Hello, I'm Boyd.
Thanks for taking the time to learn more about Boyd Design and what makes me tick.
As residential building designers, we design every aspect of the home. While our core business is new home design, we also design stunning home additions & renovations, swimming pools and landscapes.
Being directly involved in every aspect of the building and landscape industries for over 30 years, I have a good deal of knowledge to share with you.
Here I share my thoughts and feelings about all things associated with good house design and, what I believe to be, the secrets to a successful home design and building process.
I do hope you enjoy it and benefit from it.
Open, Honest Communication.
This has to be the single most important aspect of all. Your Architect or Building Designer simply must communicate openly and honestly with you and not be a “Yes man”. I can’t stress this enough.
Imagine, for example, you’re pretty adamant about something you really want in your house. You’ve thought about it over and over and decided, “Yep, that’s exactly what I want this space to be”. You’ve then instructed your Architect or Building Designer to draw this space as you’ve imagined it, and you believe this will be absolutely sensational.
Many Architects and Building Designers are “Yes men” and don’t want to upset you. They’ll smile and nod while saying “No problem, that will be great”. But what they could be thinking is something like “That’s going to be complete rubbish, but hey, they’re the client”.
Later, you move into your new home only to discover the space you were so excited about looks nothing like you had imagined. It looks terrible, doesn’t flow from the other spaces well and is not easily furnished. “What happened?” you ask yourself. “This is nothing like I imagined, I hate it!”. As your eyes begin to fill with water, you say “That’s the Architects fault, he should have known better!”
You’d be right. Your Architect should have known better. The truly sad thing is he probably did know better but was afraid to say so because you were so adamant about it and he didn’t want to offend you by speaking up. “That’s what you said you wanted”, he’ll say. He is a “Yes man”.
This will sound very familiar to some of you. For those of you who haven’t had a home individually designed before, when the alarm bells are ringing, listen.
I’m different. I can’t help but speak up when I see potential issues with certain home design ideas & requests.
The fact is, having a new home designed is a very personal experience and you have to live with your home design decisions for some years. Working with a “Yes man” can be a costly experience. Not only may the value of your home suffer, they’ll be far greater pain and suffering if your house design simply doesn’t work for you, your family or your site.
Loving your new home, in every respect, is all about the design of it. The way it flows, the amount of storage and how easy it is to furnish your home all comes down to the design. This is why I’ll challenge your ideas to ensure your home is the best it can be for you & your family.
I speak with many people about their home design experiences and have worked with clients who’ve previously been working with “Yes men”. I can assure you nothing great results from these types of Architects or Building Designers because it’s actually their client designing the house.
Let’s be honest, are you a great house designer? Probably not. So why on earth would you work with a “Yes man” who’ll simply draw up what you tell him? Not only would you be wasting your money, your new home will not be the wonderful home you had imagined.
Open, honest communication is the key to successful home design, ensuring you’ll love your new home in every respect.
Your Home Designed with Passion
We see the word “Passion” thrown around often, but what does it really mean when it comes to designing homes? To me, everything.
Without genuine passion for house design, my designs simply wouldn’t be as impressive as people tell me they are. Most importantly, my clients wouldn’t love living with their homes as much as they do. So yes, without genuine passion my home designs would look no different to any other…and this would be totally unacceptable to me.
But there’s so much more to it than this. It means I genuinely care about creating home designs that actually respond perfectly to the ever-changing, growing needs of the people I design them for. For me to be content with a house design I’ve created, I must be able to say “I’d live in this house”. But most importantly, I must know it will respond perfectly to needs, wants and desires of my clients now and ten years from now.
So how do I achieve this? It all comes back to open, honest communication. I ask lots of questions to gain a sound understanding of who my clients are, how they live and where they see themselves in ten years.
For example, if my clients love outdoor entertaining, I’ll talk about an alfresco area which can hold a lounge and dining suite. If the kids are to be driving in a few years, where will all the cars go? If Mum is planning on starting a home business, will she need an office with its own access? If extended family visit frequently, do we create a guest suite or a create a flexible space which could easily be adapted? If Dad hasn’t had his mid-life crisis yet, do we need garage space for a Harley or red Corvette?
