above) that suits modern family living. The kitchen-diner has plenty of room for a breakfast/dining table, with an L-shaped range of stylish kitchen units at the front of the house and a door leading into the garden at the back.

A downstairs cloakroom and stairway separate the kitchen-diner from a spacious living room with bay window at the front and french windows leading into the garden.

"Walk into a home like this and it's easy to imagine how life would be," says Alan. "You could be sitting down to breakfast together, cooking a meal while the kids do their homework behind you, entertaining friends on a fine summer evening with the garden door open, or all of you relaxing in the living room with a movie or maybe a music game on the Xbox or PlayStation. The Rosedale (below) is a fine example of modern family-friendly room layout."

The Rosedale

OUT − what else has gone the way of the pantry?

  • VHS player and cassettes collection
  • Living room display cabinet (to store the VHS tapes?)
  • Twin-tub washing machine − popular in 1960s and early 70s

IN − a few modern must-haves

  • Wi-fi hub, laptop and games console
  • Coffee machine
  • Bread maker

To find out more about Mulberry Gardens and our other shared ownership developments, call 0845 60 10 878. You can also register for updates or keep in touch by following us on Twitter and Facebook.


08 October 2014