THE "WOO WOO" FACTOR!
CREATING THE RIGHT ENERGY FOR YOUR HOME
Have you walked into a house and noticed a welcoming, warm feel? Or a cold, clinical feel? Or an expensive, sleek feel? Or even walked in and instantly felt this house wasn’t for you? This feeling can be designed and can go a long way to ensuring satisfaction with building projects.
It might feel a bit “woo woo”, but today on the podcast we are talking about how to get the right energy and feeling throughout your home. You are spending a whole heap of money getting this house done up, and you want to know that you’re going to feel good about it when it’s done. We talk you through our top tips on identifying the feeling you like and achieving it.
So what makes a good feeling, what makes good energy? A lot of the time, you can’t visually get the feeling from a floor plan, unless you’ve earnt your sixth sense for room-feel through numerous prior renovation projects. Without this, you’ll need assistance understanding how it’s all going to flow. That’s where we come in. Join us in exploring the “woo woo” side of building and learn how to create intimate moments by designing energy into your project.
If you have a topic or question you’d like us to cover, contact us here.
SOME TOPICS THAT WE COVER:
Starting at the front of the house when you’re reviewing your floor plan
How much light (artificial versus natural) a space has and the temperature of the light
The view, the ceiling height, the colour pallet
Creating drama on the journey through the home
Limiting materials used to avoid a noisy, contradictory space
A ‘minimal’ look is hard to achieve and is often better conceptualised as a ‘clean’ look
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Read the Full Podcast Transcript Below:
Rebeka: In this episode, we talk about - and it does feel a little bit Woo Woo - but we talk about how to get the right energy and feeling through your home. You are spending a whole heap of money building this house and getting it right. You want to know that you're going to feel right. You want to know that the way you experience the home is right. So we talk you through our top tips of how to make sure that you get that process right. We really hope you enjoy it. Actually, this is something that both Kribashini and I are very passionate about.
Rebeka: Hi, I'm Rebeka.
Kribashini: And I'm Kribashini.
Rebeka: Welcome to Building with BuildHers.
Kribashini: Our podcast. Where we believe that building is fun.
Rebeka: Super fun.
Kribashini: So much fun.
Rebeka: BuildHer Collective was created to help women with building and renovating. We believe that with the right tools, everyone can build. For us, it's all about encouraging women to take back control of the building process and really achieve their dreams.
Kribashini: We are women in the building industry and as developers, builders and project managers, it's our passion to share everything we know with other women doing the same. That's why we've created this podcast for you.
Rebeka: If you love all things building-
Kribashini: You're into design-
Rebeka: -keen on the numbers-
Kribashini: -about to renovate-
Rebeka: -thinking and dreaming of that forever home and what it would look like or even developing for profit, then you've found your family.
Kribashini: Subscribe to our podcast and follow our journey over at buildhercollective.com.au.
Rebeka: Hello, Kribashini.
Kribashini: Hi, Rebeka.
Rebeka: We haven't managed to do that without an Irish accent.
Kribashini: What does that get an Irish accent out of you? That's what I want to know.
Rebeka: "Hello, Kribashini", that is my Irish accent. We wanted to talk about creating the right energy in your home and I think it's one of the really important things that is hard to maybe quantify.
Kribashini: Yes, it is. It's like sometimes, you walk into a house and you just have this great feeling. You don't know why you had it and sometimes, you walk in and it just doesn't feel quite right. You don't know why not.
Rebeka: It's cold.
Kribashini: What is the right energy in your home? How do you create it, keep it, nurture it?
Rebeka: It's something you feel on completion which when you're looking at a two-day plan, like a floor plan, it can be really hard to understand how that translates.
Kribashini: Well, unless you've done it before, or you do it a lot, you won't actually be able to translate that into a 3D perspective, but then also how you're going to feel inside it until you've done something and you've lived through it and you understand the consequence of it if that makes sense.