Knowing for whom I’m designing is paramount, but there’s much more to my passion.
My genuine passion for home design translates to a number of key factors which contribute to designing stunning, yet practical homes.
One such factor is time. While my accountant detests this, I don’t allocate a specific amount of time to create a house design. I simply invest the time required to get the design to where I want it to be. It’s not uncommon for me to spend days on making a kitchen look, work and flow the way I’d like. During the design process, I may get so far and say to myself “Nope, I’ll try it this way”. Yes, I do talk to myself. I’m allowed, I’m an eccentric designer!
As I’m able to visualise, as I design, I can see how the design will actually look in the real world. While this is a great talent to possess, it does mean that I’m constantly striving to make my house designs better. So I spend hours on the tiniest of details. Making sure this lines up with that and that the view, or transition, from one space to another is simply delightful.
If you speak with some of my clients, they’ll say something like “Boyd is great, we absolutely love our home…but if you’re in a rush you best look elsewhere”. This is true.
Yes, I’m constantly busy, but the reason many people say things to me like “I love your designs” and “Your designs are so unique, I’ve seen nothing like them” and “We absolutely love our home and wouldn’t change a thing” is because of the time I invest.
The more time I invest, the better the resulting home design. Nothing worthwhile will result from rushing your home design.
Don't Worry, We'll make it Work
When thinking about having a new home individually designed, it’s common for people to draw some sketches of what they have in mind. This is great and it really does help convey your ideas to your Architect or Building Designer.
While this is helpful, some people get bogged down in how their ideas will work. This can be frustrating and even cause arguments.
With Boyd Design, you don’t need to focus on how, just what.
Boyd Design are so much more than just Residential Building Designers…we design homes that fit everyone like a glove. So no matter what ideas you have or how crazy they may seem, we’ll make it all work perfectly. This is all part of the Boyd Design difference, we believe everything is possible and history shows us this is true.
No matter if your site is a sand dune, you have six cars to park, you wish to stage the construction of your home or simpler things like “I know what I don’t like but can’t tell you what I want”, we will design you the perfect home. This we guarantee.
The same applies to the layout and design of your home. Perhaps you know you’d like a scullery connected to the kitchen but also want access to a powder room. You’d like the powder room concealed from view but easily accessible. In addition, you’d like the powder room to have dual access, so it can be directly accessed from the alfresco area, but again you want this access concealed.
Or perhaps you want a guest suite which shares the main bathroom but is not directly connected to the other bedrooms…even though they share the same bathroom. Well, such things are achievable - it simply takes a very creative mind and dedication to make it work while keeping the house within budget.
I’m a firm believer that anything and everything are possible. I refuse to be beaten by any design challenge and will explore all the options until I arrive at the optimal solution. One thing I’ll never do is give up.
What I find very sad is the number of people that tell me something like “He said it couldn’t be done” or “He said it would cost far too much and wasn’t worth considering”.
It really frustrates me when people say these things without even exploring the possibilities. I’ve had builders say to one of my clients “This house can’t be built” because the first-floor bathroom didn’t line up with the ground floor bathroom. What? I’ve had engineers say to a client of mine “This house can’t be built as designed because the first-floor slab doesn’t extend to an external wall”. Again, what? In addition, an engineer designed the first-floor slab, on one of our three storey designs, which would have stuck out through the ground floor roof. We had to show the engineer how to achieve the desired goal while keeping the slab concealed.
These are just a few examples of things said and done which were utter nonsense. So if you’re told something can’t be done, always seek a second opinion or, better still, have your home designed by Boyd Design.
As I also design home additions, renovations, swimming pools & landscapes, I understand how important it is for everything to flow. Having built many large, complicated projects in the past, I also have a sound understanding of construction and engineering. So if you’re bogged down in how, forget how. Just tell me what and I’ll sort out how.
Meaningful, Written Guarantees
This probably won’t mean much to you unless you’ve had a house designed before and understand the value of, genuine, guaranteed results. Even if you have had a home individually designed before, I’m quite confident that there were no written guarantees offered by your Architect or Building Designer.
