Outdoor BlindsOutdoor Screens

Sustainable & Stylish Features to Include when ‘Building New’—or when Renovating Your Home.

By July 29, 2022 No Comments

Current new home features put an emphasis on eco-friendly building materials, energy-efficient designs, and technological innovation geared towards smart-home living. At Phantom Screens, we align with the high standard of new and emerging home trends and are committed to providing a high-quality product for those building new or renovating their existing home.

Installing Indoor-Outdoor Screens and Blinds

Motorised screens, blinds and shades are a great way to elevate your sun protection, insect protection and the privacy of your patio or outdoor space—all at the touch of a button. Retractable screens can be raised and lowered to your desired position via remote control, giving them versatility over traditional fly screen protection solutions. Our screens and shades are custom-fit for each installation, making them ideal for patios, patio covers, porches, pergolas and garages of all sizes. Motorised outdoor blinds can also be installed over door and window openings using solar screen or blackout shade options. A wide selection of hardware colours and screen materials are available to meet your specific needs and match the architectural style of your home or business.

Eco-Friendly Building Materials

As sustainability and energy efficiency initiatives become the norm, consumers and contractors insist that eco-friendly building materials—are new build or renovation ‘must-haves’. Green building solutions—offer a fantastic opportunity to save energy, reduce waste, cut down on greenhouse gas emissions, and conserve natural resources; all while improving water and air quality. Any building materials that contain phthalates, formaldehyde, toxic flame retardants, or volatile organic compounds (VOCs) should be avoided. Home surroundings impact your health, so using eco-friendly building materials is truly an investment in your family and your home’s longevity.

Roof Insulation

Homeowners can save an average of 15% on heating and cooling—by adding insulation in their roof. Fitted to the ceiling, roof insulation acts as a barrier between hot and cold air, keeping homes cool during summer and warm during winter. Without adequate insulation, moisture from rain can lead to toxic mould growth and water damage which is highly prevalent in Queensland homes. A properly insulated home is healthier, reduces noise pollution, and improves air quality. In addition, insulating your roof prevents harmful pollutants from entering and spreading throughout your home. Due to its health and economic benefits, it is one of the most important must-haves when building a new home or when renovating.

Solar Panels

An average home can save between $10,000 to $30,000 over the lifetime of its solar panel system. In a nutshell—when the sunlight hits the semiconductor material of a solar cell, it releases electrons, producing reliable electricity for your home. The more solar panels connected, the greater the amount of electricity produced. This clean electricity eliminates the use of harmful fossil fuels—and these panels are readily available and easy-to-install. Not only do they reduce electricity bills, but solar panels can also increase a home’s value by 4.1%. Solar panels don’t require a lot of maintenance, and repair work costs are generally low. As providers of sustainable, renewable, and plentiful energy, they are a new home ‘must-have’, which helps to reduce carbon emissions and contribute to a more eco-friendly way of living.

High-Quality Windows

Superior quality windows are durable and easy to maintain. Windows provide light and warmth while stylistically elevating our homes. Well-constructed windows are airtight and keep interior temperatures regulated, reducing high-energy bills during the winter months. They also protect furniture, flooring, and window treatments from sun damage because they reflect harmful UV rays. High-quality windows should have a minimum of double-glazing, although triple-glazed windows are more efficient to combat noise pollution. 2022, has seen an uptick in black window frames and floor-to-ceiling window installations as they provide a luxurious look and feel in a range of Queensland home designs.

Smart Lighting

Smart lighting is one of the many essentials when building a new house—as being able to control light settings from a smartphone or tablet means you don’t have to be in the room or at home to turn bulbs on and off. It saves homeowners money, improves home security, and is completely customisable. Smart lighting with LED bulbs also conserves energy without sacrificing the brightness you’re accustomed to.

Personalised Built-Ins

Whether it’s shelves, benches, or entertainment units, built-ins are unique and personal to each homeowner. Built-ins are trending in 2022 as they provide innovative storage solutions for clunky appliances and are ideal display spaces for your favourite piece(s) of art. Built-ins are both functional and decorative—and they can add personality to any space. Most likely due to the work-from-home lifestyle—built-ins are back, as more homeowners desire customised pieces no one else has and improved storage solutions to cater to their specific needs. Remember to consider placement, shape, storage configuration, and architectural details when designing your personalised built-ins. The perfect built-in should seamlessly blend with the existing style of your home and never look like an afterthought.

Outdoor Living Space

Of course, when building a custom home it doesn’t stop with the interior—there’s also outdoor living spaces that require immense consideration! People have realised the benefits of the outdoors and are extending its functionality particularly in tropical Queensland. Installing decks, patios, kitchens, bars, pools, and lounges to outdoor areas are popular choices as they allow residents to take advantage of outdoor living. It’s also possible to build semi-enclosed spaces that allow you to entertain outdoors for longer periods during seasonal transitions. This is ideally done using custom made motorised outdoor blinds and outdoor screens. A trend report by Kleber and Associates noted that 69% of homeowners had increased their outdoor living options, along with landscaping, because they view such outdoors areas as a vital extension to family gathering areas which are highly optimised on a daily basis.