Rebeka: Different people have different skill sets. I know, like you've got that thing where we were cooking a dal one evening because I can't cook for anything, and Kribashini was trying to teach me a recipe and she's like, "Well, you just-
Kribashini: No, you make a lovely goat's cheese tart. I've mentioned that a couple of times because I'm hoping you might make one day. Again, for me. With basil and balsamic vinegar...
Rebeka: I made it four years ago, around the same time as I almost burnt down the house by going out when I had stuff in the oven for like four hours.
Kribashini: It was really yummy though.
Rebeka: My point is that when we were tasting that, you were like, "It needs a bit of this or this. Can't you taste how it would change if you added tomato?"
Kribashini: I guess what I was trying to say there was like sometimes, when you're really familiar with a recipe and you can cook it and you can smell it, you can smell what's missing through your taste buds if that makes sense.
Rebeka: No. Not for me at all, but I'm getting what you're trying to say, but no.
Kribashini: See, that happens for us and for you and building. You can look at a plan and you can look at that plan and you can feel it. You can judge it, you can imagine it and you can know how that space needs to work to make you feel the way you want to feel in it.
Rebeka: I guess I'm looking for moments. We do these Q&As for BuildHers and we will often do like a floor plan review. The first thing that people are doing, they're like, "What do you think of this extension on the backroom?" You don't start at the backroom. You walk through the front of the house. When I'm reviewing a plan, I'm like, "I'm back at that front door. I've opened the front door, is that swinging right? How do I feel in that space? What's the ceiling height doing? What am I looking at? What are the textures that I see around me? How's the palette coming together?
Kribashini: What are the views?
Rebeka: What are the views? What's the light?" When we were talking about what we're going to discuss, the feeling came from different things. One is light.
Kribashini: I was like, "Hands down, it's light."
Rebeka: I said, "It's also drama."
Kribashini: Then we were like, "Actually, it's both." It's kind of both.
Rebeka: It's a whole heap of things that feed into it. It's those moments of intimacy and the way you interact with it. A home, in my opinion, won't be a static thing. It's got life, it's moving, and if it doesn't have that life and that moving and that body to it, then it's cold. It's lifeless. Is this the place we want to live?
Kribashini: We say this a lot, but it also reflects your personality. When you embody your personality and how you want to see it come out, then you can translate that into the moments that you want to have around your house. We talk about this throughout our course but also, it's our mantra: My vision-
Rebeka: My space, my moments.
Kribashini: -my space, my moments. It's like this continuum where, as Rebeka said, when you ask someone about the backroom, she's actually gone, "Whoa, let me go all the way back to the front door because it's that journey." It's the same thing when we talk about our moments. We need to work on that, the moments we want to have, how does that translate into my vision for the home? One of my visions is to have energy and create energy in the space, or what is it that means energy to me? Because we're all different.
Rebeka: When I say vision and when you say vision, it may mean different things. It's not that we're saying, like, "What's your vision in terms of a vision board?" and these are the images how you want to describe your house because that's too far. When you're starting-
Kribashini: Ironically, everyone thinks that's the starting point.
Rebeka: -everyone thinks the starting point is like, "What's the look of the house?", but it's not. It's like how do you want to feel in it? How do you want to relate and interact with people in it? What are the things that are going to affect that? Then we start to build up from there a palette and a usage and a-
Kribashini: A design, eventually.
Rebeka: -space, right. It's the vision for how you want to leave that idea world because that's really what you're trying to create.
Kribashini: I think it's easy to say, okay, for example, it's natural light. Let's talk through what does that actually mean, natural light? Well, it can mean a whole range of things. It can mean orientation, it can mean where you need to place your windows. If you're living in a home that you're looking to renovate, that can be challenging and it can also be costly if you don't have the right orientation or if you're trying to add windows where you don't have the budget for it. There are lots of challenges depending on what aspect of energy you're trying to incorporate and then what you're actually particularly trying to do.
