The property market is stone cold at the moment, but while we all have time to stop and think about how we want to live our lives in the future, we have a chance to think about the design of our dream home.
And it’s a time for dreaming, for making plans for when life returns to normal.
Buying a home is probably the largest investment you will ever make in your life. Anything you do to that property needs to be considered a further investment. And it all starts with design.
My clients are usually thinking of the ‘here and now’ and not necessarily planning a future-proofed design project. The future plans shouldn’t in any way be constricting and have a project tied up in knots so it can’t move forward, but there must be some basic theories set in place to remove any trauma from the transition to the next phase of the project.
Form follows function. It’s pointless doing anything if the space simply doesn’t fulfil your basic needs. Ask yourself how you want to live your life, now, in the next five years and beyond, and think about what activities will be carried out in each room. This will help to identify your aspirations and needs.
If major alterations are needed, you may be able to walk around the rooms imagining taking out walls and re-shaping spaces to make it work and, more importantly, flow better. Otherwise, work on plan; a simple sketch plan drawn to scale of 1:50 is a good so that every 2cm on your plan is equal to 1m in real life. Or if you are a computer whizz there is a free program called “Sketch-Up” which is very easy to use to draw up scaled plans. If you are feeling adventurous they can be turned into 3D plans, adding furniture and fittings.
Now for the image. Many people sometimes feel completely overwhelmed by choice at this stage and struggle to move forward. Start by collecting a group of images, flicking through the pages of your favourite magazine for example, and ripping out pages of things that you love.. and loathe. This will help you identify a clear goal for the style direction of your project.
You can also use online sites like Pinterest, Houzz and Olioboards for pulling together inspirational images and even products to buy. Later this can then be fine-tuned to help you narrow your search and source furniture and items to suit your scheme.
Don’t over complicate your designs otherwise it may look contrived and overworked. The simplest of things in the right setting can be simply stunning. And there you have it – a concept.