This first step is the most important, not only for every home design project but for any and every building project from a 2-bed holiday cottage to a teaching hospital or even an international airport! This is the key to building design success.
In this blog post I'm going to explain why you need to take this step, what this step is, what the benefits are, and how you can take this step today.
Many clients come to me feeling overwhelmed with ALL THE DECISIONS! They are not sure where to start or who can help them. I know it can seem confusing and complicated to design your home but there are some simple steps that you can take right now and a few decisions to make at the beginning that will get your project off to the right start.
You need your characterful Victorian / Edwardian home to work for your modern family life instead of a typical family from 100 years ago. This is the first step that you need to take to reach your goal of living in a comfortable and beautiful home.
This first step is the most important as it lays the foundations for all that is to come. Think of this as being like the strip of concrete that goes into the ground that the rest of the building is built off.
So what is this significant first step?!
This first step is the foundational work that you need to do to create your vision for your home. Architects call this 'The Strategic Brief'.
Put simply, it is a description of what you need and want.
I call this designing your vision and I've created some worksheets and checklists to help you.
Design Your Vision
You vision needs to be clear and include the following:
1. Your Needs
Describe your needs, as a family and for each individual. Your ages, hobbies, daily habits and routines at home can all be included. Also any special events that you celebrate at home. Think about how many people need to spend time in each space and how they want to use those spaces in your home.
2. Building and Site Information
Gather together all the information you have about your home and garden. Put it in one place so its easy to get to. If you can make this digital even better.
3. Decide your Priorities
The three key priorities for a project are time, cost and quality. You need to decide what deadline you want to meet, what your budget is, and what quality means for you. Then decide which of these is the most important to you.
4. Your Desires
These are the would like to haves. Describe the materials, styles and colours you love. Gather inspirational images from magazines or online. Pinterest and Houzz are both good ways to do this online and you can easily share these with your designer.
Why is this such an important first step?
Research by the Royal Institute of British Architects, shows that the clients brief is fundamental to the buildings success. ('Working with Architects' Client Survey 2016)
A great brief creates a great building
Getting a great building can mean many things, some of them more wide ranging than you might expect. Here are some of those benefits:
Studies have shown that quality design has a positive impact on resale and rental values, which can be as much as 11% to 20% higher for quality designed buildings.
Comfort, air quality, noise and privacy all contribute to your enjoyment of your home, as well as to your health and well being.
The 'Wow' factor is known to encourage people to visit, so could help make your homelife more sociable with friends and family wanting to pop round.
There is a lot of evidence that shows that good quality design can support better community spirit, a sense of pride, identity and even mental health. Although it is limited how much you can affect your entire neighbourhood with your own home, it is possible to uplift the image of your street, especially if your neighbours follow your lead, and this can have a positive impact for you and your neighbours.
You can reduce energy and water use as well as protecting local wildlife and the planet through good design. This doesn't always have to cost more and even if it does initially it can save you money in the long term.
If you own an historic building that you are custodian of, or you want to pioneer outstanding contemporary design, then your project could contribute to local and national culture and create a long term legacy for future generations to enjoy and be inspired by.
Are you ready to take the first step for your project?
Get yourself a copy of the Design Your Home Vision Checklist for free so that you can get started today.
Once you've completed this checklist email it back to get a free 20 minute phone consultation, when you can discuss your project further and find out how iarchitect can help you take the next step to achieving your dream home.
Jane Leach, principal architect at i-architect