What can your house offer you?

Mosman House by Annabelle Chapman Architect

It is fascinating to witness the ever changing landscape and lifestyle of our suburbs.  As the meeting places between our rural and agricultural environment and the innovation, amenity and trade of our cities, they bring with them a wide range of personal views and beliefs. 

In our homes, some seek a dwelling that can promote our sense of aspiration and provides a springboard for engaging with our environment, communities and cities.  Others feel too caught up with the pace of modern life and seek a place of refuge and security within which they can find peace and tranquility. Some have chosen to live in the suburbs, whilst others do so due to external factors such as cost of living or proximity to family or community.

What do you seek in a home, and if ‘home is where the heart is’ then what about our soul?  At the risk of sounding too ‘deep and meaningful’, building or purchasing a new home is one of your greatest opportunities to make decisions that can enhance your way of life, lift your soul, and to show the world who you are and what you believe in.

We propose that these considerations in the design of your home will not only improve your physical and emotional well-being, it will allow you to better understand how you picture yourself and your way of living in this modern world. 

Hawthorn Villa by McManus Lew Architects

Have you ever stopped to consider how the design of your home can influence, either in a positive or negative way, the way that you live your life?  Does it reflect you and your values so that you can live life at is fullest, or do you feel that it constrains you and holds you back? Before you start thinking about how many bedrooms and bathrooms you need in your house, understanding who you are and how your home can complement or improve your lifestyle is essential.  As an architect this is one of the first questions I am seeking to explore with a client so that the design responds to their ‘human experience’ and not just their functional requirements.

Tent House by Sparks Architects

For example, do you love the great outdoors?  Would you be happy if your home was simply a very secure ‘tent’ that brought you closer to the environment?  A simple structure with a straightforward layout that can be opened up to bring the outside in and then easily closed down when you are not home?

Do you seek peace and serenity from your home away from the pace of the urban life around us with a sense of security?  Perhaps you live in a digital world, or spend your time relaxing watching movies or reading a book on the couch.  In this case you wish to spend your time inside the house with various spaces of different sizes, and able to block out the light and noise to create your own personal, more intimate place of comfort.

Lake Wendouree Residence by John Wardle Architects

Skylight House by Andrew Burges Architects

Or, are you a home entertainer whose life is centered around the enjoyment of good friends and great food with a focus on the kitchen and living areas?  Where the location of the accommodation rooms in the house take a back stage to an amazing space where you can celebrate special events with your family and friends and enjoy each other’s company?

An honest assessment of who you are and what your home can offer you is an important first step in improving your experience of place and space.  Once understood, this level of understanding forms the starting point for the design of any new home or the selection criteria when looking to buy and existing home. 

You could think of this as a kind of ‘concept for living’, it forms the organizational structure around which our home can grow and evolve over time as our needs and those of our family also change.  Bedrooms can be added, bathrooms and kitchens renovated.  However short of undertaking a ‘knock down rebuild’ it is much more difficult to change the entire organization of your living spaces in the home once these are in place, a very expensive undertaking to both you and the environment when careful planning from the outset can address this.

And you can enjoy the process of learning more about yourself and your family too!