Your home – Inside out, not outside in

One of the first things most people consider when building, renovating or extending a home is what it looks like from the exterior. But what about thinking from the inside out? That’s what Mid Wales-based Hughes Architects poses to potential clients.

With the ongoing coronavirus situation, an increase in property sales due to zero per cent Land Transaction Tax and Stamp Duty* and more people working from home, the need to consider our living and working space have been at the fore.

Whether you’re thinking of moving home and want to carry out remodelling or extending the property, maybe building a new home, or simply looking to change the size and structure of your current property, there’s a lot to consider.

For many people, they look at a property from the outside in. And while good architectural design is about how a building looks, it is, more importantly, how practical it is for its users.

When we watch television programmes about residential property development it’s often what the final property looks like from the outside that’s more important than what’s created within it.

Doug Hughes, Principal Architect and Managing Director, commented: “That’s not to say the exterior is the last part of the design jigsaw. Far from it. The type of material, its look, feel and impact on an existing structure or environment are crucial factors.

“But it’s important to prioritise the living space. After all, that’s where you or your family will spend most of the time while at the property.”

With the need for home working there is an increasing need to ensure separation between work and living, particularly as it looks like more and more people will end up working for employers from home in the future, spending less time at their offices.

Doug Hughes, Managing Director and Principal Architect

“Clients will often guide us as to how they want a property to look from the exterior but when you start to talk about the interior they’ve only considered the number or type of rooms.

“For example, what space will you need and where. Do you intend to have a large master bedroom with an ensuite or more and smaller bedrooms with just a family bathroom.

“Is the living room separate to the dining area and kitchen, or connected and possibly open plan? These all might sound like simple things, but they can have an impact on the how the rest of the interior of the house works as well as its exterior, based on shape and space within it.”

“Storage space can often be forgotten about. Some homes look and feel open and amazing inside, but then when the owners move in they realise there’s nowhere to store large and small items other than in the loft – if it has one.

“So what type of rooms and storage areas other than fitted cupboards and so on should be factored into the interior design.

“Other important aspects of the design are the type of heating. Will it use renewables such as solar, photovoltaics, underfloor heating or conventional systems? If so, how will these fit into the design?

Doug added: “Lighting is also an area that is left to the fit-out rather than considered part of the main plan. What sort of lighting, where and for what use? Will it be connected to a ‘smart” system for control of the lighting and heating remotely or through new technology? Again, how is it connected?

“The factors I’ve raised here need to be considered whether it’s a full new build property, the redevelopment of an existing home, a renovation or even just an extension. What’s the purpose and function of each area?

“When you discuss your project with an architect such as Hughes Architects, these are important areas of the project that should be considered early on. Factoring items later or changing designs can have an impact on the process and time.”