Thank you for helping us achieve over 1 million visitors per year!

Home design articles

slideshow control

Aspect Designs, Sydney, NSW

Quick business search
... or let us get you 3 free quotes

Search   Post a job

Servicing Sydney & beyond

Gecko Homes

Getting quotes

Looking for a local builder or designer? Just use our obligation free
quotation service.

House design

Six Golden Rules of Home Design. Learn all about our easy-to-follow golden rules for home design.

Seven deadly sins of home design. There are seven common mistakes that people make when designing their home and here are some ways to help you avoid them...

How to design your own home. The steps outlined here will teach you the basics of the process that is followed by design professionals in the building industry. Follow this process and you will have a better chance of designing a home that functions well and works aesthetically...

Strawbale homes. An easy to read, informative look into the financially and environmentally friendly construction method of strawbale homes.

Environmental house design. Good environmental design positively effects the thermal comfort of a building allowing the occupants to be comfortably warm in winter and cool in summer - with minimal energy usage...

Design tips on lighting, colour selection, outdoor spaces & more...

Secrets to a fabulous entry space for your home. The entry to your home can be a wonderfully functional space, yet many Australian homes do not have one. Learn how to create one by reading this article.

Australian home design styles. This article gives a brief explanation of some of the residential architecture styles found in Australia. Just as these styles have developed from previous ones, the current styles are also being combined to create new hybrid designs, some of which work better than others...

BASIX and Statement of Environmental Effects. Drawings are only a small portion of what councils in Australia require to enable them to give consent to your development application, building permit or building licence. Reports such as Statement of Environmental Effects, BASIX (in NSW), waste management reports, geotechnical reports, landscaping plans and more may need to be lodged with your plans...

Home design and construction process. Most people do not experience the design and construction process more than a few times in their lifetime. The processes are constantly changing but the drawing production process and council preparation stays the same...

Residential building cost estimator. A handy tool to help you determine a rough cost for that dream home you are planning to build...

Bushfire safety. Hot spells around the country and the disaster in Victoria in 2008 have again given rise to the important topics of bushfires and safety for people living in bushfire-prone areas...

Bushfire ratings & building products. Learn about how to ensure your building materials comply with Bush Fire Attack Levels.

How to choose door handles and locks. Door hardware is an extension of your home’s personality, and selecting door hardware is a great way to give your home a new look.

Types of locks. Learn about the various types of locks you can use in your home.

Roofing shingles. As an alternative roofing material to tiles and colourbond, consider American roofing shingles, a commonly used roofing material in the United States and Canada.

Men and their sheds. An amusing article on a not very serious subject.

Choosing the rights windows. What you choose will depend on the functions you need, the style you love and the security you expect.

Positioning your home in the sun.The way that your home is oriented can make a big difference to how you use your home...

Buying, building and owning a swimming pool. All about buying, building and owning a swimming pool in Australia. How to choose the right swimming pool for your home.

Awnings for climate control. Did you know about 40% of unwanted heat that enters the house is through the windows? Awnings are a low-cost, low-tech way to summer cooling. Awnings serve two functions, read more here.

Hot water systems (Your alternatives). Learn about the costs, benefits and disadvantages of the three major hot water alternatives commonly available to Australians: electric, gas and solar.

Windows furnishings - your alternatives. This article explains the different types of window furnishings available normally available in Australia and lists the advantages and disadvantages of each.

How to choose a fireplace. Choosing a fireplace - learn about all your options.

The design & construction of stairs & staircases. Learn about the various types of stairs and staircase and how they are designed and built.

How to choose a building designer. How-to-guide to help you select someone to design your home.

Reducing noise inside & outside your home. Learn the three basic rules to reducing noise in your home and in your yard.

Renovation articles

Home renovations.  Have you looked at all the issues surrounding renovations like cost, time and inconvenience (not to mention other factors)? If not, this article will help get you started.

Renovation tips. Renovating your house can be a personally and financially rewarding undertaking however is often fraught with frustration and stress. Depending on your time, skill, inclination and budget you may like to DIY. Most DIY renovators are actually...

