Throw­ing out the de­sign rules

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Home - - NEWS - Robyn.wil­[email protected]

I talk to a lot of ar­chi­tects and gar­den de­sign­ers about what makes for a good de­sign process.

What strikes me is of­ten how lit­eral we as home­own­ers can be when we think about how our homes and gar­dens should op­er­ate.

Be­cause it’s easy to fo­cus on that check­list, where we list the num­ber of bed­rooms and bath­rooms we want, along with room for a fire pit and some play equip­ment for the kids.

But if you’ve gone to the trou­ble and ex­pense of hir­ing a de­sign pro­fes­sional, maybe it’s worth draw­ing on their ex­per­tise and in­stead of run­ning through rooms, talk about the way you want to live.

I was re­minded of this talk­ing to an ar­chi­tect I know about mak­ing a gar­den for his clients’ chil­dren to en­joy.

Rather than leav­ing a patch of lawn for a swing set, he had a dis­cus­sion with the land­scape ar­chi­tect around ground ma­te­ri­als and plant se­lec­tions that would be flex­i­ble as they grow and stim­u­late their imag­i­na­tions.

So the shal­low pond works as an op­por­tu­nity for water play and the laven­der and rose­mary bushes pro­vide a gen­tle fra­grance as well as soft fall in the event some­one loses their bal­ance.

Gen­er­ous soft gravel paths of­fer room for games of chas­ings or hide and seek, and hardy flow­er­ing plants tol­er­ate a lit­tle pick­ing for daisy chains.

It’s not ob­vi­ously de­signed for chil­dren but it opens up the pos­si­bil­i­ties that per­haps a fixed cub­by­house in the back­yard does not.

Per­haps we need to change the con­ver­sa­tion and place a lit­tle more faith in the de­sign­ers to come up with cre­ative so­lu­tions that suit our needs and have the po­ten­tial to grow with us rather than work­ing for just a set pe­riod of time. They might know us bet­ter than we know our­selves.

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