If you are adding an extension, creating a basement, designing a completely new house or renovating an existing one there will be many decisions for you to make and quite a few challenges for you to overcome!


Your vision of what the completed project will look like is more than likely to become compromised by practicality – i.e. budgets, building constraints, two or more ideas colliding to make it impossible to build. For example; a client desperately wanted an island in the kitchen but due to the rectangular shape of the kitchen if an island had been installed, they would not have been able to open the fridge or wall-oven doors!  Practicality can become a deal-breaker to wonderful ideas.

I developed a system to work out the best way forward when a serious challenge arises, I hypothetically wear different hats.  In my imagination I put on a ‘hat’ for The Client, The Designer and The Builder.  The Client: usually their greatest concerns are the way they want to live, the budget and as the project progresses, the variety of changes they wish to make as they become aware of new ideas and products.  The Designer: is only interested in the overall aesthetics, the flow and that every detail of the design is in keeping with the whole plan.  The Builder who is only concerned with how the elements can get built, the structural aspects involved and the necessary steps to completion, the budget plays a large role here too.  Focusing on each ‘hat’ allows for perspective and priorities, decisions are made far easier when an understanding of each role and the details that are involved.


The Client                                 The Designer                           The Builder

Taking seriously the different considerations for each hat it quickly becomes obvious what decision can be made or must be made with regards to each new problem.  Often The Client can have exactly what they want but sometimes practicality of budget or build restraints must sway the decision in a different direction.

If you can keep emotions at bay everything will move forward quicker and smoother – the BIG key to this is to make all your decisions; choices of fixtures and fittings, appliances, colours, tiles etc etc before the project begins.  Try to limit any changes of design or product to an absolute minimum, 99% of the time it is these changes that immediately cause the budget to go out the window.

Do not forget to think about natural light for every single room, bathroom and hallway.  The number of times I hear “I did not realise that by doing ‘this’ it would make the room so dark”!