We get it. Life can get busy. Especially when you have kids and or a busy job. It’s often too hard to leave work early or find someone to look after the kids. Scheduling a time for a meeting that works for everyone can be challenging.
When I ventured on my own in 2013 and left my full-time job behind I had a newborn to look after, so time was of the essence. Yes, I did take my little one to all meetings. (when you love what you do you never really stop, there was no such thing as maternity leave for me and I was back at the tools just a few days after giving birth?)
But I was just not able to spend long hours on the road to get to places. So, I started doing interactive skype meetings with my clients to discuss their projects and work on the design.
What started as a necessity to manage my life/work balance has now developed into one of our main strengths and philosophies.
We can set up times easily. During lunchtime (even when you are at work and your partner is at home), early in the morning, or after hours if need be. No need to leave your house, no added travel time, you just need a computer. The reduction in travel also reduces carbon emissions, which we love.
For sure, we like seeing and meeting our clients in person. Before starting the design for a new home or some alterations we need to see the house and the site ourselves. This is essential for doing a really thorough design brief meeting where we discuss, in person, your home in extensive detail. It’s not just about the rooms you require, we need a thorough account of how you live in your house. Every person and every family are unique in the way they function in their home. From where you do your ironing to where your school bags or appliances will go.
After that, most of our meetings are done remotely. This gives us greater flexibility in finding a suitable time for everyone, thus these meetings are easier to schedule and reduce travel time. Projects then move smoothly and quicker, especially through the design phase. We even had an interactive design review meeting where one client was away for work in New York and her partner was back in their Melbourne home. But this didn’t stop or slow down the process. We were able to fine-tune the design together.
So how do the interactive design meetings work?
At first we start we will start with a floor plan design and site plans. Setting out rooms, outdoor areas and so on. Once the basic layout has been set up the exciting part starts. From now on we do like to have interactive 3d design meetings with you, either in our office or via zoom. This process has a few advantages.
A) it’s much easier and convenient to set up a time (for a zoom meeting). For instance during lunch break, or after work, around 7 or 8pm on a weekday. Or Saturday mornings, without needing to leave the comfort of your home.
B) We can look at the 3-d model together and do little design changes in real time as we go. For instance, we can make rooms bigger or smaller. We can try out different roof forms, different overhangs. Make windows smaller, bigger, different colours and materials and so on.
For sure, after this meeting, we will still have to transfer all these changes into the drawings. And we have to make sure everything works fine. But by using this way of fine tuning the design we are able to turn around a design much faster. With less revision and misunderstandings than doing it the ‘standard’ way.
C) The interactive 3d design meetings give you the chance to be actively involved in the design of your home. And to help you understand the planning or building restrictions much better. Because ultimately it is your home. What might be my ideal kitchen might not be yours. So, it is important to have you involved in the design stage. To make sure you are happy with the design and flow of the house.
Our interactive online design meetings enable us to work on very exciting and beautiful projects all over Australia. I really enjoy a peaceful road trip every now and then, taking in the beautiful scenery and the excitement when on the way to a new site. Personally, this also gives me a nice balance to all the time spent in the office and in front of a computer. And sometimes it can be really nice to get away for a day, especially when you have little kids, right?
Now the question is: where are you building a home? Which part of Australia are you in? Are you located in a remote area? We would love to hear from you.
But don’t worry. If you do live close to us and prefer to come to our office, we do have a nice meeting room with a big screen, where we can do our interactive design meetings with you.