I think something that we came across, it was a couple of weeks ago, we were seeing a lot of floor plans and I think volume builders have actually come a long way in terms of how much energy they're putting into their designs from where they used to be 10, 15 years ago. We were talking about this to one of our builders about, "Well, okay, if you're picking your house off the plan, we need to make sure that that floor plan that you've found is actually ideal for your site, because if those two don't marry up, you're not going to get that energy that you want. You're not going to have that feeling in the home that you're trying to achieve."
Rebeka: Volume builders, they're a fantastic switch. We don't teach one way or the other where each of these types of builders and each of these methods of building and how involved or literally involved you are, they've all got a place in the market and they've all got their space. Very clear, we are not two-dimensional like that, but one of the things you do need to be smart about as if you're using one of those plans, and this is probably because we've seen a lot of issues, it's not that the plans only work better or worse, it's not customized to the site.
I was- and I don't know if this is a different one than you were thinking about, but I was working on someone's plan. It was just on one of our free consults. We do 20-minute free consults. She had a sloped site and she'd grabbed a plan from one of the volume builders, and they were going to build the house for them. What she didn't realize was that because of the orientation and because of the sloping of the site, she had no light. It was going to be a really dark house. There was never going to be any natural sunlight get into that home. Now, that would have affected the way she felt in the home.
It wasn't because it was a volume builder that that was the case, it was because the selected plan wasn't appropriate for the site.
Rebeka: She didn't understand how to read the feels.
Kribashini: Read the orientation and the topography of her land together.
Rebeka: Yes, which is absolutely fine. You're not meant to have like-
Rebeka: -but it's kind of what we're doing. We're trying to educate people. These are not things that you're meant to do. Some people do them naturally really well. Other people just need to be taught the rules.
Kribashini: Just to be aware that that's something to think about. I think it was a different person but it was basically the exact same scenario, except this particular one also had an issue with really big, long verandas and covered space which is also going to block that natural light. When we were talking to them, I say, "How do you want to feel in the home? What are you most excited?" This is one of the questions that actually delves it up. "What are you most excited about in your new home?" If it's like, "Okay, having great big open windows, having great big natural light or having lots of open spaces," you might have a range of different things.
That's one way to ask yourself and then to go, "Well, am I getting that in my design?"
Rebeka: If you're unsure, maybe get some advice.
Kribashini: Get someone to look over it.
Rebeka: It's a skill. Some people are good at math, some people are good at reading a plan, other people are good smelling the cooking flavour. Never going to leave that out. That's an important thing. You've got light, is obviously a really important orientation.
Rebeka: Drama, so compressions of space. These are probably on perhaps more sophisticated builds and new volume builds because they don't have the budget to build these types of things into their home.
Kribashini: More likely a custom build.
Rebeka: Yes, right. We're going to think about drama and our journey through the home. The funny thing is if we open up into a big space and that big space just continues, sometimes, it can feel hollow. Size doesn't always mean good either. Height doesn't always mean good. It's really about the journey.
Kribashini: That's such a good point. Too big is cold. Too high is cold.
Rebeka: You've got to create intimate spaces that function for your family and are able to be dressed and have that intimacy through them through texture and tone and warmth and windows and all of these different things. Anyway, I was getting to the journey through. If you go through compression of space or a smaller roofline, and often people are like, "We need to have everything really high." I'm like, "Well, that journey through a smaller corridor and then opening up into a big light space, there's drama in that. There's this rhythm in your home."
When you see people repeating the same element, often, it's an external element like a pergola. They're repeating that element through and think that we look at it, we're like, "That's really beautiful but it's so simple. Why does it feel like that?" The repetition has created a drama and an expectation. It's beautiful.
