Advice


Nov
26
2014

Post War Home Renovations

With land becoming scarce in sought after areas, many Brisbane buyers are turning their attention to post-war homes.  This style of home is commonly found across a 10 kilometre radius of the City, making it an attractive investment option.

Post-war homes were built with the pressure of limited building materials and a need to build many homes as quickly as possible.  They generally feature a low pitched tile roof, casement windows and hardwood timber floors.

 

Post_War_Home_Renovation_Brisbane

Source: Brisbane City Council

Detonate or Renovate?

The age old question – to start from new or to improve upon the existing property?    With fewer restrictions on them than their earlier counterparts, demolishing this style of home is a popular option.  But these mid-century homes make a great starting point for renovation, with hardwood frames that were built to a very high standard.

The downside to this style of home is that the rooms are very separate and don’t afford the open plan that is so sought after.  They also generally don’t offer as many bedrooms and bathrooms as most families require.

Post-war-home-renovation-Brisbane-Clayfield

An extension on a Clayfield Post-War home creates extra living space.

Extend your living space

A common approach to post war home renovation is to raise them and build in underneath with a large deck upstairs.  The disadvantage to this method is the loss of connection between the living areas and the outdoor areas.

An alternative renovation option is to add a separate, open-plan extension that is connected by an internal walkway to the rear of the existing home. This preserves the integrity of the original house.

Less ornate than the Queenslanders before them, this simple style of house works well with principles of popular modern architecture.  They provide home owners with blank canvas upon which to create their ideal contemporary residence.

To find out how we can bring your mid-century home into the modern day, contact dsarchitecture today on 07 3899 9450.

Post-war-home-renovation-Brisbane-

A post war home with a contemporary extension.

 


Oct
23
2014

Your Wardrobe Solution: A Space For Everything

Wardrobe-solution

Mariah Carey’s wardrobe

Is your current wardrobe a picture of organisation, with a space for all of your clothing and accessories?  Or like many people, is the door to your wardrobe best kept shut – if you can even manage to get those doors closed at all!

A well organised wardrobe solution will not only be a joy to look at, by having a space for everything you will also save yourself time constantly searching for your favourite black shirt amongst a sea of other black shirts.

Wardrobe-solution

Credit: Cuhosted

The perfect wardrobe solution for you.

Just imagine it – racks for shoes or ties, shelves for handbags, drawers for your jewellery and different hanging lengths for jackets, dresses and pants.   A full length mirror.  Maybe even a comfortable spot to sit and contemplate your outfit choices for the next day or just to hide from the kids.

To provide you with the best wardrobe solution, consideration needs to be given to what your storage needs are at present as well as what they might be in the future (well there are always going to be sales!).  Do you want to display your collection of handbags?  Or do you dream of a wall of your most gorgeous high heels?  A design expert will use their training and experience as well as their specialised knowledge of products to provide you with the best possible outcome.

Wardobe-solution

Credit: Zalf Mobili

The professional advantage

While it is definitely more fun to daydream about how many more shoes you need for the shelves, it is also important that your choice of location for your tailored wardrobe solution is the right one.  Nobody wants to invest their hard earned dollars on a wardrobe that will limit their future renovation possibilities.  This is when the assistance of an Architect can be priceless.

At Dion Seminara Architecture, our Interior Designer is experienced in creating custom wardrobe solutions and benefits from working alongside our principal architect who has over 20 years’ experience in residential architecture.

Whether it be as part of a new home build, a renovation or as an independent service in your existing home, we can make the wardrobe solution of your dreams a reality.

Why not give us a call on 07 3899 9450 to arrange a time for our Interior Designer to discuss a wardrobe solution tailored perfectly to your needs.

wardrobe-solution

Credit: Dion Seminara Architecture


Sep
30
2014

Get your kids outside: 7 kid friendly backyard ideas

These kid friendly backyard ideas mean you never have to hear “I’m bored” again

We live in a time when unfortunately our little ones seem to spend far too much of their play time in front a screen.

Think back to your own childhood and your fondest memories might include racing around the yard on your bike or catching tadpoles in the creek. Chances are you probably played in your yard from the time you woke up until you were called in for dinner.

With a little bit of planning, some creativity and a trip down memory lane it is possible to create a kid friendly backyard that will provide your children with the perfect playground.

A space of their own
Kids of all ages will love to have a space to call their own in the garden. From tea parties with friends to a place to hide from mum and dad when they get older, a cubby house will provide them with their own little kid friendly hang out.

A designer cubby house in a kid friendly backyard - Kid Friendly Backyard Ideas

Designer cubby house (Source: Australian Design Review)

The open road
While we remember cruising the neighbourhood on our bikes, busier roads these days might make a custom track in the backyard a safer option.

Green Scene Landscape a private road in a kid friendly backyard ideas

A private road (Source: Greens Landscape)

Creating masterpieces
Inspiration for their next work of art is all around in the great outdoors. A cleverly positioned chalkboard at a kid friendly height on a wall or fence can be the canvas for many a masterpiece.

