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image by Jake Bellucci via flickr

image by Jake Bellucci via flickr

People dream about their ideal homes.

And to turn people’s dreams in to reality, one needs to build a level of trust with their clients. It is such a huge responsibility. You are not only managing their cost of works budget you are also managing their expectations. There is so much emotion invested when it comes to residential designs; as you are often dealing with people’s dreams.



The existing floor plan

This project is located in Newport in the inner-city of Melbourne. My client came to me with the desperate need of additional space; and they did not want to relocate to a new property due to the costs involved (stamp duty, relocation costs, etc.).

The Brief

Their brief was simple. The additional accomodation they required was a fourth bedroom and an ensuite. They also wanted to a new kitchen and bathroom.

The Constraints

The restriction included the Building Regulations setback requirements; which prevented a second storey being build (I was also concerned about the increased costs; along with additional area required for a stair). My clients also did not want to extend into their rear garden – neither did I.

The proposed floor plan

The Solution

The existing plan was reworked and extended. The design cleverly took advantage of the narrow space beside the house – the area which is never used for anything. The increase in area of 7.5sqm was minimal.

To think my clients were able to achieve one additional bathroom, walk-in-robe and bedroom; with only 7.5sqm of additional floor space is amazing. Plus the estimate come in well under budget. That is what I call a happy client.


image by charlievdb via flickr

I love working on inner-city residential projects. The sites are small, challenging and require creative solutions.

Typically the clients are desperate for additional space.  They have the option of relocating or renovating.

They have looked at moving; but don’t want to give up their current location and lifestyle (who blames them). Nor do they want to move further away from the city.

They have explored the costs involved in relocating (stamp duty, relocation costs, potential renovation costs for their new property) and have decided that it is more feasible to stay. Read more…


Love RingI love working with residential clients

My first love has always been residential architecture. I have always been fascinated by houses. From the days of growing up on farm – where I would visit the local homesteads – to now seeing the houses entered in the annual Architecture Awards.

I have always been intrigued by how people live. I think this is part of the reason I have spent so much time overseas. When visiting a foreign country my preference has always been to stay in someone’s home rather than a hotel. Thankfully I have lots of friends in amazing places. This fascination of how people live translates to my love of designing homes.

I also adore working with private clients. It is much more personal. I enjoy the process of understanding how a client lives and what they want to achieve with their new home. No two clients are the same. Read more…


The project consists of a Victorian free-standing house on a narrow site in South Melbourne in inner-city of Melbourne. The house was reasonable planned; except it lacked a dining space and had an outside laundry. After exploring different options with the client we decided to locate the dinning space in a rear extension that looked over the garden. The extension is simply and elegant with modernist references.

The opening to the extension consists of floor to ceiling sliding doors that create a seamless connection between the indoors and outdoors. The sliding doors are recessed into the facade to create an overhang for protection from the elements. External blinds will be provided to prevent solar gain from the late afternoon summer sun; in order to avoid the need for air conditioning.

A European laundry will be located in the new joinery to the kitchen/dining room.


A facade study at design development stage



THE EAMES HOUSE - THE INSPIRATION FOR THE PROJECT (image by ercwttmn via flickr)

THE EAMES HOUSE – THE INSPIRATION FOR THE PROJECT (image by ercwttmn via flickr)




The Problems

The existing house had poor planning. Two of the bedrooms were off a living space. The kitchen had no windows due to it be located centrally. Access to the rear of the house was through a maze of rooms. The added challenged to the solution were the low ceiling height in particular rooms. 

The proposed masterplan at concept stage

The Solution

Firstly, we divided the house into two zones; with the living areas placed to the rear with strong access to the outdoor decks and garden. The circulation was improved by introducing a corridor that connected the main entrance to the living zone. The master bedroom was relocated and was given a generous walk-in-robe and ensuite. The low ceiling heights to particular rooms was addressed converting these areas to secondary rooms; i.e. bathrooms, walk-in-robe etc.

The proposed master plan at design development stage

The Advantages

The new proposed layout has improved circulation. The quiet zones – the bedrooms & study – are now located away from the living areas. All living areas have a connection to the decking and rear garden.


image by 05com via flickr

image by 05com via flickr

Space – do you feel like you are bursting at the seams

If you are bursting at the seams you can go on a diet. However, if you feel like your house is bursting at the seams what do you do? Do you feel you need a bigger house? Have you considered saving the stamp duty and relocation costs by staying in your home with some small alterations?

I often find that residential clients feel they need a bigger home; however, I sense this is due to the amount of items they own. Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with owning items; however, they all these items need a home. You may not necessary need a new home; you may simply need clever storage solutions. An often quoted comment is ‘a place for everything and everything in its place.’

How do you create more space without adding an extension? Depending on your needs this may be as simple as creating a loft space within your existing ceiling that can be accessed by a drop down ladder; so rarely used items taking up prime storage space can be stored away. Read more…



Pre Design

During the initial client meeting a brief would have been obtained from you; which would have formed part of the Client and Architect Agreement. At the pre-design stage I will obtain a more detailed brief from you. I will issue this in a written format for your approval.  For a residential project this may include your particular likes and dislikes. I will spend time with you to try and understand how you live. This is an extremely important stage of your project.

Throughout the whole project I will arrange, attend and record meetings with you.

Recommendations will be made for the appointment of other Specialist Consultants as required, including their fees. These would have been listed in your Client and Architect Agreement; and may include a Building Surveyor, Ecological Sustainable Design (ESD) consultant, Geotechnical engineer (for a soil report), Cost Consultant, Structural/civil engineer etc.

 A site appraisal will be carried out to establish the site conditions and constraints. These may include overlooking issues, privacy, noise, orientation etc. This is an extremely important step in the design process.

A Planning Property Report will be obtained for your site; this will confirm the Town Planning zone and overlays. Read more…