Conversations with the Designers - Everything you need to know before you renovate or build a new home

Our main focus in our design business is to provide our clients with a professional, creative, high quality design service that takes the stress and overwhelm out of a new build or renovation. How do we do this? By providing fully documented architectural plans, elevations & detailed schedules which enable our clients to bring their new home dreams to life.

We have a true passion for what we do and a wealth of knowledge and design experience that goes with it. Our project success stories come down to our preparation, meticulous planning and documenting every little detail from the very inception of each project. It's the work we put into what we call the 'pre-planning stage' that ultimately sets the project up for success.

Over the years we've had quite a few clients who are already well into their project, sent our way. They've  either been encouraged to give us a call by Builders that we've worked with in the past, or referred onto us by past clients or friends. To be...

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Conversations with the Designers - Renovating or building a new home? Let's discuss the design process.

Uncategorized Oct 21, 2021

When a client engages our design services for their new build or renovation, the excitement for the impending project has them instantly focusing on what the finished project will look like. We fully appreciate and understand our clients excitement, after all that's what it's all about right, the look?!

Most clients are keen to discuss within the first few meetings what the finishes are going to be. They ask questions such as... Are we going to have a tiled or metal roof?... What are the windows going to look like?... What type of taps are we using in the bathrooms?...What does the kitchen bench top look like, what colour are we going to paint the walls??  

This is the point where we as the Designers need to reign that initial excitement in and implement the correct game plan to ensure the project is a success. The selection process of the finishes and fittings is certainly the fun and exciting part however there are a few steps in the process that we need...

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Conversations with the Designers - How to read your Architects / Designers plans

Uncategorized Sep 12, 2021

Understanding complex floor plans comes easy once you break it down into its basic components.

Reading plans may come naturally to some, but for others who don’t have a sense of space or can’t visualise a plan in 3D, it can be a little overwhelming – there is a lot to take in. To move forward with your Designer or Architect’s preliminary plans, you need to have a firm understanding of what you’re looking at. Otherwise, you may end up with a renovation that looks nothing like you had imagined.

Let’s look at a floor plan and its elements in detail.

M + L Design 

What is a floor plan?

By definition, a floor plan is a drawing to scale, showing a view from above of the relationships between rooms, spaces and other physical features at one level of a structure. It is a two- dimensional drawing that shows spaces with labels so we know what their function is.

What is typically shown on a floor plan?
The plan is essentially the most detailed and...

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Conversations with the Designers - The reality of TV renovating vs real life renovating

Uncategorized Aug 20, 2021

A renovating television series can give you the inspiration to take on your own renovations; you’ve watched the couples demolish, design and construct and you're thinking...if they can do it, so can I !!

So you clear your diary and plan on knocking over a complete bathroom renovation in just under a week, because that’s all it takes, 6-7 days according to the show, right?

Wrong…there is nothing quite like a reality check when it comes to real home renovations. Reality renovating television shows are one of the key factors in the surge in DIY home renovating over the past few decades and like many TV shows, the story line is somewhat fictional. The reality is that it takes weeks, if not months (depending on the size of the renovation) and the use of experienced tradespeople to complete a renovation successfully, particularly as large renovations have to meet building code standards and to also stand the test of time.

In TV land a lot of cash is thrown...

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Conversations with the Designers - When a renovation goes horribly wrong

Uncategorized Jul 14, 2021

'Is the Builder going to do a great job?'

It's a fear many people have when contemplating a new build or renovation.

There are a number of steps that you should take before signing on the dotted line of your Builders contract. 

We spoke with Jen Bowers about her families recent experience with a builder that came highly 'recommended'. That initial fear unfortunatley for Jen was realised as the workmanship was unacceptable causing a tonne of other problems!

Sadly they ended up in court having to engage a Barrister to take the fight on for them. Jen shares with us what she wished she new prior to engaging a Builder. 

Doing your due diligence is a must before you sign that contract.

Due diligence is an involved process and that is why we have a whole module on how to go about it successfully in our 6 week online course.