Overcapitalising with renovations. Whether you are renovating your home for more space, updating its interiors or developing with the view of selling, you need to consider whether your investment will be recouped by the value you add to the property...

Aussie renovation case study. How profitable could it be? Everyone had reminded us that it's not easy renovating and then immediatly selling a house for profit. Many have failed miserably, some tragically...

The secret to laying floorboards over tiles. Learn about the most effective ways to lay timber flooring over tiles.

How not to blow your renovation budget. Renovation costs always blow out no matter how much you try to keep them under control. It's usually because we want more than they we can afford...

Deck rejuvenation. Many decks are fully or partially exposed to the weather. To preserve their structural integrity specific measures must be undertaken. Failure to take these measures greatly reduces the lifetime of a deck. Interior timber flooring and external decking share many of the same properties, however the preparation and coating systems are very different.

How to make your home cosy & warm in winter & cool in summer. How can your home be altered to enhance its energy efficiency, thermal comfort and overall functionality? Its not that difficult, you just need to follow some important tips...

Be asbestos alert when you renovate. Many people think asbestos is only a problem in houses built before the mid 1950s. But, the reality is, you'll find significant amounts of asbestos in homes built right up until the early 1980s....

Renovating strata title units. Ten top tips for renovating strata title units. Unlike single dwellings that require just approval from local council, strata title units will first require consent from a governing body called the Owners Corporation.

Windows furnishings - your alternatives. This article explains the different types of window furnishings available normally available in Australia and lists the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Attic conversion. Learn how to assess your roof space as a viable option for a new living area or bedroom conversion.

Interior design articles

Colour trends for 2013. Colour is the trend for 2013. Neutrals are simply a back drop for a riot of interesting colour in its brightest incarnations. Colours are strong, clear and uplifting.

How to select an interior designer. Practical guide to selecting an interior designer.

Interior styling. Make the right choices of colour, texture and design...

DIY interior design. Why can some people make their home look stylish, cozy or just plain brilliant when others, no matter how hard they try, simply make a mess of it?

Window dressings. Seven rules for window dressings. This article covers curtains, blinds, awnings, sun-shades, shutters and venetian blinds.

DIY wallpaper. Gone are the days when you hear the word "wallpaper" and you think of old English homes with a faded floral brocade on every wall. In fact, if we look further into the past, we'd be surprised about the extent to which wallpaper was used in homes to create glamour and decadence.

Wall decals. Install your own removable wall decals - its much easier than wallpaper.

3D wall panels. Until recently there has been a limited selection of internal wall lining types in Australia. Many people building or renovating are unaware that there are other choices besides Gyprock. Well now there are! Three dimensional wall linings are now available in Australia. To save money you can easily install this eco-friendly product yourself.

Colour wheel tool. Use this tool to help you select a colour scheme for your home. (This colour tool should ideally be used after you've read the following two articles.)

Picking colours for your home. Why can some people pick the right colours and and other can't? The answer is simple, they have not read this article... (page 1 of 2)

Colour selection rules for your home. When furnishing, decorating and painting the interior or exterior of your home you should consider the following rules when selecting colours... (page 2 of 2)

DIY your home office. If you're lucky enough to be able to work from home, then you probably already know how important it is to have the right home office set up. It's amazing how much a work environment can affect productivity and quality of work...

The use of neutral colours a case study by Colour Consultant Samantha Bacon

Organising your home. When decluttering the first rule is use the Swiss Cheese approach. Don't look at the overwhelming entirety of decluttering your house. Look at it one area at a time...

Feng Shui analysis of your home. There are many techniques in Feng Shui, e.g. San Yuen, San He and Xuan Kong to name a few that are or can be used in an analysis...

Paint finishes. Selecting the right colour for your decorating job is difficult enough but there is an amazing array of different paint companies with many different products...

Engaging with an interior designer. When selecting an interior designer, like anyone you choose to do business with, the fit should be right. Here's a few tips on how to engage with the right interior designer for you.

Storage ideas. Are you running our of room in your home? Then read this article for ideas on where to put all your stuff.

