Someone once said… ‘A house is ultimately a sanctuary where the memories of our lives are stored and shared. The house can either be a pile of bricks and timber, or it can be something so much more.
Having never built, renovated or indeed even painted a wall, we started out on our journey of designing and building our own home in relative naivety, and we could have never imagined how true the above expression was. However now looking back, we feel so blessed to have landed in the safe hands of SLa, who have embodied this phrase and designed a home for us that have truly honoured the essence of it.
From the first meeting with SLa, where we had little more than a couple of clippings from magazines of ‘things we liked’ and a handful of ‘key words’ which seemed to describe us and how we lived our lives, we felt immediately at home and comfortable with Shaun and his team. Most critically Shaun took the time to understand us. Feeling this connection gave us every bit of confidence that SLa would be the right fit.
What we both found inspiring and something which we held in awe was SLa’s ability act as a conduit to transfer us and the way we live our lives into a home for us to live in. That is, SLa were our ‘hands’, reaching out to express, design and shape our creative impulses into reality, in a way in which we could have never done ourselves, yet at the same time, feeling as though the end result was an extension of ourselves. It was through this process of working with Shaun and his team that we saw how inspired thought can turn a pile of materials into a family home that truly reflects the life, energy and personalities of those living within it.
It also speaks volumes to SLa and the professional way in which they conduct their business that they were able to skillfully handle our dislocation from the project during the entire design phase, when we were living in Sydney. This distance did not slow their progress nor did it hinder the communication. However, just as impressively the team at SLa also ‘managed’ us well, when we eventually moved back up to Brisbane shortly before construction began. We say ‘managed’ simply because our excitement of the impending construction, coupled with our new found proximity to the project led us to be constantly in the ear of SLa, wanting to look at new things. All of these changes we made were seamlessly taken in their stride and indeed when we felt compelled to make these changes, no matter how large or small, we were met with as much excitement, enjoyment and energy from SLa, as what we were experiencing ourselves.
Before we started this journey, our simplistic understanding of an architect was that they just designed the client a new house. While we could have never imagined how much more that trivialised task could actually be, one area which we really had no idea as to the importance and value which SLa could bring was the task of overseeing the entire construction. After moving beyond the design phase but continuing our relationship with SLa throughout the build, we found our lives so much more relaxed than otherwise would have been the case. We felt we could simply enjoy the process of the build and SLa would continuously and consistently monitor the progress and promptly address all the issues that inevitably pop up. Again, we felt completely comfortable in the knowledge that Shaun and his team would be our eyes and ears on site, to see things we would have missed and tweak things to produce the optimal result (because while you can design and document every square centimetre, building is invariably an organic process, where things change and flex and move… because that is life!). Knowing that SLa was acting in our best interest to see the design brought to life meant we slept well at night.
Having had the pleasure to have lived in our home for a few months now, we are finding it a beautiful experience to ‘live’ in the spaces designed for us. While this may sound trite, it is not often that you find yourself sitting in a room and simply enjoying it for the space that it is, enjoying it for the space that has been considered for you to live in. A space in which some of the smallest details, indeed details which our lay eye may never notice, have been considered, designed and crafted to honour and nurture your very presence within it.
It is through Shaun Lockyer and his team, that a life, warmth and a joy has been breathed into our family home. We are truly grateful and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Luke + Libby