Zoning: Intelligent, Functional Design

Here at Birdblack Design, we are passionate about utilising every inch of space in your home. We are vehemently against dead corners and wasted space. Creating beautifully spacious, breezy, liveable open-plan homes is our dream! We take on board our clients’ desires and requirements, based on their family dynamic and lifestyle,and run with it to create zones where the whole family can be together but separate all at the same time. Our home owners are always so relieved to know we take their specific needs so seriously in our design briefs.

We often think about zoning in a visual way, especially for our clients who have young children. We appreciate parents want to be able to see their children at all times, whether directly or indirectly supervising their activities. Toddlers need to be watched 25 hours a day, but your 8-year-old doing holiday crafts may be supervised from a distance as you prepare dinner. Birdblack Design pride ourselves on thinking about the details of family life, so if you are in the kitchen cooking, let us design a nearby living space where the kids can be entertained, or a sitting table at the end of the island bench where they can be doing homework whilst you finish off emails, read a book, or have an afternoon cup of tea.

Zoning doesn’t necessarily mean adding in walls and doors. In fact, we prefer the exact opposite: we prefer zoning specific areas in the home together that result in functionality for our clients. Zoning can be created by the use of a rug on the floor, or particular light fittings overhead, a structural column or even a change of colour within the palette.

Subtle aesthetic zoning with the creative use of rugs at our ‘Spring Street’ project. Design: Birdblack Design. Photography: The Palm Co.

Whilst zoning is created aesthetically, the purpose is certainly functional. For example, without doors, it is easy to move throughout the home with your hands full – whether you are carrying platters of food or drinks to your guests, or carrying baskets of dirty laundry through to the backyard. Without the hindrance of doors, open-plan living becomes effortless movement. There is nothing worse than balancing multiple glasses of wine with one hand whilst fiddling with a door knob with the other, or sliding a door open with your knee!

Move effortlessly through your home with clever and functional zoning. Our ‘Spring Street’ clients never need to worry about dropping a platter of food opening doors! Design: Birdblack Design. Photography: The Palm Co.

In an open-plan kitchen and dining area, someone may be prepping dinner at the benchtop, whilst someone may be reading at the kitchen table and someone else may doing homework or a final work email at the dining table. Everyone is together in the same space, yet doing their own thing. Then when it is time for dinner, everyone simply packs away their things, and family time kicks in!

Family are meant to “live” together, so we design in appropriate space for every family member. These benchtops even come with extra power points for everyone’s laptops! Our ‘Cato Place’ clients couldn’t be happier with the result! Design: Birdblack Design. Photography: The Evoke Company

It is also super helpful in the mornings for organising children, the hubby, the wifey, the pets and our own lives as everyone congregates around the breakfast table and other surfaces are utilised for daily planning.  Any organised person will LOVE having an open view of the home to keep track of who needs what… and any person desiring a bit more structure and organisation to their abode may just benefit from zoning as well! Zoning means that everything has its place.

Here are some common zoning strategies that Birdblack Design utilises when designing our clients’ homes – whether a brand new build, or a renovation.


Proximity is certainly key when entertaining. You are well aware by now that Birdblack Design are self-confessed foodies, so we appreciate the necessity for the Kitchen to be central to both the Dining and Living areas of the home, as well as close by the outdoor and alfresco portions of the home. We want to create spaces that include, rather than exclude. As an example, we create homes that foster engagement and communication when cooking whilst guests are over. Open-Plan living facilitates that. There is nothing worse than being isolated from all the guests, simply because you are cooking for them!


Another critical design aspect is ensuring the distance between rooms and zones are appropriate. For example, if the family loves barbecuing on a regular basis, it makes sense for the kitchen to be near the barbecue as opposed to traipsing through the home with utensils, dirty cookware and garbage. Zoning is simply intelligent, functional design.


We take into consideration the Laundry being close by the Bedroom or Bathroom wing of the home. If this is not possible (and if the home is more than one storey),we prefer to design in a laundry chute to aid in the transportation of dirty clothes from the Bedroom to the Laundry.


In our Bathroom packages, we zone both the wash and dress areas. This means that when you get out of the shower, your towels are within arm’s reach. It also means that we design your drawers and wardrobes to be just a few steps away – allowing you to be fully clothed within minutes. By installing appropriate ventilation, there is no reason your robe can’t be within reach from the bathroom. The traditional design of a Master Suite being separated into a bedroom, robe and ensuite are becoming increasingly outdated. With maximised ventilation, there are no longer problems with condensation, and with clever design, your Master Suite can be a functional dream!

Our ‘Chester Street, USA’ Master Suite really exemplifies the beauty of modern zoning. In the one space,you can depict the makeup station, the basins (with the full ensuite to the right of this shot) and the robe. Innovative design at its best! Design: Birdblack Design. Photography: Matt Mateo Photography

As you can see from the projects noted above, Birdblack Design are passionate about creating open spaces for our clients to have alone time, all together! We have applied spectacular zoning in quite a few of our projects: ‘Spring Street’, ‘Benelong Street’ and ‘Chester Street’ to name a few! This is certainly a growing trend in the design world. ‘Cato Place’ and ‘Redgum Ridge’ will be live on the website soon for even MORE zoning inspiration!

Check out each of the above projects in the Galleries on our website to discover more.

We are certainly your bespoke zoning design specialists, and as 2019 comes to a close, there are just a few more months to get your new home ready for the holiday / summer season. Contact us now to get your home revamped and revitalised! You won’t regret having a cleaner, more organised home during the holidays – that is a guarantee!

Written by Birdblack Design