Windows furnishings - your alternatives. This article explains the different types of window furnishings available normally available in Australia and lists the advantages and disadvantages of each.

DIY curtains Learn almost everything about curtains and how to create and install your own.

Furniture

Furniture articles. Furniture plays both a functional role in our lives and a decorative role. Furniture can also serve a symbolic or religious purpose. Domestic furniture works to create comfortable, ergonomic and visually pleasing interior spaces...

What type of furniture should I buy?. How do you select furniture and know that it will work for you? Follow these steps and you too will create a room that reflects your individuality and feels right for your home...

Furniture styles. Well-chosen furniture will create comfortable, ergonomic and visually pleasing interior spaces that reflect your own personality and style. You will naturally gravitate to a certain style of furniture. Once you have your style, you need to be consistent and stick to it...

How to arrange furniture. Follow these steps and your will furniture will appear inviting, comfortable, facilitate conversation and flatter your best pieces...

Privacy screens

steel laser cut screen

Image courtesy of Cutout Privacy Screens

Decorative privacy screens. Decorative screens have a history dating back to the mid-600's in China. During the 1950's and 1960's Australia saw a strong revival in decorative privacy screens in residential and commercial architecture. Today we are enjoying another revival with strong traditional designs implemented with contemporary styles and materials.

External privacy screens. Internal decorative privacy screens first appeared in China in the mid-600's. However external privacy screens are a more recent phenomenon. They began to appear in Australian residential and commercial building during the 1950's and 1960's, as a direct result of high density living and higher incomes. Since the late 1990's they have become more popular and more decorative; with both contemporary and traditional materials being used.

Flooring articles

Selecting flooring. Choosing the right floor for you in 4 easy steps.

Choosing a timber floor. When it comes to choosing timber flooring, here are the six most important steps to consider.

Did you know that timber flooring has a limited life? Read more on the subject in this article: Timber Floor Sanding & Polishing .

Polished concrete floors.  If we are talking ‘flavour of the year’ in architectural flooring, polished concrete would have to be ‘it’.  Not yet common place in the mass Australian housing market

Footings & floor construction. This informative article is for readers who are interested in the construction process.

Understanding exempt & complying developments. Learn about recent changes to the way we view the entire residential approval process.

Underfloor heating tips for the DIYer. Underfloor heating tips for the DIY'er. Electric or hydronic? Off-the-shelf versus custom. The right system for your floor type. Controlling the temperature. And more...

The secret to laying floorboards over tiles. Learn about the most effective ways to lay timber flooring over tiles.

Kids Lights from OzlightingLED energy saving lights from OzLighting

Table and floor lampsWall lights from OzLighting

Lighting articles

Light and lighting in and around the home. The most important areas for good light are the work areas- bench tops and stove. Ideally light falls on this area from two directions. A window behind the bench top is great light source. A long, narrow, clear or milk glass window between bench and cupboards will give a very workable light...

Super energy efficient LED down lights. The technology powering LED down lights has increased dramatically, lowering initial setup costs while increasing energy and cost efficiency. Read this article to learn more.

Energy efficient lighting and quality of light. If you haven't already started to feel guilty about the lighting in your house, someone is going to make you feel that way soon! There is a huge, and well founded, move towards encouraging us to make the lighting in our homes more efficient. After all - if we can create the same amount of light for 20% of the energy...

How to get the light right in your home. Good lighting in the bathroom is not only essential for safety but also for providing pleasing ambiance to a room ...

Finding the right bathroom lights. Good lighting in the bathroom is not only essential for safety but also for providing a pleasing ambiance. Read a quick guide on how to find the most appropriate lights that will best suit your bathroom area.

LED down-lights - the future of Australian lighting. Learn all about LED down-light technology. Compare LEDs with traditional lighting options.

Featured homes

The homes featured in the articles listed below are worth looking at before you begin designing your new house.

Site map

Site map. Complete list of all our articles and content.

Questions?

Ask building, design and construction questions on Facebook.

We have started a new free service on our Facebook page. Practicing professionals will try their best to answer any relevant questions you may have.