Rebeka: Welcome back to Building with BuildHer. This episode we're going to be talking about the build her vision, and really how to build your vision around your home.
Kribashini: This is probably the one step that we find people overlook or don't do it all and they already get started down the process. So we thought it would be super important to share it with you and really help you understand, or not really understand but actually put you on the right path.
Rebeka: I mean it feels basic I guess is the thing. Like it feels like you don't need to do it because it's so obvious, but actually by putting pen to paper and following this process, and it's a three step process, you'll be able to really clarify it and then hire your design team around that.
Kribashini: So stick with us and we're going to get right into that in a moment.
[Theme Music & Intro Piece]
Kribashini: If you're really enjoying our podcast and getting a bit of value out of it and enjoying listening to some of that tips along the way, we'd love it if you could drop us a review and let us know what you're enjoying in the podcast because we'd love to hear from you.
Rebeka: It really helps us to help more people if you write us and give us a review. I guess it helps us go further on the charts and extend our reach. Really what we're about is helping women build, and as many people as we can help as possible. This episode, in particular, I really love because it clarifies in your mind where you're going. It's really about the vision and the more people that can get the vision right, the more buildings we'll have right.
We really started this because people have so many issues. This is the first step, really one of the first steps we should be taking to get our building right so we know we're on the right path.
Kribashini: We often find that when people decide to renovate or build, they jump into it headfirst. They go screaming down the road and they go straight to hiring an architect or hiring a draft person or speaking to a builder about how much it's going to cost. They've actually missed these really fundamental steps before any of those things should happen to make sure that they're on the right process and they're going to be on the right journey down the line.
We put this formula together based on our experience and our knowledge and our know-how of how it all comes together and how the industry works to really help women, in particular, get more connected with what's happening in the home and how their home is being designed and how they're going to live in their home.
Rebeka: Because we know that if you put the right steps in the right order and if you take these incremental steps in it, it is overwhelming and it's fun. There's a whole heap that you can do with process planning and getting it right. Things that you don't think of if you don't follow the process in the right order. This should be one of the most fun and enjoyable times of your life because it's creative and it's spaces that you'll use all that fun stuff.
Kribashini: Absolutely. I think we also find that women or anyone who is really thinking about it. They go straight to that look. How is it going to look? The word vision might make you feel like we're doing that same thing, but it's actually something a little bit different. When we go straight to the mood board or straight to the inspiration board, which is a really important thing that's coming up in the process, we actually miss some fundamental decision making that's going to really inform our team.
Actually, because there are so many design solutions along the way, when we had this hierarchy in place it opens up loads of opportunities for us.
Rebeka: Yes. It stops your brain from doing that straight connection, and going, "I've seen that. I want that." It's like, "Actually, what am I trying to achieve here and how do I deliver that?" Allowing yourself to have the creative space to explore all the many options yourself so you can come up with a solution that's best fit for you. That might give you some space to really deliver an interesting project that's exact fit I guess, rather than the logical what everyone else would do.
Kribashini: I think you're so right there. Also tap into your own creativity which we hear from women is one of the most daunting for some, but also the most rewarding for others. Part of that whole journey, it just allows you to tap into that creativity. It allows you to be more confident in your decisions down the line. Remember when we spoke about design fatigue or decision fatigue?
Rebeka: That was in one of the previous episodes, so if you haven't heard that you're more than welcome to go back and listen to that.
Kribashini: This is another strategy that we put in place with our system to really break down those barriers.
Rebeka: Logically, what we start to do is we look at pretty pictures and then we go to a builder and or people will go to a builder, "I want that." It'll be like, "How much is that going to cost?" They're like, "What do you want?" You'll be like, "I just want to put on a back room and, I guess I need a kitchen and a bathroom and maybe a bedroom.
You're jumping all over the place and you're designing as you're costing and creating outcomes that aren't felt. This is an emotional journey. If you can get in touch with your happy feels and I know we both believe that the way you embark on a project and the energy you bring to it is felt at the end of a project. That's a bit-
Rebeka: -I don't know. It's a bit of an abstract thought, but I think you can really feel that energy in a home. You can feel that love.
Kribashini: Absolutely. You absolutely can. You walk around and you'll have your moments of love rather than having those moments of, "I wish I did. Oh, I wish I did." Rather you'll be like, "I'm so glad I did that. I love looking at that." It's a totally different mind shift but also, it helps when we're asking questions of designers and builders. Getting some more reliable information because the less information we have the more shot in the dark our cost estimates might be. The more lack of clarity our design team might have.
