A Perfect Picture

Design magazines and websites can be seductive. Editors with critical eyes have scoured the design world to present masterfully executed projects with images that tempt you to renovate your home.

Pictures can be a great resource for setting goals for your own renovation but they’re illusory.  The decor and finish in pictures are the last stage of a process that begins with getting the architectural design right - functional, lasting and able to grow with your lifestyle.

It is crucial to realize that these snapshots are the outgrowth of a careful planning process that you can’t see.  This process cannot be bypassed by piecing together a project from images. Don’t get me wrong, I love beautiful photographs of well completed projects as you can see in my own Instagram account. Keeping an online or paper scrapbook of ideas you like can be helpful in communicating your tastes to your architect. But while pretty pictures communicate ideas and are fun to look at, you need to start with the architectural basics.

It is important to start with your functional needs. You and your architect can start by asking questions. What is missing from your home? How should the rooms of your home be organized? What will be the quietest location for bedrooms? Should all the bedrooms be near each other? Do you want to see a garden or other green space?

The architectural qualities that create a soul of a home are richer than photography can portray. The spatial qualities of form, proportion, scale establish a mood. Spaces can be cozy or they can be open and free flowing.

Architects work with you to create these essential ground-working steps that establish lasting character, and it is a well-considered space that will ultimately give you joy for years to come.   Colors, wall and window treatments are easy to change.  Your home must be firmly established from the very beginning.   Ultimately this is what architects are trained to do and it is why you need one.

Architects will take you through a process of decision making that forms the basis for a set plans from which to build your home. It is important to trust your architect. Look at the architect’s previous work. This will give you an understanding as to how he or she interprets a client’s needs.

Enjoy the process. It can be a process of self- discovery and in the end your home will reflect your spirit rather than just your favorite color palette.