Blender Bender – Stir don’t shake your architectural styles . . .

Oriental Warehouse LoftArchitect: Edmonds + LeeLocation: San Francisco, California

What we want in our 20s isn’t always going to fare well in our 30s, 40s – and beyond – it’s just life. Same, goes with architectural design, those white walls and spiral staircase options or New York loft-style apartment living visions, may fade out as family come to the fore. Which is why knowing how to blend your architectural styles from one life stage – or taste change – to the next is paramount for a job well done and home enjoyed.

So, before you go transforming your 1940s villa into an industrial estate, sit down with pen, paper and conscious thought.

  • Building new? Enter the 80/20 rule – think of it as a style casting – two different aesthetics shouldn’t have equal representation – you don’t want to end up with a 50/50 split personality look. So, for example, if you’re going for the modern country and industrial aesthetic. Preference either 80% modern country and 20% industrial – or vice versa. This makes for a logical following – especially when choosing big ticket items like your window types, cladding materials, roof pitch – you opt for the 80% design influence. And when it comes to your secondary options, like your fixtures, hardware and trims, this is where you call on your 20% design preference. Voila!

  • If you’re updating / renovating your existing home, aim to respect the integrity of the bones of the house and only initiate ‘big moves’ if you think you can pull it off i.e. busting down walls to create greater open spaces. Get the design to work – but don’t force it i.e. a new large glass sliding door can work to create an industrial feel in a rustic barn.

  • Simplify the design elements you like of each aesthetic – and then incorporate. For example, rectangular roof and gable ends (geometric style), combined with large exterior windows (modern edge).
  • Find your common thread – you’ll be surprised at just how many design aesthetics share similar styles. i.e. Rustic and industrial styles both embrace natural materials, earthy colours, handcrafted textures. Once you have your thread, work on weaving that ‘connection’ through your architectural design i.e. in the case of hybrid between rustic and industrial they could meet at ‘parred back, organic environment’.

It’s okay to dare to be different but ensure your home style blending is stirred not shaken, reach out to us for a no obligation chinwag.

People Power – Don’t settle for just LIKING the people behind your project!

They say home is where the heart is and when it comes to designing your space, we’re hearting the people behind the project – they bring the love. Just as a picture can speak a thousand words and a fragrance can take us all the way back down memory lane, a building too will continue to pay homage to those who journeyed through its construction.

So, what’s more important than flashy pictures, beaming references and a resounding portfolio of works, when picking your designer? The designer himself – and the rapport you strike up with him.

“Architecture is such a personal thing and you need to be completely comfortable and confident in the company of your designer to articulate your true wants and needs,” says Dylan Batenburg, director of Coalesce Architecture.

“As architectural designers it’s our job to ensure we ask all the right questions and provide the right guidance to turn dreams into a finished project – and you want your clients to feel completely at ease discussing all the ins and outs of the design process,” he explains. “From a client’s perspective, you know when you’re feeling a connection with someone – and you know when you’re just nodding for the sake of nodding. My advice to anyone is don’t settle. Choose an architect you can drum up a meaningful connection with.”

Aside from feel-good vibes and positivity, there are a few forward thinking actions a ‘good sort’ architect might put into play when meeting new clients for the first time too. So, keep a watch out for these and you know you’re onto a winner . . .

  • He’ll bring a measuring tape to site on the day he meets you.
  • He’ll discuss the WHOLE process of how EVERYTHING works – not just design and aspects and features. He’ll discuss consents, working with builders, give honest feedback about budget, realistic timeframes.
  • He’ll ask the questions that matter to you and your needs – i.e. How is the house not working for you now? Why are you doing this – how do live now and how do you want to live?
  • He’ll leave you with things to think about and feeling inspired – not tell you “I’ll get back to you next week.”
  • He’ll get to know you – not just your site plan – in a good way, not creepy way. He’ll ask about your family, your work, your kids, your hobbies – these all intrinsically link to your project’s speak.

In a world that’s dominated by screens and tap tapping, getting in front of people and truly connecting with someone, is surely still the most real avenue to achieving our hopes and dreams. We’re in it for people – not portfolios, let’s coalesce.