In fact, I believe Boyd Design are the only Residential Building Designers offering genuine, comprehensive written guarantees with our house design services.
So why is this important, you may ask. If you don’t absolutely love every aspect of the house I design for you, I’ll amend my design at no additional cost to you. If you thought this was standard practice, you’d be wrong.
While some may make some minor changes at no additional cost, what if they got the whole design wrong and it simply didn’t work for you at all? Do you think they’ll say “Oop's, my bad - let me start all over at no additional cost”. Chances are, no, they won’t. Boyd Design will. This is guaranteed in writing within our design contract.
I recall dealing with a client in City Beach some years back. They were looking to extend and renovate their home and had a reasonable budget to achieve it. They said, “We had another design done before, would you like to see it?” Curious, I said “Sure”.
Upon looking at the proposed design I could see clearly that it wouldn’t be approved by Council. Furthermore, it was huge - well in excess of their budget. Upon asking, the client said this. “Oh, he told us it won’t get approved, in its current form, and the building estimate is twice the budget. But he said its a good starting point.” I was stunned. Upon inquiring further, I discovered my client had paid this fellow tens of thousands of dollars for these pretty pictures that were worthless. And no, not a guarantee in sight.
Our written guarantees cover every aspect of our design services. The design itself, engineering success, energy efficiency, site-works cost, council approval and the big one - the budget to build our designs. If there are issues with any of these things, we amend our plans at our cost. It’s a confidence thing.
I’m confident you, or someone you know, has had a house individually designed which blew the budget out of the water. It’s quite common and always alarming.
Again, this is where open, honest communication is paramount. Not just from you, but your Architect or Building Designer also.
Even with the best of communication, things can still go pear shaped. This is why it’s best to ensure you’re completely covered with written guarantees, forming part of the design contract, in every aspect of the house design process.
Such guarantees ensure you don’t pay for the mistakes of your Architect or Building Designer and, in some cases, mistakes made by you.
Building design mistakes can be quite costly indeed. So if you believed written guarantees didn’t count for much, maybe now you appreciate the value of them. We certainly do.
Absolutely Love Challenges
Many years ago. One of Perth's established luxury home builders was building for clients in South Perth, we knew each other well. He called & said "My client wants a pool with a cabana sitting on top of it. We tried everything but keep having our plans rejected by the Water Corp in view of the sewer line. Can you please take a look at this".
The issue was that the proposed cabana was too close to the sewer line. However, if the cabana wasn't located in this position, it simply couldn't be built due to a lack of available space. Upon commencing work on the design, I had the issue resolved almost immediately.
Ask almost any Builder, Pool Builder or Water Corp employee if you can build any structure close to an existing sewer line and you'll probably be told "No, it's impossible". This is why easements exist. However, having a deeper understanding of why it's not considered possible is the key to resolving any issue. An understanding which takes a good deal of experience, an understanding of engineering and creative thinking.
You see, structures place a load, or apply pressure, to other nearby structures. This pressure would probably cause damage the sewer line. Another reason is that, should the Water Corp need to fix or replace the sewer line, they'll need to dig around it. If there's a brick cabana in the way, this would need to be demolished. Who pays for this? For these reasons, any such building application will be rejected.
How did I resolve the issue? Quite simply, I designed the cabana to be cantilevered over the sewer line. This meant that there was no load, or pressure, being applied to the sewer line. In addition, in the event that the Water Corp needed to excavate around the sewer line, the cabana will not be affected. In fact, the way I designed the footings, its best the cabana actually exists as it will help hold the soil back. After trying for weeks on end, the Builders' next application was approved within two days. I employed the same principal for a home in Mount Pleasant.
This same thinking is applied in all that I design. No matter what building issues you may have, there's every chance that I'll deliver a viable solution. I absolutely love to be challenged!
Who Loves Councils?
Call me crazy, but I love dealing with Councils. This is obviously due to the fact that I love to be challenged. Don't get me wrong, I actually don't have serious issues with Council very often. But when I do, I love it. For me, its very satisfying about resolving issues creatively.