A chalkboard in a kid friendly backyard ideas

Room to unleash their creative spirit (Source: Project Denneler)

Room to run and roll around
Little ones need space to run. And skip. And roll. A patch of soft green lawn is the perfect place to learn to cartwheel, chase the dog or just lay back and watch the clouds go by.

lawn to roll around on in a kid friendly backyard ideas

A lawn to roll around on (Source: Gardenista)

Watch the world go by
Sometimes kids just need a quiet spot to sit and be inspired by nature. Why not work with existing trees in your yard to create a deck to sit on and watch all the creatures that come to visit.

seated deck around trees in a kid friendly backyard poppytalk.blogspot.com

A spot to enjoy their environment (Source: Poppytalk.com)

Swings and other things
The old swing set and see saw have been overtaken by purpose built activity centres and climbing walls. But don’t think it has to be elaborate. Re-purpose an old tyre into a swing and you’re little one will think you’re the guru of garden DIY.

Climbing wall in a kid friendly backyard schechive.files.wordpress.com

Better than the old swing set (Source: pinterest)

Incorporate fun into the design
If you are already renovating or building your home, why not incorporate some fun features into the brief that will be sure to win over the littlest clients in the house.

Blasen Landscape architecture slide in a kid friendly backyard

Win over the kids with purpose built fun (Source: Blasen Landscape Archs)

So to give your little ones a childhood spent in the fresh air instead of the media room you just need to embrace your inner child. Make it fun and you’ll never have to hear “I’m bored” again.

Why not call or email Dion Seminara Architecture on 07 3899 9450 to discuss how we can help you to integrate a kid friendly garden design into your home.


Sep
17
2014

Sloping blocks: From obstacles to opportunities

Sloping Block House Designs Brisbane

A raised home on a sloping block

Imagine a home that sits among the trees like a modern day Swiss Family Robinson.  Or a panoramic coastal vista that can be captured from every room in your home.

A sloping block of land offers you the exciting opportunity to create an impressive and unique home.  Of course there are some extra costs associated with a sloping block including detailed land surveys and costs to access the block and get materials onsite.

But there are significant gains to be made as well.  The initial cost of a sloping block is likely to be substantially less than a level block in the same area.  There are also savings to be made in capturing the breeze for natural ventilation and abundant light in reducing your energy bills.  In years to come if you choose to sell your home you will also experience greater resale on a one of a kind home.

Leaving costs aside, there is one thing a sloping block can offer that a flat block just can’t compete with.  The view.  A sloping block generally offers an elevated hillside position that affords a greater outlook of the surrounding area and beyond.

There are two main approaches for sloping block house designs

CUTTING & FILLING

The first method of cutting and filling is a common solution for sloping block house designs. The site is excavated and the fill used to build up areas to create flat surfaces to build a slab upon.  An advantage of this approach is that the home sits on the ground, allowing you to walk out straight from the house to the yard.

A RAISED HOME

The other alternative to the cut and fill approach is to raise the house from ground.  Poles are inserted into the ground to support a level frame on which the house is built. This second approach is less disruptive to the environment and allows for a natural water course which avoids potential drainage issues that can arise with the cut and fill method.

The key to the success of this type of project is to embrace the uniqueness of the site and to treat it as an advantage.  Rather than treating a sloping block like it is a flat piece of land, your Architect will work with the site and its contours to create a home that rests lightly upon the land.

By turning obstacles into opportunities your Architect can create a home that reveals itself as you travel through it.  The different levels provide the chance to create distinct living zones, physically separating the various purposes of the home and limiting the noise from each type of activity.

Architect Dion Seminara has over 20 years experience in creating original designs in both residential and commercial architecture.  He can create an innovative design solution that takes full advantage of your sloping block.  Why not contact him on 07 3899 9450 to realise the potential of your unique block of land.


Sep
10
2014

Why Hire an Architect?

The real benefit of hiring an Architect on your next project.

Hire an architect Dion Seminara

Why you should hire an architect like Dion Seminara

In Queensland both an Architect and a ‘Building designer’ can create a design for your residential building project.

What is the difference?

An Architect must complete a university degree followed by two years of supervised practical experience.  After this they then have to sit both a written and verbal Architectural Practice Examination.  Only after completion of this can they call themselves an Architect, and even then they must complete compulsory professional development to maintain their qualification.  They are also subject to the Royal Australian Institute of Architects Code of Conduct which includes obligations to the public, the client, profession and colleagues.

The value of this process is recognised and protected by legislation in Queensland.  The Architects Act 2002 (Qld) makes it against the law to call yourself and Architect unless you are registered by the Board of Architects.

‘Building designers’, who were once called ‘draftspersons’ have significantly less formal training, requiring only a TAFE qualification and two years practical experience.

What does this mean for you?

All those extra years of training gives an Architect the skills to look at the bigger picture and consider solutions that may deliver you a result far better than you ever imagined.  A result that is perfectly tailored to your living needs, location and personal style rather than a ‘cookie cutter’ design that doesn’t work for your family’s needs.

How can an architect save you money?

  1. Architects work independently of builders.   The benefit for you in this is:
    • They can call for competitive tenders which can save you a significant amount of money
    • If you don’t like the cost proposed by a builder using a ‘Building designer’ you have to walk away from your designs which the builder owns copyright in
    • ‘Building designer’s may tailor their designs to maximise profit to the builder, not to maximise liveability to you
  2. Implementing smart, sustainable and efficient designs that can add up to big savings – both in the short and long term.
  3. You will be left with a more valuable asset. In a crowded real estate market your Architect designed home will stand out from a crowd of project homes, providing you with a unique selling point.

But at the end of the day, the most important outcome is a well-designed solution for you and your family’s needs, today and in the future.  The value of having a design that is truly customised to the way you live.  Some might say this is priceless.

Click here to contact Dion Seminara.