The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Home - - WISH LIST - With edi­tor Robyn Willis robyn.willis@news.com.au

Get­ting a feel­ing for de­sign

Most in­te­rior de­sign­ers and ar­chi­tects love a good brief. It’s cer­tainly a more at­trac­tive op­tion than try­ing to ex­tract in­for­ma­tion from a client who sim­ply doesn’t know what they want.

But de­sign briefs and build­ing wish lists come in many shapes and sizes. For most of us, we’re talk­ing about how many bed­rooms we want or the de­sire for mul­ti­ple liv­ing ar­eas or a land­scaped gar­den with a pool.

But I some­times won­der if tick­ing off a check­list of things is re­ally the best ap­proach to take when you’re look­ing to build or re­model the fam­ily home.

When we were ren­o­vat­ing the back of our house, we’d al­ready de­cided against ex­tend­ing the foot­print into the back­yard. But I was still de­ter­mined to im­prove the con­nec­tion with the house and spec­i­fied the in­clu­sion of french doors to re­place the ex­ist­ing solid wooden back­door.

As these things go, some un­ex­pected costs came up with the back room, namely the need to re­place most of the dam­aged old floor­boards. This put a se­ri­ous dent in the bud­get that would have been given to widen­ing the back open­ing to ac­com­mo­date the new dou­ble doors.

In a bid to keep a lid on costs, the builder sug­gested we go with a sin­gle door that would open out­wards, rather than in­ward as it had be­fore, with a large glass panel. If we did that, there would be enough money saved to cover the cost of the floor­boards.

We agreed and it turned out to be a sound de­ci­sion.

Be­cause, as it turns out, it wasn’t the french doors we were keen on. We wanted a bet­ter con­nec­tion to the gar­den, which the out­ward open­ing door al­lowed, and more light into the kitchen, which the glass pro­vided.

Some­times a brief about ‘the vibe’ is the best one of all.

Take an open ap­proach with Ge­orge book­shelf in wal­nut ve­neer, $739, from Castlery, castlery.com.au

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