What Should Your Dream House Be?

Dream House Staircase

Do you have a clear vision of the perfect house for you and your family?

If you are like most people, your vision of your dream house is actually an idea without much in the way of concrete details. It may consist of mental images of houses you admire or remember. You may have merely a sense of what it should be, but no clear image of it in a physical way. This is normal. No architect expects you to come to his or her office with a design. After all, that’s what the architect’s job is. You’ve got to give you architect a chance to earn his or her money!

So how do you get your vision of your dream house to coalesce? How do you communicate those thoughts to your architect or designer? Do you write out your thoughts? Do you describe your vision in terms of style, like “Craftsman, or Traditional?

Here’s a paragraph from my book where I discuss one way of “getting your arms around” your Dream House vision and how to might communicate it to others.

 “Be aware that labels and style names can be confusing. If you tell me that you want a house reminiscent of the Italian hill country, you may have a mental image of a refined, hillside villa that is dramatically different from the image of a rustic, agrarian building that may come to my mind. Remember what we discussed earlier. Communication failures are the cause of many problems in design and construction. Communicate as clearly as you can. To that end, I urge my clients to start clipping out pictures from magazines. An excellent interior designer I work with refers to these clippings as “inspiration images,” a wonderful phrase. Inspiration images do not dictate exactly what the house will be, and we are not planning to copy the buildings and details that are shown in the pictures. The pictures simply communicate an idea or an impression. These images don’t even have to be consistent with each other. They can show a wide variety of styles and details. Leave it to your architect to find the common threads among the images that inspire you. Inspiration images are truly pictures that are worth a thousand words.”

The term “inspiration images” comes from my friend Marion Philpotts of Philpotts Associates in Honolulu.

While you clip your inspiration images, you’ll find yourself thinking more about what you want and don’t want. you’ll feel your vision begin to crystallize. This is good. Jot down notes as ideas occur to you. You might even put everything aside for a day or two and then take a fresh look at it all. Some things that you thought were exactly what you wanted may now not seem as critical. Repeat this process a few times and I think you’ll find yourself developing a consistent vision of your dream house.

I hope this information is helpful to you. You might want to get yourself a copy of my best-seller, Designing Your Perfect House. It is chockfull of valuable tips and advice that will save you many times the cost of the book on your house building or remodeling project. You might also like The Well-Centered Home: Simple Steps to Increase Mindfulness, Self-Awareness, and Happiness Where You Live. It will show you how to make your home a happy place.

Bill Hirsch | Architect

Bill Hirsch

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