Pictures worth 1000 words

When it comes to planning a new home, the wealth of materials and products available can be overwhelming, not to mention seemingly simple things such as colour schemes, the size of bricks, roofing profiles and more.

I photocopied the plans, stuck them down, and then drew in extra lines, so we added the scullery in behind the kitchen.” – Darryn and Pam Anderson

So, start your journey by collecting pictures of ideas you like and feel at home with. When it comes to visual items, getting across your ideas in words is often difficult; there’s too much room for misinterpretation.

“When you said that, I thought you meant this,” can be the result of trying to express ideas verbally. In addition, the use of building jargon when referencing many items can add to the confusion.

That’s why builders and architects all over the world encourage clients to put together a project scrapbook.

It doesn’t have to be meticulously organised – just think of it as a collection of your dreams and desires. Add magazine clippings, photos, sketches and samples of carpets, tiles, colours and textures which appeal. In fact, include anything that could inspire your final decision when it comes to building your new home.

Use your phone, ipad or camera to take photos of items you like and browse through a wide selection of home magazines for inspiration.

Your scrapbook will prove an absolute treasure for your builder because it gives a feel for what you want.

Online Scrapbook

For those who find cutting and pasting pictures by hand too time-consuming, there is another option.

The G.J.Gardner website includes a handy feature which allows clients to create an online scrapbook. Simply go to and register for an account. Once set up, you

can select images you love and add them as your favourites thus keeping track of ideas that appeal. You can go in as often as you wish, adding and changing as your ideas and inspiration grows.

Scrapbook Tips

Here are some category ideas to organise your scrapbook. Feel free to add categories as you need them.

• Overall look/theme/feel: Will it be a country, modern or classic contemporary themed home?

• Exterior look: Cladding types, roof types, entranceways, front door s, garage doors, chimney shapes and special features

• Indoor/Outdoor Areas: Built-in fires/barbecues, covered outdoor living areas, pool/spa

• Kitchens: Appliances, benchtop hob, under bench or wall oven, benchtop materials, colours, scullery, fridge, tapware lighting

• Bathrooms: vanities, colours, bath styles, tapware, shower cubicles

• Dining room: table sizes, lighting

• Family room: Furniture size, fabrics, blinds/curtains, colours, ceiling features, (vaulted or raked) fireplaces or other heating, flooring (timber, laminate, tiles, carpet, vinyl)

• Technology: Plan for the future – think about automation including security, lighting, music, wi-fi, data storage and even blinds

• Media room: Home theatre – projector type or just a separate room with games control, movies ready to run, soundproofing

• Home Office: Is your business based at home and needs a full blown office or would a computer study nook, close to the living area, suffice and preserve space for extra living.

Finding Inspiration

Check out G.J. Gardner’s Home Show magazine which features customers’ homes, a selection of the company’s favourite showhomes, colour themes, styles, sculleries, vanities cladding and more. For your free copy ask a G.J. representative or call 09 274 2082.