Top tips for architectural detailing that can make a real difference

For anyone looking to build, extend or renovate and wanting to create something of quality, something they can be proud of, something which adds value, something beautiful and something which improves their life, then obviously good design is key. Unfortunately the designing of many of Northern Ireland’s homes seems to stop at a very early stage and in most cases the small but important details that finish a house are left forgotten. Bad Architecture can not be made good through detailing but good architecture can be made more beautiful by the quality and thought put into the details. A good Architect won’t necessarily cost more money but will definitely make your home more valuable. The following is a very basic list of the mistakes which drive us crazy and which unfortunately many designers in this country seem to fall foul.

No thought given to the pipe work, gutters and downpipes

This is a common mistake and looks worse the simpler and more modern the house is supposed to be. Why spend the money building an expensive house and designing a well proportioned and uncomplicated elevation to then scar it with unsightly and unnecessary pipes? It is incredibly easy to remove all visible pipe work from a building but it seems a step too far for most of Northern Ireland’s house designers.

Boxed out structure or pipe work internally

All houses need structure and the majority also need service cavities; unfortunately even in apparently well designed homes the services are rarely thought through. Boxed out pipes in the corners of rooms are the usual suspects; however, it becomes more frustrating when they ruin a key design element like a pitched vaulted ceiling where the ridge meets a small portion of flat ceiling or boxed down steel rather than into a perfect point along the ridge line.

Full height internal doors

The easiest way to elevate a modern house into something grand and impressive is to increase the proportion of the doors. Standard height internal doors are not necessarily a poor design choice however simple and effective design decisions like floor to ceiling doors can help to transform a space; a design choice that would have very little impact on the budget of your build.

Internal arrangements of rooms

Care should be taken in the planning of each space to ensure key items of furniture can be comfortably accommodated and sited correctly. For example a bed shouldn’t have to face the door entering the room or worse still an ensuite door but rather should be designed to face a window or fireplace.

We should not accept lazy design, people in Northern Ireland should be demanding more from their Architects, why should our houses be of a lower design quality than those of other parts of the world.  None of the above details would have a significant impact on the budget but are a simple way of elevating a home and adding a touch of quality.

If you have a project you would like to talk to us about, or would just like some advice, get in touch here.