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Updated: Feb 9, 2023

When it comes to detail, we don’t like to impose any design feature on a client. It’s almost a policy to try to leave a blank canvas so to speak so that the client can “dress” their house to their tastes. However, with an existing house, we assume that the client likes their house so we’ll look for features to either replicate or, what I describe as “pay homage” to. This approach is particularly important when designing a facade. Sometimes you can create a frontage that is just too busy for instance and the effect can be overwhelming. On the other hand, extracting a detail and using that in some subtle way often works well. Where a completely different approach is required, such as where the existing house is devoid of any attractive features, and/or the client has made it clear that they don’t like the appearance of the house, then we do have to look for other design clues. I had better just add that the old adage “less is more” should be remembered, especially in a modern design context where you are relying on the whole form and shape of the building to create the chemistry.

On the inside of the house, the approach is different because most interiors have few features as such, and so the design interest comes from the shape of the rooms, the way light plays on the surfaces and the views to the outside, plus of course the interior furnishings which as I have said above, I prefer to leave to the client. Most clients are happy with this approach, but if they ask if we can help with the interior design we know people who can offer this service.

In our view, if you get the design of the building right the rest is mere detail. Get the design of the building wrong and you may be stuck with it a little longer.

Post Note: As well as knowing interior designers, we also know artists who will produce a bespoke piece of art or sculpture to your specification such as size, and topic colour scheme for a very reasonable price. Please get in touch for more information.

Written by Tony Keller – Building Tectonics Ltd

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