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The Weather Network
Jun. 15, 2019 | Saturday
Editorials and Opinions
Architext: Avoiding reno blues
Question Liveability. (Supplied)

OK. I admit — I may be a little obsessive when it comes to design.

This could be why subject of renovation often makes me cringe. It’s not that I feel houses should not be renovated; goodness knows there are many, many houses that could stand a really good makeover.

So why do I get reno shivers? Well, I guess it’s because I have seen so many go wrong.

Here, I’m not talking about aesthetics (a whole other issue) but rather liveability; a term that speaks to how a house works to complement the habits, inclinations and lifestyle of the folks who live in it. It’s an absolutely vital component which must be addressed before the design work is commenced. Unfortunately, it is all too often completely bypassed in favour of fashion.

Let’s take for example the “open-concept” floorplan wherein the kitchen, dining and living rooms all occupy the same undivided space. In the past couple of decades, it’s been touted as the height of fashion, however over half of the folks who’ve lived with an open concept would not, by preference, do so again. In the final analysis living in a single open space actually impaired the liveability of their home.

To demonstrate this, here’s a comment from one of my clients:

“I love to cook and having dinner parties was a real highlight for me. But since we opened up this house, we don’t do it anymore. I mean, I just couldn’t relax and enjoy myself when from every angle I could see the mess in the kitchen I’d be cleaning up tomorrow. Can you give me my wall back?”

So, if your reno designer doesn’t start by getting a clear understanding of your habits, inclinations and lifestyle, you may need a new designer.