By Stuart Henderson, group product and design director at Stewart Milne Homes
THERE’S no doubt that the coronavirus pandemic has changed our world. Many of these changes will stay with us for generations to come. One of the most significant is in our relationship to our home. Many of us are now spending more time at home; working, home-schooling children, caring for elderly parents in safe ‘bubbles’ and enjoying more time to play and socialise in back gardens. As a result, living in well-designed homes and communities has never been so important.
Having undertaken extensive customer research in 2019, at the start of 2020, the design team at Stewart Milne Homes had started exploring a comprehensive re-design of our range of homes. When the Coronavirus pandemic hit, it brought a new dimension to the design process. As construction sites were temporarily closed, the designers across the entire company gathered with their sales & marketing colleagues to ensure the new home designs reflected the fast-changing views of customers but also that they would fast-track the drawings to ensure these could be quickly delivered into the market.
Stewart Milne Homes wanted to give customers the opportunity to buy homes that reflected their very real and urgent concerns for better living and working at the earliest opportunity.
At the start of 2020, we had already established what we wanted from our new home designs: bigger living areas with a focus on creating sociable kitchen/family/dining areas; improved master bedrooms with market leading storage and en-suites; in-fact larger bedrooms and storage all round.
The pandemic brought into sharp focus the need for these elements but added the important issues of working from home, having better storage and connections to your garden for families to spill out and for growing vegetables, flowers and plants.
The new homes, known as the Villages range from Stewart Milne Homes, have been designed from the ground up, leaving nothing unturned or to chance. They have been designed to meet the increasing demand for supremely functional yet beautiful homes.
As part of the design process, we articulated new core principles. Our homes are designed to be elegant, supremely functional & generous; our approach is to simplify; to design & then build beautiful homes, that are great to live, play and work in. There is no need to add much more.
These strands, which now make up our DNA, are woven into the design of each of our new homes to create elegant, well-proportioned but functional living with more generous floorspace, including larger windows providing more light and a greater sense of space.
With an elegant simplicity to the facades and elevations, we have designed homes which will be welcoming and attractive, incorporating features that offer variety and individuality.
In addition to the design of our homes, we also realise the importance that our customers will put on their immediate surroundings. Through our design standards of excellence, which have been developed alongside Architecture & Design Scotland, we have a framework approach to creating new communities. This is centre around building beautiful places, which are grounded in local heritage, that become great places to live.
Our design vision is therefore to create unique homes that will sit within this context, attracting the discerning homeowner who values quality and character and enjoys a sense of community.