Kribashini: I think another way is materiality. Well, we often see a lot. When we look at a lot of drawings and floor plans and we look at people's mood boards, sometimes, we see too many materials and that can be confusing. It can also make it feel clumsy and a bit cluttered. Not a word we like to use, but the simplicity in materiality or even-- And Rebeka mentioned texture, those things can also give you a really good feeling and a really good vibe and the right energy to your home.
Sometimes, you walk into a home and it's really sleek, or you might walk into a home and it's really minimal but it's got this great presence. Think about materiality as well. Think about actually using fewer materials if that's something you're trying to achieve.
Rebeka: Well, and the types of materials, because I think we've all been into spaces like car showrooms, good example, that are quite cold. They've got concrete on the floor and a hard surface and windows and whilst that's a very specific look and a look that works really well if you pull it off very well, minimal is actually very hard to pull off. A lot of people say they want a minimal home, but they don't want a minimal home, they want a clean home, like clean lines. They want elegant more than minimal because minimalistic is like-
Rebeka: -nothing. It's like going through and going, "Well, have I got some warmth?" Sometimes, as simple as adding linen curtains, but if you had sheer curtains that were a beautiful linen fabric as opposed to a polyester curtain that had a shine to them, think about the way that makes you feel differently. The light bounces differently, the sound travels differently.
Kribashini: They make you feel different.
Rebeka: They make you feel different. That's like natural light but also synthetic light.
Kribashini: Well, actually, that's a good point too.
Rebeka: Light is really important.
Kribashini: Artificial light-
Rebeka: That's it.
Kribashini: -is playing a huge part in how we feel in the home. I had this problem in my house because I'm super lazy but when I moved in here, we have these fluorescent tubes in our ceiling, which I hate. I basically never turned on my ceiling lights. We use this lamp. Everyone, particularly my family, always comments on how dark it is in our living room. I like it moody and a bit of a more muted light, but I also hate our fluorescent lights.
What I've noticed is with a lot of schemes where we've got people coming door-to-door and changing out lightbulbs and doing energy-efficient things, which is fantastic because I'm very, very pro for energy-efficiency, but also, it's about getting the right colour and the right temperature of the lightbulb to help us feel good in our homes in the evening time as well. We can get quite wight in stark lights. Where I go when I think about white fluorescent lights is Kmart. You know you just walk into Kmart and it's so bright.
Rebeka: So bright because it makes all the colours pop.
Kribashini: Yes, but it also wakes you up. You can go into Kmart at any time and it's like, "Woop. Bing, bing, bing. I'm alert. I'm alert. I'm buying. I'm buying. I'm alert. I'm alert."
Rebeka: They do it on purpose.
Kribashini: They do.
Rebeka: It's all very manufactured - the buying cycle. They want to put you in the buying pocket.
Kribashini: When you're picking your lights for your home, really think about that. I think you do it really well, Rebeka, in your homes. You use different styles of lighting a lot than our standard downlights or a standard fluorescent.
Rebeka: I am a big fan of an up-lighter. I'm a big fan of surprise and mystery. Look, you don't have to use expensive lights in every room, but I think maybe just thinking through the lights that are in the spaces that you use. If you're cooking a lot, often, people will put the downlights just behind their head, which means that they cast a shadow onto their benchtops. You just want to think about positioning. You want to think about the temperature. You want to think about the ways that you can experience this room and whether it's floor lamps and positions of power points for those floor lamps.
I'll do it in a more structured way. I'll have different lights for a room, I'll have an up-lighter that I can put on at night or some pin drops that will create drama in the hallway. I tend to go for something that's creating drama and featuring different aspects of the home. I've got a Victorian house at the moment. Instead of having your traditional pendant lamp in the hallway which is kind of dark and-- It suits the tone of the house, but I've got two directional spotlights. What they're doing is they're highlighting, A, it's a beautiful ceiling so it's got great cornices, but they are also highlighting artwork.
