After we had been in the house a few months we – ok I – was keen to press on with the plans for the refurbishment. Firstly I have no patience so I itch to do everything now and secondly it means that I can sit down with lots of paper – A3 pads, graph paper and tracing papers and copious amounts of coffee and just draw out ideas to scale. It has to be said that I am no artist and I really struggle to see things in 3D. Don’t ask me how the roof will work – that’s what architects and my lovely friend Bev are for!
What I am good at is spacial awareness and flow. Basically how things work and how parts of houses gel together. And my biggest skill is research. I spend hours on the internet looking for ideas and piecing together rooms. I can also use a scale rule so have no problem drawing out plans. My favourite trick is to draw the shape of the room as is with windows etc, then draw it again on tracing paper moving the elements around. I then cut out furniture to scale and place them on the new configuration. I have hours of fun and you get a sense of how things work within the space.
Before I even engaged an architect here I spent hours drawing out different configurations until I honed in on one or two possibilities. Lots of coffee and scones were consumed and much paper wasted but I felt that at least I had an idea in my mind of what I wanted to create.
So my advice for anyone starting out on the same journey is to invest in lots of paper – A3 plain paper, graph paper, tracing paper, lots of pens – and lets face it everyone loves stationery and feeling a bit organised. Do lots of research. Spend time simply wandering around your house thinking about how you would like to use it – which way do the doors open, is the toilet in the best place, can you squeeze more room by changing the angle of something. My favourite trick when designing a kitchen is to pretend that I am making a cake, I look incredibly stupid miming all the actions but it actully works.
My most valuable tool? Without a doubt its my scale rule – I measure all the plans that are given to me, double check everything myself – it maybe someone else’s fault if they are not quite right but you have to live with the consequences. My second most valuable aid is my coffee pot!