“Listen to your clients. Don’t push your view; don’t follow a fad; it will date. No matter what you would like to achieve in a space, it’s the clients’ home, not yours. Listen. It really is that simple. I live by the rule because I feel very passionate about giving clients what they want. Their aspirations, desires and needs are unique to them, so being able to sign off [on] a project knowing the space is unique to them and their lifestyle is a joy.”
“Don’t overdesign. Once you’ve reached a point where you love what you see, stop. It can be tempting to keep going, but by doing so you often design out what you loved in the first place.”
“My No. 1 rule is always to base the house design around maximizing solar gain; that means having large, south-facing windows. Solar gain can reduce your energy costs, but be sure to have a complementary ventilation solution.”
“Design the space you want to live in, not one you think a potential buyer would want. We’re staying in our homes for longer now, so the culture for bland and impersonalized spaces has started to change, thankfully.”
“Follow your heart. Don’t rush. If you’re not sure about an element of the design, wait. Go to art exhibitions. Visit country houses. Walk in the countryside. Wait for inspiration to strike. If a color doesn’t feel right, then it probably isn’t. Wait until you’re sure.”
“I always remember I’m designing homes for the owners. It’s not for me to be self-indulgent with my designs and include the latest product I’ve fallen in love with if it’s not right for the project. You need to consider the lifestyle of the homeowner and understand how they live.
“For example, if they are total foodies, you need to plan kitchen storage and appliances meticulously. But if they eat out, can you reduce the kitchen size? Designing for families has its own challenges — sharp corners and shiny surfaces often aren’t child friendly.”
“My No. 1 design rule is to design the home around the people in it. Movement through the space and living in it should feel natural. Some designs may be impressive to look at but are not necessarily naturally livable.”