How Lauren and David Crafted Their First Home

Watch how the first home owners behind @sohihome brought their palette of greys, whites and blacks to life (and did so while sticking to their budget).

Surrounded by large eucalyptus trees towering from above, you’ll find Lauren and David’s double-storey home, the Simpson 34, nestled within the winding streets of Melbourne.

With backgrounds in the architecture and furniture industries, the first home owners felt well-equipped to take on the often-daunting task of building a home. Like most, they still had questions about what the journey involved, but after visiting display homes and comparing a handful of builders, they felt confident in Simonds to deliver on their vision.

Lauren and David would go on to document every step of their journey on @sohihome, a decision they say was motivated by being a part of a community where they can bounce ideas off one another and inspire others to embark on a building journey of their own.

“We’ve always been very interested in the idea of building because we’d be able to personalise our home into something we really love”, they say. “The building community really gets around you and is very supportive when you’ve got questions.”

A photograph of the couple, Lauren and David, smiling in front of the closed garage.

Starting with a Vision

So, where did they begin?

Early on, the Simpson 34 home design emerged as a clear winner. Its efficient layout and smart use of space meant they were able to fully maximise their smaller 350 square metre lot size. Being able to build over the garage was another big deciding factor in favour of the design, as it gave them the extra space to incorporate a relaxing retreat that flowed on from their master bedroom.

The three secondary bedrooms and upstairs and downstairs lounges gifted them the flexibility to create comfortable working from home and workout spaces, a pool and games room, guest bedrooms and plenty of room to stretch out when it came to hobbies.

Exterior Photo of Simonds customers, Lauren and David looking towards the contemporary two storey house featuring a modern design.

With their sights set on the Simpson 34 design, they turned their attention to personalising the standard floor plan by enhancing here and tweaking there. They placed a big focus on features that would “leave a high and lasting impact”, like incorporating bigger windows throughout the home, they explain.

The result of which shines the most with their beautiful staircase. After seeing a similar design in one of our displays, they decided to raise the window up to the ceiling and incorporate billowing sheers to match. They’ve thought of the big details – like the feature pendant light; as well as the small – like the ambient wall fixtures that light up each step.

Plus, the space is perfectly positioned to take in the morning sun, so you’ll often find Lauren perched on the stairs soaking up the warm rays with a cup of coffee in hand.

Being Confident in Their Decisions

As they continued to move through the journey, a big part of trusting their decisions came down to the different virtual 3D renders that David would design and mock-up, using his expertise as an architect to experiment ahead of time with different layouts, particular features and colour palettes.

A second part was the support and guidance they received from their Gallery Consultant during their selections appointment. On the day, armed with a moodboard and plenty of inspiration images, they were able to work together to craft and hone their dream vision. Their Gallery Consultant was able to give them confidence in their monochromatic palette, recommending alternatives to suit their budget where necessary.

Incorporating Laminex benchtops in their walk-in pantry and laundry, while keeping their Caesarstone ‘Symphony Grey’ in the kitchen and bathrooms was just one of the design hacks the couple used to keep their Gallery budget on track.

Feeling Supported Every Step of the Way

Along with their Gallery Consultant, they say the support that they felt from their Customer Relationship Coordinator and Site Supervisor throughout the journey came down to “consistent communication from the team at all stages, who would swiftly help us with our questions and concerns,” whether that was through frequent phone calls, site visits or quick email replies.

At the end of the day, having a place that they could call their own was a key motivation. “The biggest piece of advice [to anyone thinking about building] would be to persevere. I guess the process of building a house isn’t always easy, you’ll have lots of ups and downs, but it’s so rewarding and worth it in the end,” Lauren says.

“The joy of going through that process is exciting and it’s thrilling, and you finally get to the end and you think, ‘gee we built this!'” David adds.

To see more of their beautiful home or to keep following their journey, head over to @sohihome.