How long is a piece of string, the amount of times we share with our builders, our BuildHers and ask how much would something cost? We can just say [crosstalk]
What are the parameters, what are the limitations, what is the scope? Everyone needs to understand these things to be able to give you some accurate information back.
Rebeka: I agree. Instead of leaving you wondering what these things are maybe we'll jump into it. The first one.
Kribashini: The BuildHer vision is really a formula. That formula comes together and we have it included in our course, but the formula comes together by putting three parts together. The first one really jumps into how you want to feel in a space. That's a pretty different way of thinking about it because we often just go to how does the space need to look?
Rebeka: What do we need in that space? How you want to feel is really different. If you can close your eyes just for a second and picture how you would like to feel in your home, what home feels like to you. It feels differently for both of us. We'll give you a few seconds. Do this exercise. How I feel at home and how I want to feel at home is really different from how Kribashini feels at home. That is reflected in our styles and the way we deliver these projects as well.
Kribashini: It's going to be different for every one of you as well because it's reflective of your uniqueness. It's also really fun to do this with your partner if you are going to be embarking on your renovation with a partner. It really helps you see where you are different but where you're really similar and where your values and these things align. I'll give you a few seconds and think about three ways you want to feel in your home. What's the most important three feelings you want to have in your home? We're going to share with you our feelings.
Rebeka: I'm going to have to remember mine. I can remember one.
Kribashini: I might have some feelings. [crosstalk]
Rebeka: It takes a little bit of time to develop how you want to feel. It really does, to think about it and go, "Okay, what are the just three? What are the three most important and what are the three core things that you want to feel in your home?"
Kribashini: Actually we've done this exercise a couple of times now. It'll be interesting to see how that might change based on our life circumstances. I know how I want to feel right now in my home, but I'm about to have a baby. That might change the way I want to feel. I'm really interested to do this exercise again after baby comes along. I might have a totally different perspective. I might start with my three top feelings. One was I want to feel safe in my home. Super important to me to feel safe and secure.
I want to feel comfortable. To me, that means being able to be a little bit messy sometimes and letting things just hang where they fall. I get to a point where it's too much and everything needs to be put away, but I like to feel like I can just be comfortable and I can be who I want to be in my home. For me sometimes that might be reflected in the finishes that I choose, that might be reflected in the way that I furnish my home.
When we think about our feelings, we're thinking about the broader and bigger picture. My last feeling is, I like to feel comfortable and happy. That means that I want to have natural light and I want to have a nice view outside. I want to have connections with the things that I love in my home.
Rebeka: Whereas I come at things differently, I want to be inspired. I want to see things and feel inspired, feel like I've done something that's achieved my goal and that this is a space where people can come into. That's really reflective of what I wanted to create and where I wanted to push boundaries or go to. I'm probably not a great one for having something that everyone else has. I also want to feel energized. I want things that give back to me and give me energy. If that's artwork, or painting if it's beautiful textures and tones. I want my kids to feel inspired and I want there to be things around there that help them achieve and get better and learn and grow.
The other one is I want to feel happy and content. I want my kids to feel happy and content and that comes back to that comfort, that safe place, and that movement, and that feeling of everything being at ease and peaceful. They sound really different though. I want to feel inspired and peaceful at the same time. I think that's achievable and I think it will be a reflection of the personality. You got these fighting and competing factors and it's how you deliver that in a house. That's also like if you then take that brief as opposed to safe and comfortable and warm-
Kribashini: -and straight into the detail. This gives people so much more to work with in terms of pulling that design together. I could so see how you wanted to feel inspired and peaceful at the same time because you're totally on the go all the time. I can totally see how being inspired and thinking about things all the time is actually peaceful for you.
Rebeka: I want downtime and I want that downtime to be inspiring please.
Kribashini: It needs to be reflective. Anyone who's met Rebeka, this will be so true. You'll be nodding your head, going yes, this is actually true.
Rebeka: Your three feelings are going to be really different, but then if you combine them with your partner's and you really narrow them down to the three things that you're trying to achieve, that helps set the brief and the tone. You know that if you are someone that wants to feel warm and cozy, a minimalist glass box is just not right for you, even if it's what you like on the images. All right, what is the next thing, Kribashini?
Kribashini: Well, the next one is getting into your functions. Has anyone ever heard of the saying, and I hope I get this right, form follows function. A very famous saying, Google it if you've never heard it, but essentially-
Rebeka: Someone famous said it.
