2 Storey House Design in Australia

by | Apr 20, 2020 | What we’re thinking about

When contemplating a 2 storey house design, there are a number of factors that need to be taken
into consideration.


As Architects, we do not design homes based on a formula, or the number of rooms the client
requests. Rather we design a house to suit the block of land and the lifestyle of the occupants. Most
“off the shelf” home designs take a one-size-fits-all approach to location & lifestyle. They are
designed to face a street and a backyard, with little concern for such things as orientation, views, etc
– all of which we will discuss in this article.

These homes tend to focus on the finishes and size of rooms and require the occupants to adapt their lifestyle to the design of the home.


As with any house design, a 2 storey house design should consider the following:

  • Site orientation and solar access. We live in a country that has a wonderful climate, and we generally enjoy an outdoor lifestyle. Designing your home to maximise winter sun, and avoid the harsh afternoon summer sun is a major factor in the liveability of the home.
  • Where the prevailing breezes come from. Designing the house to maximise cross ventilation, by capturing cooling breezes in summer and blocking unwanted cold or hot winds will lower the ongoing running costs of the home, and again make the most of our climate.
  • what do you actually need? A house can be a collection of rooms with names like living, family, rumpus, bedroom, or it can be designed around the spaces you need for the activities that occur, like sleeping, eating, cooking, etc.
  • What do the regulations allow? Every council will have a set of rules for your building type. Some of these can be at odds with the best outcome for your land and family, however, it is important to take these into account. Creating an amazing design that cannot be approved is costly and heartbreaking.


Once all of these factors have been considered, the next question becomes: where the main living
area will be located. Historically, the main sitting room was located at the front of the dwelling, with
the service rooms at the rear. Current practice is to locate the living areas are on the ground floor
opening onto the rear yard. Depending on the orientation of your land, and any views you may get,
the main living area could be at the front, back, upstairs, downstairs or even facing a side courtyard.
How many living areas you want and need will depend on the number and ages of the people who
will live in the home. As will the number of bedrooms (sleeping spaces).

3 Bedroom House Plans

Most 3 bedroom 2 storey homes will have living areas on the ground floor and all 3 bedrooms on the
first floor. This arrangement keeps the building compact and more cost effective.

4 Bedroom House Plans

Most 4 bedroom 2 storey homes will have the 4th bedroom as a multipurpose room downstairs. It
can be used for guests or a study/media room. For a family with 3 children, a design that located the
3 children’s bedrooms together and a separate parents retreat can be considered.

5 Bedroom House Plans

In a 5 bedroom house, there are multiple options. Any of the ideas for a 3 or 4 bedroom home apply.
The 5th bedroom can be a second master, that is separated from the rest of the house so that it could
be rented out when not needed.

Designing a home from scratch is an amazing adventure, where anything is possible!

- Peter Couvaras
Peter started the Couvaras Architects from the dining table in 2005, and has built a reputation for delivering buildings that not only function well, but deliver an element of delight. He is responsible for client engagement and managing the team.
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