BE CLEAR ON YOUR MUST-HAVES AND DEFINATELY NOTS. The clearer you can be to your designer, the better considered your design solution can be. 

This may be a no brainer for some, but I wanted to take this opportunity to elaborate in a little more detail as to why this information is useful to your designer and also what kind of information to consider when making your list. 

Some people draw a floor plan for me, saying that they have done a preliminary design. Why you do this, this informs me of your spatial arrangement, how you see your spaces linking to each other. The danger with this is that rather than address why you need those spaces and finding the best way for them to work together, this immediately eliminates a lot of the creative innovation that could come up with a spatial relationship that works better with your budget and site. There is a little use for this, but I find we weight the value of a 3Dimensional space with a 2D figure. So rather than feel the pressure to draw a floor plan for your designer, focus on what spaces you have felt comfortable and happy in your past experiences, and also what spaces made you feel very uncomfortable. 

The things you definitely don't want are as useful as the things that you do. The reason for this is what doesn't work for you indirectly opens up the possibility to things that do. The real gold in this is, is why they don't work for you. Some people like to have privacy, so living spaces facing the road is something that makes them feel uncomfortable. Some people like guests to stay on the opposite side of the house so that they can feel like they have their own space. All of those experiences in spaces previously, are jewels to creating a space that makes you feel comfortable and happy. The key is being able to identify why you didn't like those past experiences of places and spaces. 

Things that you do like, of course, are very useful, but it is easy to get attached to one central idea. It is also very easy to take on board the ideas of others. I think we bombarded a lot in this society, being told many times what we should be doing or liking. We are targeted by clever advertising that understands us so intimately, that we buy something that really we didn't intend to in the first instance. There are very few people that have a clear idea of what they want completely independent of what they have conditioned to think is their desires. So in this part, ask yourself when you started to like this idea. How does it feel to think about this idea or item or concept will be a part of your everyday experience? If the answer is nothing less than extremely happy, and you won't get a smile on your face thinking about it but you think it needs to be there, put it in the "to be considered"pile. Of course, if you really love it and the thought of it brings you joy then definitely put it in "must-haves."And be unapologetic about it. The truer you are to what you really want, the more joy the experience will be when you have it in your reality. 


This all may sound very airy-fairy, but the reality is that embarking on designing and building your home really is all about you. When you consider your home to be your sanctuary, your safe place to land after a long day at work, the spaces where you are free to express yourself, then understanding your needs and desires becomes paramount to designing the space that satisfies that. 

Click HERE to check out some Pinterest Boards that I have created to give you some inspiration for your dream home vision board. 

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Prefab NZ Member    Licenced Building Practitioner    New Zealand Green Building Council
Duotone Design