Kribashini: I know and I'm racking my brain, can't remember who it was. Form follows function, so how we want to function in our home is super important. My top three functions and you take a moment and write these down or think about them or share them with your partner. My functions would be, I really, really, really like to cook and I like to entertain, but I like to be part of the action. For me, having a kitchen that's open but close to the dining room was really important so I could see what was going on and not having too large of a space so I could see what was happening in all areas was really important for me in my home. Another top function was just, I guess I like to have a full house. I love my family to come visit. I wanted my home to not only be comfortable for me and my family but to be a space that when my extended family could come to visit where we are comfortable. I don't have a big house-
Rebeka: That you can entertain properly, adequately.
Kribashini: I don't have a massive house. We're a little bit space-constrained, but for me, it's important that they're comfortable in the space that they have. My last function is a funny one because I don't have it. I don't really have a great connection in my current home, but I really like to go indoor-outdoor. Love to have this feeling where we can go entertain outside or have people outside, have people inside and people just flush around the house. That's hopefully when I do have a family, which is not very soon, that will happen, and we'll have kids that are running outside and coming inside and they can play with their friends and I can see what's happening in the garden and I'm comfortable in my space and they're comfortable in their space.
Rebeka: Then similar for me, but I'm sort of outside-- I need a place in front of a window where I can lie with a book and I just, stop laughing at me, lie in the book and soak up the summer like a lizard and just flip that around-
Kribashini: Should I like to be warm.
Rebeka: -I also like a fire where we can entertain and gather around the fire and share those family moments. There are two things that are really important. The other thing that's really important to me is the harmony of daily life. That routine and that pattern, the flow and movements. It's like the daily dance that we do needs to function properly because we have a number of-- We've got five kids with us.
Kribashini: You have a tribe, don't you.
Rebeka: We have a tribe. Then often we have people around and there's a lot of things happening at once. We need that to be able to move and for that dance to happen really easily. I cannot stand things on benches. It literally drives me insane. I need my house to flow in a way that things have a place and the movement happens. It's natural to come in the door, put the bag, put the coat, take the shoes off, come into the kitchen, sit. That movement happens. The pantry, the bowls after dishes, like my kids cannot put things in the dishwasher, but they can move things to the sink by the pantry. That function and that dance, the rhythm of daily life needs to happen in a decluttered way.
Kribashini: Well, and with the amount- [laughter]
Rebeka: Is that enough of a function?
Kribashini: Yes, I can see how that's so important, particularly with the age gaps that you have with your children and what they're all doing, but also like the time that you have to all get ready and get out to school and they get back in there. There's so much more happening in that space.
Rebeka: That function then dictates the form and the way that our house is laid out. For us things next to the front door, but also like all the bedrooms are on the first level because we don't need to go up there during the day, but as soon as I get people dressed and ready and come down the stairs to start that rhythm, it dictates the way that dance happens. That's where the form follows function. The form is dictated by really the function, the layout, and the way that the house needs to move.
Kribashini: I'm yet to actually witness the morning routine in your home. I don't think I'll ever be awake. [crosstalk]
Rebeka: All right and the final one that we really need you to look at is the values.
Kribashini: Now this can often be a bit of a challenging one for people because we don't think about needing to think about our personal values when we're about to renovate and build a house. We think about more pragmatic and logical things actually, and so we're really stretching the emotional part of your brain here because actually design is an emotional response.
Rebeka: Our values can be things like entertaining. It can be how social you are. It can be whether you think the kids should have time on technology or not.
Kribashini: How much money you are comfortable with spending.
Rebeka: All these values, all these overlaying factors come into your home. Whether you think that your values are that you care for your elderly, your parents in your home or whether they will live in their own home. These things are overlaid into the way we are. Our values are really at our core, what we were brought up with and they're really personal, yes.
Kribashini: This is a really great one to do if you are renovating or building with a partner to do together and really-- We have an exercise in our system and we're happy to share it with you. It's really about writing down your own values and then coming together as a couple or a family if you have teenage children and really looking at where all the values are and seeing where they coincide and where they match.
Rebeka: There's a worksheet, we'll pop it under this one, but the values is a really fun one. I did it with my partner. We practice what we preach and he did his set of values and I did my set of values, and the way I had them, he's like, uh-uh, you need to change a few around there to make them work. Then his values were quite different to my values in a lot of ways. He's a very private person. He needs his personal space. He needs downtime. He really would be happy living, you know, never leaving our block at all, tinkering in the garden and doing all that.
Kribashini: He does like to tinker in the garden.
Rebeka: His values are very-- Whilst they're similar in a lot of ways, there are some competing values and so it's how do we negotiate that through our living spaces?
Kribashini: And balance them through our design. That's so true. The big one that often comes up is how we plan and design around our kitchen and our social spaces. We often talk about our public and our private spaces in our home. How those function is really derived from your values. I think you'll really find it a really fun and exciting exercise to do and really thought-provoking. Actually it's a great conversational piece to have with your partner to go, where are our values different? Why are they different? How do we respect each other's values? How do we actually design a house around it?
