Your architect is your guardian angel: Part 1

Your architect is your guardian angel: Part 1

Renovations, Tips and Advice, Services

Occasionally people will ask me why they need an architect. They will explain that they already know the design they are after, so why should they invest more in having me create the design for them.

Well, there are many, many reasons why they should invest in having me create their design drawings for them and even more reasons why they should consider having me manage their entire building process on their behalf. So many in fact, that I will need to write more than one article to cover them all.

Why should I hire an architect for my house plans?

So here we go with part one, which focuses on home design that actually enhances your life.

Be careful what you wish for:

I was at a party recently where a friend of mine introduced me to a work colleague and her husband who were in the process of designing their new home. As it was a party I did not say too much, but as the night wore on and I got to know them better, the work colleague and her husband insisted on showing me their design.

So what do you think?” they asked.

It’s interesting,” was my vague answer.

You don’t like it?” they queried. “So what’s wrong with it?”

Well, it’s hard to say that there’s anything wrong with it, without knowing what you want to achieve,” I answered. “I just picked you for being very social people.”

We are,” they answered looking confused. “Why, is there something anti-social about this design?”

Throughout the course of the evening, I had gleaned that they liked to entertain and that my friend’s work colleague liked to cook, and was actually very good at it. However, the design that they had created for their home had isolated the kitchen from the main living/entertaining areas. Sure she had designed a great kitchen, but she would not be able to interact with family or guests (or anyone else for that matter) whilst she was preparing food. And this was just the start of the design challenges.

Needless to say, they paid me for a consultation and then to create the sketch design for their new home. One that they are completely delighted with.

The problem with designing your home yourself, and then simply paying a draftsperson to draw up your design, is that your design may not actually enhance your lifestyle. Sure you might create spaces that you find appealing, but if those spaces do not relate well to other areas of your home, you will be left with a house that feels anything but homely.

You see I am trained to create great designs that connect all areas seamlessly, both inside and out. Of course, that does not necessarily mean an open living plan. There are spaces within your home that you might sensibly want to keep removed from other areas, like keeping bedrooms, or home office separate from the main living areas. It simply means that the relationship of every space is considered in the overall design of your home, ensuring that each room is liveable, workable, and functional and ultimately enhances your lifestyle.

Designing your own home can be a recipe for disaster. Of course you should have a huge amount of input into the design of your home, it is your home after all, but to get the best result, you really need to have input from an experienced architect, and ideally, have them create your design drawings for you. Designing your home without input from an architect could well leave you regretting your decision.

I didn’t see that coming:

If you simply want a big square soulless box, then you might feel that working with an architect is unnecessary. But if you want a home that features beautiful spaces that are a joy to live in, then your only hope is to have an experienced architect help you with your design.

Learn more in part two of this series coming soon.

Dion Seminara Architect


Hi, I am Dion Seminara, practicing architect and licensed general builder for 20 years as well as an environmental sustainable design (ESD) expert. I graduated from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) with honours, QLD in 1989. Registered as an architect in 1991 and registered as a builder in 1992, I am also a fellow member of the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA). Having received 12 ArCHdes Residential Architecture Awards, LJ Hooker Flood Free Home Design Award and the 2016 AIA Regional Commendation for Public Architecture, my expertise with both residential renovation (to all types of houses, especially Queenslanders, 50s/60s/80s), new contemporary homes and luxury residences has earned me a reputation as one of Brisbane's architectural specialists in lifestyle design architecture, interior design and landscape design.