With extra time spent at home in the past two months – tidying the garage, playing with the kids and turning a hand to bread making (FYI did you know bread maker sales have increased 1184% between March – April). And with all that time spent at home, you might have also thought more intently about future reno plans. And that’s a good thing! Why? Because it’s good to give all renovation dreams serious thought before you go jumping into them down the track. Mulling over, jotting down and coming to grips with all the ins, outs and whys of alterations in your pad, ensures that money’s well spent and time invested when push comes to shove. We know that everyone will have different reasons for wanting to bust through walls and expand spaces – or shrink rooms.
Here’re just a few points that might sway you towards changing up your space . . . – Nothing flows together – i.e. the kitchen’s jammed next to the main bedroom, which is down the other end of house, miles away from the lounge, which is facing the road instead of north towards the backyard, which means the front deck never gets used. – It’s locked up – i.e. the kitchen, dining and lounge are all packed into a space which are hidden away from each other with wall, after wall – which means you run a rabbit warren just getting from couch to kitchen sink. – Old bones playing up – i.e. remedial works might be needed if you’ve sprouted a roof leak, the cladding’s coming away or joinery needs replacing. When it comes to getting the most out of any reno – big, small or in between – speak up, ask questions and don’t be afraid to keep talking.
The right architect will have a listening ear, great communication pathways and expertise to ensure a job well-done from beginning to end.
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.