It’s all in the “Design”

Hi all again,

You may not know that beside designing our villages my duties extend to hanging whiteboards, fixing lights, programming door controllers and furniture removal. Yes I am the Mr Fix It around here. It doesn’t worry me undertaking these little extras. However, I do need to clarify the extent of what I am being asked to do. For example, last week Christy asked if I could pick a bed up from Ikea for the new display villa. “No worries,” I said. “I’ll pop down during my lunch break and lend a hand.” Well when I arrived ONE bed actually meant THREE beds (each being 3 boxes), TWO side tables, ONE couch (5 boxes) and cushions. I was compensated in part with cinnamon scrolls, as it was approaching afternoon tea when we got back. Lesson:- Helpers beware and think about a women’s language dictionary!

But all jokes aside, a great deal of thought, research and planning goes into the design of our villages. Both in terms of designing the village layout and various floor plans, right through to the interior design and presentation of a villa so it both looks and feels like a home you could see yourself living comfortably in.

Over the years our architectural designs have improved from village to village as we have learnt more about our target market, their expectations and budgets, changing needs as well as new and improved ways to build for better energy efficiency, natural light and air flow.

In our marketing collateral we talk about ageing in place. We know that when people are considering a move into one of our villages that they ideally want to stay put and enjoy their retirement years. This fact alone means continued thought from a design point of view – “how do I design these homes so that our residents can comfortably reside in them for as long as possible before having to move onto a higher care arrangement.”

The answer is always evolving but it means things like this:-
The majority of Oak Tree villa designs follow what we call our “Ergo Design Principles.”

  • Minimise steps and door way lips, and use short pile carpets to help avoid trip hazards
  • Provide energy efficient lighting and conveniently located light switches near door ways for clear vision and ease of manoeuvrability
  • Use porous tiles throughout our kitchen and bathrooms to help avoid slip hazards
  • Balance functionality and practicality in our kitchens by using wall ovens and provision for drawer dishwashers to minimise bending and reaching
  • Provision for fitted grab rails to showers and toilets to aid with balance and stability.

These principles are put in place in the design framework to help our residents stay in their homes for longer, even as their needs change over the years.

From paper, right through to when construction is completed and our interior design team have furnished a villa to present it for sale – design is a big part of what we do and is at the forefront of our concentration to ensure we bring you quality product, at an affordable price, that you can happily call home.

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