How Reverse Living Elevates Your Custom Home Build

Reverse living floor plans think about space differently – reverse living says that living should happen upstairs. On the upper-level, there’s more opportunity for views, privacy and security from the streets below. Having your living space on the second storey makes better use of windows and lighting. You’re more inclined to open the blinds during the day, letting in more natural light and warmth. At night you can flick on the house lights without worrying about onlookers. Downstairs the bedrooms are privately nestled away for sleeping. The garage and utility space, which don’t require lighting or views, are ideally positioned. Here are the many ways that reverse living elevates your custom home build.

Enso Homes Lighthouse 30 reverse living floorplan.
Enso Homes, Lighthouse reverse living floorplan


Reverse living maximises views

Reverse living unconventionally places living, dining and kitchen spaces on the second storey of a home. The purpose of reverse living is to maximise any views from your property on the upper level – these might be of an ocean, river, acreage, mountains or parkland.

Entertaining: open concept upper-level

Entertaining in reverse living is often an open concept to maximise the views. The ability to combine the upper-level space means that 180 to 360-degree views can be achieved. Spending time with family and friends in a reverse living space puts your property and its location in its best light – the upper-level space makes for the perfect backdrop for any occasion with views that aren’t achievable in a single-storey home.

Open-plan living taking advantage of golf course views

Outdoor living: balconies and decks

Not only can you take in the views from inside but outside too with balconies and decks. Who wouldn’t love to relax on their expansive first-floor balcony enjoying the Surf Coast or Bellarine summer or the landscapes of the Golden Plains and the Colac Otway Shire? Balconies and decks are an ideal way for the outdoors to meet the inside of your home with reverse living. Large sliding doors connect the two spaces to make rooms feel larger. Additionally, with a fully-equipped kitchen only steps away, living and hosting parties outside has never been easier.

Reverse living home with balcony


Private upper-level living

Creating private areas on the ground floor of your home for bedrooms and bathrooms opens up many opportunities for freedom with how you design your upstairs living space. Upstairs you’re further away from the street view. You can design your windows to sit slightly lower than head height to maximise your privacy at night when the house lights are on.

Lower-level bedrooms and bathrooms

Lower-level bathrooms are well-suited to areas of your home where you don’t have any vantage points but require some natural light such as along block boundaries. Bedrooms are also well-suited to downstairs areas as they’re typically rooms that you spend the least amount of waking time in.

Enso Homes reverse living downstairs bathroom.
Enso Homes Governor 24 downstairs bathroom


Reverse living lower-level garage, utility rooms and storage

The ground floor is the most practical location for a garage so it makes sense to use the same area for utility and storage as well. A ground-floor utility room can house heating, ventilation, air conditioning systems and other household equipment. It’s convenient for you to do laundry without having to carry heavy baskets up and down stairs. Storing seasonal items, tools, and equipment in a garage also keeps the upper-level spaces clutter-free and focussed on your lifestyle.

Opportunity for optimal orientation with reverse living

Where it’s possible you should take advantage of a north-facing orientation for living spaces in your custom home (a west-facing orientation is also great in Victoria). This ensures maximum sunlight during the day. In Geelong and its surrounding regions, a garage is ideally located on the east side of your custom home to block the south-easterly winds off the ocean.

Depending on your block size and home size it’s not always possible to have the ideal orientation on the ground floor. In a reverse living home, having living areas upstairs gives you more opportunities to take advantage of orientation.

Utilising natural light and heat in reverse living

Having more private areas of the home downstairs means that blinds can be kept open all day upstairs, where most sunlight hits. It’s common for reverse living custom homes to have plenty of upstairs windows. Natural light filtering through windows creates a bright and welcoming atmosphere throughout the home and it helps to generate heat in the home. The sun’s rays can penetrate through the windows, providing a natural source of warmth which can help reduce your energy bills and carbon footprint in cooler months. For the warmer months, tinted windows and double-glazing will contribute to keeping your light-filled space cool and help you to achieve a great energy rating – 6 stars and above.

Elevate your custom home with reverse living

Maximising views, elevating open-plan living, unlocking new outdoor spaces with balcony options, more natural light, more privacy and better use of utility and storage space. Reverse living will elevate your custom home build. To learn more about custom home builds, call Enso Homes today on 03 5240 9300 or message us online.

Don’t miss out on current pricing! With the National Construction Code update on May 1st, 2024, prices will rise. Contact us now to lock in current prices.

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