Smart-Home Technology

We’ve already touched on smart lighting, but there are so many more unique custom home features you can add to accommodate your lifestyle. Smart interior blinds, smart outdoor screens, smart thermostats, doorbells, locks, refrigerators, audio control, and security can help simplify daily mundane tasks and routines in the home. These technological integrations make life easier and more comfortable. Some of the more popular smart-home tech trends include facial recognition devices, video door alarms, and ultra-modern burglar alarms. On a less complex note, something as simple as a wall socket with USB ports can also make a massive difference when charging and powering phones, audio, and other smart devices around your home.

Numerous Electrical Outlets

With our increasing reliance on our devices—a smart decision is to add extra electrical outlets wherever possible if you’re building or renovating. It’s far more cost-effective to have these outlets installed during a new build rather than having an electrician put them in later. Take into consideration the areas that you know are the most convenient for charging electronics. You may even want to add some pop-up outlets in your kitchen island for added convenience.

Floating Toilets and Vanities

A simple feature to consider when building a new home is to install floating toilets, instead of the traditional fit-in commodes. This way—no grime and dirt is collected at the base of the commode and it’s a more modern and streamlined design. Overall this design is far cleaner and very easy-to-maintain. Similarly, floating vanity sets are gaining popularity in new builds too. Instead of the usual wall-to-floor vanity unit, go for a floating vanity set which will help create the perception of more space in even the smallest of bathrooms. Remember, water-resistant, aluminium venetians are ideal for wet areas such bathrooms and powder rooms.


If you’re building a custom house, we’d highly recommend adding a unique home feature such as a mudroom which is traditionally used to store coats, bags, and shoes. Mudrooms are so handy to have as they help keep interiors tidy and organised particularly if you have children and pets. These transitional spaces were popular in the 1960s when homes started to embody minimalist designs. They can be multi-functional and used to do laundry or even to wash the dog.

Kitchen Islands

A long-standing favourite—kitchen islands double up as workspaces, classrooms, and food preparation areas. Multi-use kitchen islands are one of the most useful additions to any home as they are the ideal multipurpose space which will cater to the needs of all residents with ease. From a design perspective you may opt to have one devoted to being a specific serving and food prep area—or you may want to include a sink, dishwasher, or additional seating for added convenience.

Open Floor Plan

If you are building a new house, ensure that you are building it with an open floor plan. This is not only a major trend in nearly every real estate market in the world right now, but it also is one of the most sought-after features for potential buyers. Open floor plans are essentially a blank canvas which allows homeowners to incorporate any furniture or interior design scheme they desire with minimal restriction. By incorporating an open floor plan you can enhance the quality of interactions among family members and you can also open up the space visually which can make smaller floor plans appear much larger.

Pantry Storage

Often you will find homes have inadequate pantry storage space which forces homeowners to have their pantry and dry goods sprawled throughout the home which can be extremely inconvenient. By creating a large pantry with more shelves and wider cupboard doors will allow for all your items to be succinctly organised in one location. This also contributes to preventing food waste and overshopping which will allow you to save thousands annually.

Custom Pantry Cupboards

Pantry cupboards have long been a staple in older homes, but they’re also growing in popularity in custom homes. Having a dedicated space to store staples makes shopping and meal planning easier and eliminates the need for overhead wall cabinets, which are often hard to reach. Clever, compact designs, dark surfaces, structured simplicity, and smart storage solutions are trending this year. New house must-haves include concealed pantry cupboards that blend in with the interior’s modern aesthetics. This works particularly well for homeowners with smaller houses who desire a minimal aesthetic to free up space and improve flow.

Easy Access Laundry Rooms

Many homeowners look to position the laundry room close to the master bedroom or main bathroom for added convenience. If the master bedroom is positioned upstairs and your laundry is downstairs—adding a laundry chute is highly beneficial and allows you to streamline those mundane everyday tasks. If your home layout allows—add a large window in your laundry room to allow for as much sunlight as possible to enter your space. The sun has natural antibacterial elements that will aid in keeping your space hygienic. Having a large window in this space will also help you keep this area dry and free from damp and mould growth which can impact the health of your household.

Lights & Outlets Under Cabinets

When homeowners install lighting plans throughout the interior of their homes, they often prioritise direct illumination and overhead / ceiling lighting over shape, form, and ambiance. Lights and outlets under cabinets are helpful for food preparation but also highlight cabinet features and offer a softer light than overhead ceiling lamps—which can be very visually appealing particularly in open plan environments. LEDs and fluorescents are must-haves for new builds and kitchen renovations because they don’t emit much heat, and are highly energy-efficient

Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters are an excellent long-term investment for any home. They only use energy when using appliances or turning on the hot water supply, which in turn can save you immensely on energy and utility bills. On average, they have a longer lifespan, produce an endless supply of hot water, take up less space, and are a safer alternative to the traditional water heaters. While tankless water heaters come with a higher price tag to install, the advantages outweigh the initial capital costs. In fact, they can be between 24% to 34% more energy-efficient than conventional storage tank water heaters. Thus, a major advantage of building a custom home is the ability to make energy-efficient decisions that will continue to benefit you in the years to come.

Building the home of your dreams is often a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so it’s worthwhile investing in new home must-haves for creating the ideal sustainable and eco-friendly living quarters for you and your family. Enhance your quality of life and save thousands each year while reducing your carbon footprint. At Phantom Screens, we are focused on providing outdoor screens and outdoor blinds that enhance the energy rating of your home and reduce your utility bills significantly.


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