All the homes I design should be approved by Council without issue, and 99% are. However, once in a while there's an unexpected issue which needs to be addressed. One thing I can tell you is that such issues are not a result of my oversight, but questionable Council policies.
In one case, I had designed a two storey home to be built in Bayswater. As it was to be built at the rear of a battleaxe block, it has already presented its fair share of design challenges as the house was a relatively tight squeeze. Therefore, dealing with potential overlooking issues from rooms & balconies, while still delivering a stunning design which worked really well, was challenging enough. But then I received an unexpected letter from Council.
Within this letter, Council had raised their concern with the height of the block. I designed the home to take advantage of the existing site levels, so this came as quite a surprise. However, it turned out that several years & owners ago, it appeared the block had been made higher by a previous owner. No particular reason, probably just had some dirt to dump somewhere. Therefore, Council's concern was actually legitimate and they were requesting that I drop the block level down to the original level, the lowest point of the block.
However, I wasn't prepared to accept this. While exploring possible arguments, I discovered that only 30% of the block sat at the lower level. Therefore, Council wanted me to excavate 70% of the block to match this original, lower level. This would be a significant excavation and it made no sense to me. But how do I fight this, I thought.
Upon pondering over the issue, I arrived at my defence. Environmental issues. To submit to Council would mean a significant amount of excavation would have to be performed. In addition,
I would have no option but to add retaining walls to support the neighbouring properties. I argued that the environmental impact (running machinery & laying blocks) of such an excavation did not justify the result Council sought. I'm happy to say that the environment won.
Again, the solution came down to creative thinking. Do you understand why I say the ability to think creatively is so important in this business? Without it, my client would've had to bear the huge cost of excavating their site & adding retaining walls while sacrificing a portion of their view.
This is one of a number of cases I've been presented with overt the years. And I'm happy to say that I haven't been beaten yet.
Landscape Design Included
Without a landscape, we have a house - not a home. I view the landscape as the other half of the home. This is why I can't help but design the landscape when I'm designing a home.
As Australians, we do a great deal of living outdoors. As such, I believe the landscape deserves as much attention as the house itself.
You'll notice that almost all my home designs have a courtyard incorporated within them. Not only do these feed a good deal of natural light into the home, they help bring the outdoors in. This contributes greatly to the wow-factor my home designs are renowned for.
Additionally, it's not just about the landscape contributing to the wow-factor, its about flow, form & function. My landscape designs are actually an extension of the house, the outdoor living space. More than just looking stunning, the landscape must flow & function just as my home designs must.
Therefore, when you engage the services of Boyd Design, you're engaging a Home Designer, not just a House Designer. And this valuable service is provided complimentary.
No Stress Required
Any home design style you desire will be yours.
With many Architects & Building Designers, it’s quite easy to spot their designs because they have their own particular style. This is great for some, but I prefer to tackle a range of design styles.
As is evident throughout our website, I can successfully design any style your heart desires. From Modern-Contemporary & Hampton's design styles, through to a French Farmhouse design, there’s absolutely no limit to the home design styles we can create.
Challenging site? Not a problem, we love them.
Home sites often present a range of exciting design challenges. Narrow sites, steep sites and sites facing completely the wrong way to maximise the solar-passive aspect, I love them all.
Such sites present amazing design opportunities. While challenging sites often translate to higher building costs, preparing house plans for such sites, while minimising costs, is an absolute thrill.
Don't know what you want? We'll help you figure it out.
“I don’t know what I want”, “I have no idea” and “I know what I don’t like” are common responses to the big question “What home design style would you like?” No need to worry, we’ll figure it out.
While many believe they must have a solid idea of what they want, in advance, this isn’t necessary. I have a method of ensuring I get the information I need to ensure I design a home that you'll absolutely love in every respect. If you're confused, we'll paint a clear picture for you.
Well, this sure beats the average "About Us" page, don't you think?
While I could actually ramble on forever about my history, experience & knowledge, I'm guessing you've probably had enough by now. Perhaps you actually did a while ago?
Thanks for taking the time to learn about us.