How to choose a house design
Architect Melissa Fleming and Ricky D’Alesio, design manager at Metricon, share their suggestions on how to choose the perfect house design – whether using an architect or volume builder.
Fleming, principal architect and director at Melbourne’s Metroworks Architects, says before putting pen to paper, architects gather detailed information about their client, their lifestyle, requirements, preferences and the site, to develop a design brief. This brief informs design work.
“I will present a couple of different design options that address the client’s design brief in different ways,” Fleming says.
“We then get together to discuss at length the merits of each option and I advise them to take their time in assessing each design,” she says.
“It is important clients have time to consider the proposed design options through their day-to-day life. For example, they may be in their current kitchen making dinner with the family and considering how the location in their new house would work at that time,” Fleming says.
“I’ve even had clients pin concept designs to their living room wall to keep them in front of mind. Sometimes we even find that a design solution combining some ideas from each concept is the best way to go,” she says.
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Metricon offers 181 house designs, D’Alesio says.
“Each comes with its own package of standard options and facades, which allows the customer to easily customise their home to their own wants and needs,” he says.
Family size, budget and lifestyle are major contributors to a customer’s choice in design, D’Alesio says.
“Many of our customers also end up going with the design of a display home they visited and fell in love with,” he says.
When it comes to specific rooms, focus on the kitchen, family room, master suite and the outdoor entertaining area, D’Alesio says.
“The kitchen is the heart of the home and an ideal space for entertaining, so we always recommend carefully considering the design of this space. In addition, the family room is an important space to relax and unwind, while the master suite should be viewed as a private parental retreat and designed with your own lifestyle in mind.”
Fleming says there are a handful of key factors which prompt people to choose one design over another – lifestyle, the Australian obsession with open plan kitchen and living areas, the relationship between indoor and outdoor, storage and the uniqueness of a design.