I'm thinking- and this is the other thing, I'm thinking furniture with floor plan and design because I can't do one without the other without the other, and light and all of these things fly together. Yes, I can make adjustments as I go, but the more I think about my journey and the energy and how I want to furnish and how I want to live and obviously, great, I'm well-versed at it, I'm good, I have had a lot of practice, I've gotten a lot of things wrong and I've learned a lot along the way, but it's that type of thing that I find really beautiful.
Yes, the floorplan works and we have the doors in the right spot so you can close off the backroom from the rest, but there's more to it than that. It's the height and the volume.
Kribashini: It's a jumble of things.
Rebeka: If there's a light and the views, all of that thing comes to how you feel. If you can't read that, have someone explain how that works to you or maybe get-- Interior designers tend to be really good at this.
Rebeka: That's what they're doing. They're taking the floor plan, your floor plan, and they're putting moments into it. They're adjusting things to make it more beautiful and cleaner.
Kribashini: Look, lighting is a really, really difficult one, just to jump back to lighting. If you need help with it, get help with it because it's a specialized field. There's actually a lot of lighting companies that will help you along with the lighting plan. I remember we went through a lighting plan with one of our BuildHers in the Q&A, and she had a lighting plan put together. In the end, it was too many lights.
It was just too many lights, but once we simplified that and looked at where the light placement was going to be, we decide, "Okay. We know it's too many lights, but she needs just a little bit more technical help." She went to see a lighting designer in a lighting shop which just gave her that little bit of extra help to pick the right fittings for the right space.
Rebeka: Oddly enough, they gave her the same advice. She had so many different ideas that were running through that she didn't realize that she'd cluttered the space because there was too much happening. You had no visual break or rest. There was stuff everywhere whereas you need to be able to have your eye draw in a place and have a resting point. Again, important things are kind of like how do we frame that image, how does that room frame when we enter it and where does our eye get drawn? What are the bits that we want to interact with?
Are we going to cluster around the end of this bench and does that need something beautiful to happen there because that's a moment and that's how we want to interact with people? I think that's all about the feels.
Kribashini: Yes, and that's really what corrects the energy. There you go. A Woo Woo topic.
Rebeka: I hope it's been really helpful, actually. We'd love to hear what your feedback is on that.
Kribashini: Yes, let us know. Did anything resonate with you? Did you feel like, "Well, that's an ah-ha moment," or did you go, "I really struggled with that. This is my experience." We'd love to hear your stories.
Rebeka: Again, look, if you do want a 20-minute consult, you can book them through freebies on our website and you'll talk to one of us about your house. It's just something-- We love talking to people about what they're doing. Also, some of these things are really natural for us to pick up, but a little bit harder and you don't want to get into it and go, "Why didn't anyone tell me that?" Well, often we don't know the question to ask. It's going to lead to the answer that-- Do you know what I mean?
Kribashini: That we need.
Kribashini: Look, if a 20-minute consult isn't enough, we also do a floor plan review. There are loads of fun and that's where we also go through a floor plan and we can give you some more direct, pointed, considered feedback.
Rebeka: We've got stylists that help with that as well and when your furnishing, all of this stuff, it's important, this is your home, you're spending a lot of money-
Kribashini: Thousands of dollars.
Rebeka: -it is a lot of money. If you think about how long you have to save that money, you want to make sure you get it right and you want to make sure that it feels like the home you're trying to create.
Kribashini: That's the name of the game.
Kribashini: I really wanted to sing that, but I'm not going.
Rebeka: Well, until next time, before she does. Thanks for listening to Building with BuildHer. We'd love for you to spread the word.
Kribashini: For show notes, links and downloads and other awesome resources and freebies, head to buildhercollective.com.au. Don't forget, that's BuildHer within H-E-R.
Rebeka: If you enjoyed this episode, it would mean so much to both of us if you could take a minute or two to leave a review.
Kribashini: Don't forget to subscribe so you can listen next time as we talk all things building and women making their mark in the building industry.