Burbank Glebe 281 / Sekisui House Kamala 1832 N02 Display home review

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UPDATE:  At the time of initial review this design was build and marketed by Sekisui House.  Sekisui House no longer build in NSW where this house was reviewed and only build in QLD.
In NSW, Burbank has taken over the Sekisui House builds and this design.  This design as reviewed is now available as the Burbank Glebe 281.

The original design was known as Sekisui House Sade 280 and renamed the Kamala 1832 N02.  At the time of initial review this house was called Kamala in the Arise collection of Sekisui House.

The Kamala by Sekisui House is the largest of their single story new Arise collection – could a renamed house design make all the difference?

We walked through the Kamala display home at Gledswood Hills when it was known as the Sade 280 and part of the Aurora collection. It has since been renamed the Kamala 1832 N02 and is part of the Arise collection. Note there is another layout option Kamala 1832 N01. We’ll cover that layout’s differences later in this review.

The Sekisui House Kamala’s base price starts at $200,000 (January 2015) which is exclusive of site costs.

Sekisui-House-Kamala-Floorplan-NHR

The single storey house is a 4 bedroom + study home and is can be considered a 5 bedroom house. The house footprint is wide so will only suit those who have a wide block (18m+ width depending on your local council requirements). The key feature of this house (as with many of the Sekisui House designs) is a central courtyard. This creates a lovely outdoor space and provides great solar access for blocks which are north facing for at least one of the living areas. There is a double garage which is accessible from inside the entry corridor and the outside.

 

Quick Walkthrough

The house looks good from the street, but not remarkable. There are dark bricks and rendering — the façade is the Hermitage in keeping with the area for the display home. The front door is standard sized but with the clear side lights provides a welcoming entry. On entering the house, there is a great amount of natural light streaming in from the courtyard which emphasises the space afforded in this generously portioned house.  The ceiling height in the display is the standard 2400mm which was a surprise as the house feels big even without the added ceiling height.

The garage internal access door opens to the entry corridor and is opposite the cloak cupboard. Unfortunately this Sekisui House design does not have one of the walk in cloak rooms as seen in some of their other designs. To the side near the entry way is the doorway to the Principal Suite (or Master bedroom) and study (or Office). The Principal Suite has a door which can be fully opened as it has a half width operable section as well as the door itself. The Suite has a decent sized walk in robe which sports a sliding door as does the ensuite. The ensuite has a large shower, double vanity units and a toilet suite. Like most display homes, the window has standard (non obscured) glass. A sign near the ensuite extols the virtues of flush floor levels — as an upgrade.

Further into the house are the living areas which all have great access to the central courtyard. On the right is the designated Lounge area which also has a doorway to the secondary bedroom corridors. There are rails along the walls to help the less mobile around. All part of Sekisui House’s accessibility design principles. The kitchen pantry is accessible from the Lounge and provides easy access to the galley style kitchen.

The pantry provides a thoroughfare through to the kitchen. The kitchen is very much in the centre of the house and has no windows but overlooks the courtyard and the backyard stacking doors so has plenty of natural light. The breakfast bar is on the island side and is long enough to fit 4 people comfortably but in the display is set up for 3 people. Off the kitchen is the mammoth Dining and Family rooms. There is plenty of light from the triple stacking doors. There are two sets from the Lounge and Kitchen areas and another set from the Family room looking into the Courtyard. The Dining area has a triple stacking door facing the backyard.

Off the dining area (and also off the Lounge room) is the Bedroom corridor. The corridor leads to 3 additional bedrooms, a laundry and a family bathroom. The linen closet is in the laundry. There is one bedroom that looks into the backyard and the other two bedrooms look onto the side fence. The laundry has a glass sliding door allowing access to the outside side passageway. The family bathroom is an ‘all in one’ design but can easily be adapted to be a separate WC and bathroom.

The Kamala in more detail…

The Bedrooms

Master Bedroom

The Master bedroom is considered the Principal Suite in Sekisui House terms.  The room is large enough to accommodate a chair and dressing table as well as a King sized bed.  The display home has a light box behind the bedhead.  The far wall opposite the bed is tiled which is an interesting finish to the bedroom and rather than feeling clinical or cold the brown lends a warmth to the room.  With the room in the front of the house it may not suit those who want a quiet sanctuary.  The Principal suite has two awning windows which matches the Study in the next room.

