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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CONVERSATIONS WITH THE DESIGNERS - Key steps to discovering your style aesthetic

Uncategorized Feb 25, 2021

There was a shift, with apparent cause in 2020 from spending our hard-earned cash on overseas holidays to investing and spending on our homes. This investment is likely to say a lot about ourselves. Our homes have always been an extension of our personalities … so before you start renovating or building a new home, how do you find and define your true home personality?

There are a few steps that we walk our clients through in order for them to find their design aesthetic, it is an easy step by step process that will bring great results. Time spent fine-tuning your style before embarking on any renovation or new build project can save a lot of heartache and wasted money in the long run.

STEP 1: Discover your style aesthetic
To find your true home personality, the first step is to ask yourself: What style do I like? Am I classic, neutral or organic? Am I contemporary or rustic and comfortable? Is my style vintage, quirky or arty, or am I coastal, laid-back with a...

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CONVERSATIONS WITH THE DESIGNERS - Interior Designer & Interior Decorators...let's discuss the difference


As Interior Designers we are often asked by prospective clients about the services we provide as there is often confusion between what Interior designers and Interior Decorators can do.

Many new clients assume we will only be adding the paint colours, furniture and cushions to their project. Yes, of course we do this however this is only one aspect of the skills a qualified Interior Designer possess. 

An Interior Decorator or Stylist, focuses generally on how a space looks rather than how it functions. Having said that they are able to improve on the flow & function (within the limitation of the existing walls/space) through the manipulation of the layout of the loose furnishings. Decorators are not usually consulted on the structure of the space and they are usually brought in towards the completion of the project. Decorators are very creative, can visualise and have a good eye for the creative use of surfaces, finishes & aesthetics.

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Conversations with the Designers - Key questions to ask a Builder prior to engaging their services

One stage in the building process that instills more fear and overwhelm for many of our clients is... selecting the right Builder for the job. A Builder can make or break the success of any building project. 

The best place to start when searching for a Builder is to ask for recommendations. And when asking for recommendations don't just 'blindly' go with a friends brother who is a Builder, just because he knows him by default. You want a recommendation from someone  who has gone through the building process themselves with the Builder.

When seeking recommendations also ask your Architect/Designer. They will be able to steer you in the right direction. It's a good place to start as they will have worked with many builders and would also have feedback from clients' experiences. 

When you have the names of 3 reputable Builders (and you only need 3, any more than that will only confuse you when it comes to comparing quotes), it's a good idea to check their...

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Conversations with the Designers - Blueprint to a successful renovation or new build

I can't tell you how many times we've heard our clients make the following ambitious statement.

'We aim on being in our new home by this Christmas'...When we're already 5 months into that same year!

As Interior Architects and Building Designers, our reply to their statement (without hesitation) is ..."Definitely not this Christmas! If you want all to go well, then you'll have a much better chance if you aim for next Christmas".

No matter what your aim or deadline is for settling into your new home, you'll need to start the planning process at least 12 months prior to your deadline.


Twelve months may sound like a long time, however it will fly by once you start the process. Many first-time home builders or renovators don’t realise what is exactly involved & just how much time goes into the preparation & planning of a new build or major renovation of a home.

Unfortunately, things don't just fall into place by...

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