Your house is only as good as your design brief.


Get your design brief right and add maximum comfort and resale value to your home, for the long term. This month on the 101.5FM radio Morning Magazine show I explain what a design brief is and the secrets to a great home.


Creating your design brief simply means getting your ideas out of your head.

Writing down notes and gathering images about what you want to achieve. How your home will look and function, what rooms it will contain, and the budget you have available to spend. A clear design brief ensures clear communication and helps to avoid problems:

  • For you: When your ideas are clearly organised they create a picture of what you are trying to achieve.  You can ensure you have included everything you need, and that your ideas make sense aesthetically, functionally, environmentally and financially.
  • For your family: A clear brief enables you to discuss and share ideas with your family or other people involved in your home project – and possibly paying for it! You can ensure you are all in agreement about what you want to do and how much money you have to spend.
  • For your project team: A clear brief is essential for communicating your ideas with your project team – your draftsman, architect, designers or other consultants and builder. The clearer you are about what you want, the better result you will achieve.

The most important place to start with your design brief is understanding the changing needs of your family. Changing needs are the main reason people move house or renovate.

Families are made up of people of different ages and needs, all living together under one roof. And their needs are slowly changing over time. Family needs tend to fall into three stages:

The first stage is when you have young children:  This stage is about togetherness.

You want to supervise the kids and they want to hang around you. The key rooms that make a difference are:

  • a second bedroom near the main bedroom for babies or young children,
  • Kitchen that overlooks the backyard or pool

The second stage is when your children become teenagers. This stage is about separation.

If you have a small house you may find that it used to be fine with little kids, but now everyone has grown up it feels cramped. Especially when their big friends come over and hang around at all hours of the day and night. Key rooms that make a difference at this stage are:

  • a second living area,
  • separation between the main bedroom and the kids bedrooms, and
  • A second bathroom

The third stage is for empty nesters or those with no children. This stage is all about you!

Embrace your hobbies and live your best life! Often people move or downsize at this stage to reduce the maintenance time and cost of a large family home.


Creating a design brief that captures your ideas, budget and the changing needs of your family will save you time and money in the long term and ensure you achieve a home you love.



In Course 3. Design Brief and Budget, I give you all the professional information and advice you need to create a clear, well-structured design brief.

It’s a 60 minute read, full of information to help you move forward, practical design checklists to save  you time and help you remember the critical design features, functions, rooms and furniture to keep in mind when designing.

Whether your project is big or small, you will start your design journey on the right track and create an excellent home and a great investment.