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Home Information and Links Scrap-booking for Success

Scrap-booking for Success

Architects frequently get accused of pushing for design uniqueness at the expense of reasonableness or cost control. While I’m sure that sometimes happens, I think it is more likely that we are seeing opportunities and benefits that we feel are worth the additional costs. Taking advantage of a great view or incorporating some built-ins, some energy efficiency choices or special windows or doors are like that. Doing a 2-story stone-faced fireplace in a budget family room is not.

I prefer to look at my designs as if I had to pay for them and live in them, and ask, is the value there? And conversely, is it not there? Meaning, you are spending all this money for fees and construction, it had better be special in some way! This is why close interaction and communication, and your preparation before hand, is so crucial. We get one chance to do this, let's do it right.

Which brings me to my hint:

One of the most helpful activities you can do while considering or beginning a project is to collect images of things and places that inspire you. There are a host of influences that we are all subject too, from early memories to a great vacation place, which set the stage for the character we are after in our design.

Collecting images, and even objects, helps bring all this out. I don’t mean something to copy, but a color you like, a set of shelves in a picture, a particular room.  It is especially helpful where there are two people involved, since this stage can bring out the differences as well as the similarities, and helps find common ground before the big decisions have to be made. The end result should tell an over-arching story, as well as giving us details to fill in that story. For instance, are you looking at just an enhanced kitchen, or a family room, or master suite, or new kid space, a better connection to the outside, a great porch, a cozy nook for winter, a grand façade to tell the world you are here?

Keep in mind that the design should start with the big picture, and the details fill in later. A good design is a work in progress that evolves as we go along, and you may well find that your initial pre-conceptions fall away as we progress! So, start with a gathering of influences and let the ideas develop naturally.