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!

Welcome to Home Design Essentials

Escu House by Bijl Architecture

Welcome to Home Design Essentials, where we bring an architect’s insight to improving your quality of life at home.

Having grown up in South West Sydney then studied to become a registered architect, I travelled the globe immersing myself in some of the greatest design cities of Europe and returned to live with my family in the Macarthur area of Western Sydney. 

This journey provided me with a unique insight into the challenges faced by those of us living in growth areas of cities, but also the immense opportunities for improving the quality of suburban living which I would like to share with you so that you too can benefit from this insight and knowledge.  After all, I believe that an amazing home and community that you are proud of should be within reach!

Jacaranda House by SP Studio

Whilst there is much information available regarding home construction and interior design, in this series we will explore some of the fundamentals of home design, building and residential living focused on you and the conditions encountered in suburban and growth areas of our cities. 

For some you may be considering the jump from renting to making your very first home purchase or building project, for others you may already be in your first or second home but are looking for ways to make home improvements.  You may even be a multiple property owner or investor and are looking for ways to create an edge or point of difference for your property in a competitive market.

Even for professionals such as myself the building process is complex, impacted by a range of different and often changing aspects of the industry.  However it is alarming to think that often new home buyers can tell you more about the specifications of their new car or smart phone than they can about what is ultimately the single greatest financial investment in their life. 

Skylight House by Andrew Burges Architects

We will seek to provide you with tips and ideas to help you better understand and navigate the home building process and improve your lifestyle, from improved comfort to reduced operating costs. 

We will also explore what can transform your home from good to life changing by considering how your home creates a sense of security, allows you to dream of future opportunities, of memory and reflection, satisfaction and celebration, and importantly the connection we have as people to the land and our environment.

More importantly we want to hear from you so that we can respond to your ideas and concerns, and challenge the ‘one size fits all’ approach to empower you to live your own life and create a home that reflects you.


If you have any topics you would like us to explore please leave a comment in the form below, we look forward to speaking with you soon.