'Masterplan for a successful renovation or new build'.

Module 6 dives deep into due diligence and we are lucky to have Construction Lawyer Michelle Cirson...

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CONVERSATIONS WITH THE DESIGNERS - How to pick the right tiles for your Bathroom

Uncategorized Jun 08, 2021

The right choice of tile can take a bathroom from the mundane to ‘wow’! Size, shape, material, colour and finish all come into play when choosing tiles, but there are many other factors to consider, too. 
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CONVERSATION WITH THE DESIGNERS - The practicalities of a good lighting and electrical design.

Uncategorized May 31, 2021

All aspects of your build require careful & thoughtful planning prior to breaking ground with construction. This ensures that things run smoothly & efficiently throughout. It avoids unnecessary delays or issues and allows the professionals/trades to complete their work efficiently and on time.

One common aspect of a new build or renovation project, that often gets overlooked (or at least left to the last minute) by the home owner, is the lighting and electrical layout. While many understand that it is a necessary component of the project, it often becomes an afterthought and left up to the electrician to resolve once engaged to do their work. This can cause delays during the construction phase of the project, while the electrician endeavours to resolve the homeowners’ electrical & lighting needs on the fly. Without the home owners’ thoughtful input to go by, the electrician is left to make decisions based on ‘assumption’ rather than what the home...

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CONVERSATIONS WITH THE DESIGNERS - Windows: What you MUST consider when choosing windows for your renovation or new build.

Uncategorized May 07, 2021

A crucial component of any new build or renovations success is in choosing the right glazing. The right glazing can boost your home's energy efficiency and slash your energy bills.

Gone are the days of choosing a window based purely on its simple function or its size, what view will be gained from it or its ventilation benefits. There are many other properties that need highlighting as they can have a significant impact on your home’s thermal performance and energy efficiency.

Did you know that up to 40 per cent of a home’s heating energy can be lost, and up to 87 per cent of its heat gained, through windows. Therefore choosing the right windows can not only make your home more comfortable naturally, but can make a big difference to your energy bills too.

Windows lose more heat in winter and gain more heat in summer than any other surface in the home. Quality glazing can help do this by improving the efficiency of glass windows and doors. Good glazing reduces heat...

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CONVERSATIONS WITH THE DESIGNERS - Passivhaus. The principals and benefits.

Uncategorized Apr 22, 2021

Whether you've heard of Passivhaus (Passive House) or not, the chances are you may not fully understand what it is and how it's of benefit, to not only those living in a passive house environment but also it's benefits to our planet.

A simple way to define Passivhaus would be; A standard of building that uses various principles of insulation, passive solar climate control, and low-energy construction methods. This creates a building that requires very little in the way of fuel or electricity input in order to meet cooling and heating  requirements. It's thermal comfort can be achieved solely by post-heating or post-cooling the fresh air flow required for a good indoor air quality.

Buildings are responsible for producing 40% of Australia's total greenhouse gas emissions. And that around 23% of these emissions are associated with the energy used to run machinery to heat and cool buildings due to the inefficiencies in the way we currently build houses. Heat escapes our homes...

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CONVERSATIONS WITH THE DESIGNERS - Feng Shui - What is it and how does it work?

Uncategorized Mar 07, 2021

As Designer's we have to keep up to date with the latest materials, trends, building codes / requirements etc ...a week does not go by where we don't learn something new. This week it is the principles and concepts of Feng Shui!

You may be wondering why we are learning about Feng Shui...we are currently working on quite a few large scale renovations and one project in particular has us analysing and questioning our new concepts a little more closely than the other projects.

With every new design project we take on, it is always our intention to deliver the best possible outcome when it comes to the functionality, flow and feel of new spaces. All of these aspects must be considered with the clients lifestyle & beliefs in mind & with this particular project, we need to be mindful of the principles of Feng Shui. Over the years, we have had clients wishing to incorporate Feng Shui into their design to some degree, but every now & then we get a client who takes this...

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