The Walk in Robe is finished with just a rail and top shelf so those with lots of shoes or need for drawers will need to option it up.  The Walk in robe has a rail on 4 walls creating a ‘U’ shape and is large enough for most couples but wouldn’t be considered large.  The cavity sliding door into each of the WIR and ensuite adds extra space the suite.

The flush floor levels from bedroom (carpet) to the ensuite (tiles) is a nice feature but comes as an upgrade cost.

Ensuite

The ensuite is very practical with the vanities facing the doorway and the toilet suite off one side and the shower on the other.  The vanity is finished as a one piece polymarble which makes for easy cleaning.  There are two powerpoints for hairdryers and shavers on either side of the vanity.  The toilet has a plastic cistern which would be an easy option to upgrade.  The other upgrade to consider would be the window which on the display is clear glass but with a roller blind.  The roller blind works for privacy otherwise a window film can be added if the obscurity glass is a costly exercise.  The shower could handle having dual shower heads but is displayed with only one and is a framed shower.  There is no shower niche in the display home.  The towel rails and toilet roll holders look to be good quality fittings.  As mentioned above the door is a cavity sliding door which adds extra space to the room and ensuite but means hooks for extra towels or a bathrobe will need to be added elsewhere.  The ensuite is finished to their ‘standard’ quality providing a good indication of what a buyer would get without any upgrades.

Other Bedrooms

The other bedrooms are a standard size of approximately 3 x 3 metres.  Enough for a double bed but a tight squeeze for anything larger.  Each of the designated bedrooms have a standard robe with painted sliding doors.  Like the Principal Suite’s WIR it is fairly basic with a standard solid shelf with a single rail below.  Options for upgrades for a wardrobe fitout and different wardrobe doors can be considered.  The bedrooms are in a section of their own and surround the central family bathroom.

Study (or Office or Nursery or Bed 5)

The Study can easily be converted to another bedroom and has a nook which could house a cupboard or robe.  Being so close to the Master bedroom, it suits use as a nursery or even as a Parent’s retreat.  The Display house has it set up as a Study and it works well with the desk at right angles to one of the walls and an inbuilt ‘desk’ or shelf in the nook so it acts as a return.  The two windows provide plenty of natural light and being at the front of the house, it can lend itself to a Home office without disturbing the rest of the household.

Kitchen

The display version of the Kamala has a very understated kitchen.  It is finished with a black laminated benchtop and tiled splashback.  The top cupboards go right up to the lowered ceiling providing a streamlined look and reducing dust and oil and gadget accumulation space.  The lower cabinets are all drawers which makes for easier access to crockery.  The cupboards are all finished with silver handles.

There is a 900mm cooktop and double stainless sink.  The oven, integrated (under bench) microwave and dishwasher are all stainless steel.  The kitchen is a galley style and if you are looking at the house as a chef may find access to the fridge being in a separate ‘room’ a bit annoying.  The flat canopy rangehood fits in well with the kitchen which is simple but not lacking in elegance.  The kitchen ‘peninsular’ (one side of the island is attached to the pantry wall) is large enough for 4 people to eat comfortably although it is set out with 3 settings only in the display.  The benchtop is not quite a waterfall end but rather what the call a R2 servery.  The island side also has the double sink and is all on the one level meaning that it will be hard to keep as clear as the one on display!

The only fault is that the kitchen seems a bit small for the size of house – especially given the large living areas.

Pantry

Whilst most display homes have butlers pantries or large sculleries, the Kamala sports a small 1 metre wide pantry with two entries further reducing the space for the pantry.  The Display home seems small especially since the pantry cupboard space is behind two doors.  Given the size, you may be concerned about fridge space.  The Display home has included a double door fridge — and it fits!  The Pantry area can be closed off by the cavity sliding doors which lead either into the kitchen or the lounge room.  If a large pantry is a requirement, the Kamala may not be the right home for you.  (Or you would need to make some alterations to the layout.)

Bathrooms and Laundry

The ensuite was covered above, and the main bathroom in the display home is incorporated into the main bathroom but separated by a wall.  The fittings again are within the Sekisui House standard fit-out and again seems simple but not basic.  The bathtub is a standard size and a tiled hob and the shower screen is semi frameless finished in silver.  The vanity is again a polymarble finish (easy to clean!) and laminated cupboard with open shelving.  The display version has accessibility handles so suitable for those who are less mobile.  The windows are finished in an obscure glass which lets in light but provides a bit of privacy.

