What comes first – the home design or buying the land? For some people the process is symbiotic. They create a home design in tune with the landscape. While this might sound difficult, it can be incredibly rewarding in terms of views, liveability, and aesthetics.

As we seek to be more in touch with our natural environment, building to your landscape makes perfect sense. Here’s some tips to help with the process.

Location, location, location

I’m sure you have seen a home that looks completely out of context with its’ surroundings, a concrete fortress by the beach for example. That’s why it’s important to purchase land in a location that works with the house design you have in mind. If you live beachside, you probably want a home that maximises the positives of that – living areas that catch the sea breeze, windows that take in the views etc. If you are in a rural area, you will want your home to capture the beautiful green views.


Orientation is extremely important; how your home sits on the land, especially in relation to the sun, has a huge impact on liveability. Ideally, living areas will face the north and bedrooms the east, capturing the first light of day and protecting bedrooms from the hot afternoon sun (particularly important in summer).

Image: Cade Mooney

Size of the land

The size of your land will usually influence the size of your home. You may want to use some of your land for outdoor living areas and a pool, so that will also influence the design. You will also want to maximise outdoor/indoor living by positioning open plan living areas so that they open onto your outdoor entertaining space. These decisions are all about lifestyle.


The fall of the land will directly affect your home design. Entry-ways like the garage should be at ground level, whereas living areas can be higher up the slope to take in the views. Slope will also determine whether your home will need to be built on stilts or if the land will need to be cut to create more flat surface. House design should play into the natural lay of the land as much as possible.

We are always happy to work with clients to help them choose land to suit their home design – or design a home to suit their land. We recognise that the symbiosis between land and design is of maximum importance. The results of building a home with the land top-of-mind can be stunning.