Now as the title of my role suggests, my focus as an interior designer is on the property’s interior. That’s always our focus, the priority of our clients. But that doesn’t mean that the exterior design of the home is an entirely separate consideration. Some of our favourite interior design projects may appear no different when you see the home from the street outside, but stepping inside is a whole new experience. But the home itself and its original design was thoroughly accounted for during our interior design process.
As an interior designer, I am always ensuring that the design is in keeping with the architecture of the home itself; ‘honouring’ the architecture. But that doesn’t necessarily restrict creative freedom with design styles. Take a traditional heritage terraced home. When designing such a space, it is important to recognise what the client wants to achieve in terms of the outcome, whilst maintaining the integrity of the original history of the home and considering the council restraints. So such a space can be given a contemporary makeover while retaining original architectural details in the interior as well as the exterior.
This can be achieved by cleverly combining design elements throughout the home. Adding modern elements in a contemporary design style, such as a contemporary kitchen, but keeping the unique architectural details of a historical terraced house. It gives a very warm and interesting end result.
Obstacles to designing outside
I find it extremely important when designing an entire home for a client, that during our first consultation I give them the ‘big picture’. The interior will always flow to the exterior and vice versa, so if we are designing a space that is looking out to a courtyard that could be improved upon, we will suggest this. To create a cohesive design in the home, from the furniture to the lights to the flooring to the textures, all should be considered.
But it’s not always that simple. When you’re working with heritage properties, there are certain guidelines and requirements that we have to adhere to, particularly the exterior of the home. Depending on the scale of work, and the design of your home, you may require a DA through your local council before building works can commence. Or if you are renovating an apartment, it is more complicated as you require a Class 2 approval /sign-off that can only be achieved by a licensed design practitioner/architect or builder. You also have to gain approval from Strata and Body corporate on certain items.
This is why working with a trusted interior designer provides huge benefits, in that we navigate this all for you, inside and outside.
Exciting design elements
Our Wallaroy Road project is a great example of how the home’s exterior design can be as carefully planned and considered as the interior design. We worked with a landscape gardener on this project to achieve such a breathtaking outcome, while carefully tying each feature together with the home itself.
An example of this is the beautiful sandstone blocks used at our Wallaroy Road project to construct a retaining wall for the outdoor shower by the new in-ground pool. This was a clever way to marry this feature with the home’s original architecture. Appropriately positioning furniture outside of the home that blends effortlessly with the aesthetic of the building itself.
Your initial consultation with me is so important, as during this period of time I am giving you, the client as much value, benefit and advice as I possibly can, it’s not just a ‘meet and greet’. I always warn people of the domino effect when it comes to redesigning your home, inside or out, that once you start changing a few things, this will naturally bleed into other areas… working with an experienced interior designer ensures that everything is planned with perfect precision, avoiding changes later which can become incredibly costly.