The laundry is also a standard fit out with a standalone laundry tub and includes a linen cupboard.  The space is adequate but could not be considered spacious.  The glass sliding door provides plenty of natural light and ventilation in the space.

Garage

The garage doubles as the Sekisui House office in the display but seems fairly standard otherwise.  Access to the garage includes the garage door, internal access from the house and a door to the outdoor space via a half glass door.  The glass in the door provides some light but further natural light would not go astray.  The display home has a single double garage door in a timber coloured finish.  There is a single step up from the garage to the house.

Storage

There is not much ‘special’ storage in the Kamala as displayed.  The main storage areas are the cloakroom, the pantry, the robes, the linen closet and kitchen cupboards.  There is a long bank of cupboards in the family room which provides plenty of in-house storage.

Living Spaces

There are two very open living areas.  The lounge area could be a good TV area and is setup with an L-shaped modular lounge and a TV and is fairly central in the house with a doorway to the bedroom corridor.  It also has easy access to the pantry and kitchen.

The dining room is large and is next to the kitchen and family area.  There is a stacking door to the backyard providing plenty of natural light and access to any action happening outside.  The family area is joined to the dining area and has one stacking door towards the courtyard and the other two walls closed off including a large built-in laminated storage unit.  Sitting on the display’s sofa, the TV seems fairly far away indicating the sheer size of the room.  With some block out curtains, the space could double up as a temporary home theatre space (although it wouldn’t work for the aficionados).  Additional windows or doors can provide additional light to this area depending on what suits the block.

Courtyard

The central courtyard is a key element to the house and provides an enclosed space outdoors.  The space is approximately 9m x 5m.  The display has a decked area which with the stacker doors open really brings the outdoors in.  The courtyard really is an outdoor room which has plenty of space for a large table and outdoor kitchen (as per the display).  There bricks are Whilst the ‘room’ could be enclosed under the main roof, this may darken the house, ruining the design thinking that went into the Kamala.

Other observations

The floors are tiled in all the living spaces with carpet in all the bedrooms and study.  The white floors combined with the light coloured walls bounce the light around and makes the house more spacious.  The ceiling height is the standard 2400mm which is the minimum height but due to the light seems more than adequate.  The ducted air conditioning (as in all displays!) makes it difficult to advise how the house feels even when visiting on a really hot day.  It is expected that the stacking doors open up and provide plenty of cross ventilation into the living areas.

Great for…

The house is great for a family which doesn’t need to have separate living areas.  Great for a young family as the courtyard can be used as an outdoor area which can be seen from the other living areas and kitchen.  Also great for a family with adult children where their rooms can be an oasis.  The lack of a separate living area (kids’ lounge or home theatre or kids’ study area) means that it doesn’t work for all families.  For families who want a couple of outdoor areas and like to play together, eat and entertain together but have their own private spaces, the Kamala could be a great option!

The Kamala 1832 N01

The alternative layout is very very similar with only a few variations.  It is slightly larger in area internally but probably down to the façade depicted.  The key differences are:

  • More open study
  • Nib wall in ensuite separating the toilet and vanity
  • Single vanity unit in ensuite
  • Standard door to Principal suite
  • Standard (swinging) doors to the ensuite and WIR
  • Linen cupboard outside laundry
  • Laundry, WC and main bathroom clustered together away from other bedrooms
  • Main bathroom has bathtub layout across the width of the room (and in front of the window)
  • A second linen cupboard off Lounge area
  • All 3 secondary bedrooms are clustered together
  • Kitchen has a proper island
  • Kitchen pantry is a cupboard with the fridge part of the kitchen
  • Kitchen depicted only has a 600mm stove top

The Sekisui House website provides a number of facades for the Kamala 1832 N01 which should also be available for the N02.

 

Good Things

  • The courtyard is large and a great feature for a great outdoor space which can be enjoyed year round
  • Ventilation and light due to the centralised courtyard
  • Practical bedroom layouts with master bedroom away from the 3 main bedrooms. A room next to the master can be used for a nursery or study

Bad Things

  • Toilet is in the main bathroom space although separated by a wall and seems a strange choice
  • The ensuite is fairly small (but practical) but cannot fit a bathtub
  • The kitchen is small for size of house and the separated pantry which houses the fridge could be impractical

The Breakdown


Features
7
Size
7
Value
8
Display Home decoration
6
NHR Score
7




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