You'll find when you do this, when you're talking to a design team or even talking to a designer volume builder or a design bespoke design team, because you've done this work, you're presenting a united front. You already know where you stand on a lot of these issues because one of the big pickles that we can get into is that our designer is going to ask us some challenging questions and it avoids that situation that once you've started through the path of design you're getting these difficult questions and you have to go back and really figure out what you want to do, but you're in designs because you're a bit of a time constraint. Whereas now you have the luxury of really thinking about them.
Rebeka: Yes, or you might realize that your designer is overlaying their values. They will do that because that's a natural thing to do. If their value is, for example, John and I and the kids, we don't spend a lot of time in our bedroom separate. It's just not a value of the way we live. We live in the same spaces. Our room is set up to Floyd's, so there are different pockets that people can live in, but we don't need a large house. That's just not that important to us. Even though I live in large houses a lot, we know that the houses are a lot bigger than we actually use.
Kribashini: Yes, I'm just thinking about a funny story.
Rebeka: Yes, go on.
Kribashini: When we were recording our first podcast actually, we were trying to hide from all the builders, but it was hilarious because we were in Rebeka's room and Rebeka was there. That's pretty much where everyone migrated to. Do you remember we were trying to report every word-?
Rebeka: Everyone follows me around the house
Kribashini: I thought it was hilarious.
Rebeka: About 15 people on site and we thought we'd be able to fill my podcast.
Kribashini: John came in, and Ellie came in. It was just so funny.
Rebeka: There was delivery guys, but it's about that kind of like what spaces are important? How do we need to use them and what am I reflecting on life? One of your values might be that you like to recycle things and you're low on use and waste. Our values are all fine. They're our values, but we just need to identify them. When we're looking at something and we can see that, for example, a designer has given us a massive window that faces a street. If you know your values and you know you're a really private person, then that window is always going to have a curtain over the top of it. Is that an effective use of that window or are you better off facing that in a way that will allow you natural light? They dictate the design solutions without being prescriptive like an image would be prescriptive if I just picked up an image and I showed that to the designer, I might like that image, but I want my values to be reflected in the delivery of that aesthetic.
Kribashini: Exactly, and it allows us as the client to really shape and be involved and collaborated within the design process. For example, the scenario that Rebeka just spoke about where you might want to be, have a zero-waste house or you might like to recycle and down to a quite a particular level. That might mean that in your kitchen design you may have more requirements for bin space than most people, and that's a really detailed decision and it comes much later in the design process, but because it's derived from your values and your value system it will flow into your ultimate house, like the ultimate design of the house.
Rebeka: Yes. I think it's really interesting to think about, this is a one minute topic about how to renovate a house and how to renovate a house properly. There is a myriad of them. I guess we'd love to hear from you whether you found these helpful. We'd love to see--
Kribashini: If you wanted to share what some of your answers were we'd love to know.
Rebeka: We'd love to see your answers. We will have a tile up on Instagram probably maybe which announces this podcast. If you go in there and find these, that'd be amazing. The other thing we've got for you is if your kind of pass the values and you want to see some of our work in download we've got a free magazine, which is basically our latest work and what we've done is we've tagged all the suppliers and where you can get stuff from and the finishes and what we've done. Then there are some descriptions about how it's come together just for you. If you want to see that, make sure you go to our website and you'll be able to download it. It will be in buildhercollective.com.au/freebies.
There are two magazines, so one of them is the Alpha Mag, which has been out for a while. After the Alpha Mag, we have Rhino House Mag. That is random things frog in Italian. The story of that house is that there were these kinds of concrete frogs everywhere and it was built by some lovely Italians that then had their kitchen underneath and they had their wine storage and their vats and their fruit choice and all that beautiful process.
Kribashini: It's lovely.
Rebeka: You could see all that function in the house [crosstalk] and all those values. Yes, which was really interesting. Make sure you download that magazine if you want a glimpse at our work and I guess behind the scenes and the other thing we offer is free 20-minute consults. If you're looking at undertaking a renovation project or a building project and just going currently in it and you just need a little bit of help or-
Rebecca: -guidance, someone to hold your hand or have a chat to about it, something's not sitting right, especially if you're in the beginning phases and you've got a year to go over, you quite don't know quite know where to start. Then feel free to give us a call. Like we love talking all things building, as you might've guessed, given we can guess bag on a tiny topic for like 20 minutes. [laughter].
Kribashini: Thanks for joining us, and we'll see you on the next one.