Plan­ning to build or ren­o­vate? Let Barry Du Bois show you how to achieve the best de­sign out­come for your project.

Homes+ (Australia) - - CONTENTS -

Meet the ren­o­vat­ing and build­ing ex­pert and read his guide to de­sign.


Many peo­ple search photo li­braries for in­spi­ra­tion for their space. This may help when re­fin­ing de­tails later in the process, but re­mem­ber that mag­a­zines and photo gal­leries are snapshots of other peo­ple’s lives. For a de­sign to work, it must turn on all your emo­tions – and to have that strength the first con­sid­er­a­tion must be the re­la­tion­ship you want to have with others in the space. An­a­lyse that re­la­tion­ship: how you want to use the space and how you want the guests who will share the space to feel. Put th­ese thoughts in writ­ing, re­or­gan­ise them in or­der of im­por­tance and re­fer back to them.


Ar­chi­tec­ture can’t force peo­ple to con­nect, it can only plan the cross­ing points and stage the jour­ney.

How you ori­en­tate an en­try not only de­ter­mines the start and fin­ish of your jour­ney (which should never be rushed), it should also hint at the per­son­al­i­ties of the oc­cu­pants and of the space. The way you al­low move­ment through the space is a great start to turn on many emo­tions. Be sur­pris­ing but bal­anced; al­low a mo­ment at the en­try to your space to en­joy the fo­cal point or vista.


Your niche is your iden­tity; it’s what makes you “you”. De­sign­ers love to talk about the “wow fac­tor” and how to im­press others, but what is the “wow fac­tor”? The term is of­ten used without any con­nec­tion to your per­son­al­ity. In ev­ery space we want to give a cheeky glimpse of our per­son­al­ity, and we do this with a

fo­cal point, some­times a vista, an art­work or an in­her­ited piece of fur­ni­ture. It may be dark and in­trigu­ing or bright and ex­cit­ing but, most im­por­tantly, it should lift your gaze and en­tice you into the space.


Colour and tex­ture are the lay­ers which iden­tify a space as yours, and can tie dif­fer­ent spa­ces or zones to­gether. Don’t let any­one tell you that a colour or tex­ture doesn’t work. Be bold or be sub­tle, but be hon­est to your­self and the peo­ple who will in­habit the space.


I’ve al­ways been pas­sion­ate about our en­vi­ron­ment and that’s am­pli­fied since the birth of my twins, Ben­net and Ara­bella. Dur­ing any project, I con­sider not just this life­time but how what I do to­day will af­fect my chil­dren’s life and their planet. The health and well­be­ing of the ma­te­ri­als and coat­ings you use will be re­flected and recog­nised in the soul of your space and de­signs.


If not con­sid­ered, ar­ti­fi­cial light will dull your senses and drain the space you have cre­ated of all life and per­son­al­ity. Light is the fi­nal layer of your space, the one that changes reg­u­larly and without ref­er­ence. Noth­ing plays on your senses and emo­tions like light, whether it’s the morn­ing glow of the sun, the dance of the moon or the mood set by me­chan­i­cal light.

Con­sider my De­sign SENSES but also cre­ate and de­velop your own to take con­trol of your space. Next is­sue? I’ll be mak­ing a fun and use­ful DIY project – see you then.

“In ev­ery space we want to give a cheeky glimpse of our per­son­al­ity with a fo­cal point.”

Keep­ing it real

A source of nat­u­ral light gives a room mood and per­son­al­ity.

Layer up

Be bold or sub­tle with colour and tex­ture .

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