Architect and interior designer Jo Chrobak shows us how it is it possible to create a magical space from the one you currently have. Her goal is to show you how to create an extraordinary home that you love … and others will love too.
My friends will tell you I’m crazy, but my biggest dream is to design and create the most beautiful hotel in Scotland. I love it up there, it makes my heart sing and it is so beautiful. I wish to create spaces that reveal the beauty that I can see in the landscape and show it to everyone in a poetic and artistic way.
That is what I believe extraordinary architecture can do – expose the beauty of things around you, that you might have previously been blind to or not had the chance to see.
One of my all-time favourite architects Alvar Alto used to teach his students to design details in their buildings with care, purpose and love. He used to say, “Design that window as though your lover was sitting in that window.”
I approach my work with this same attitude – if I was to sit with my husband in this living room, how would I show him his success and that he is so very loved? I think it is magical and beautiful to create spaces in this way and the end result is nothing short of extraordinary.
So how can you bring this love, beauty and emotional warmth into your current house without rebuilding it from scratch? Is it possible to create a magical space from the one you currently have?
I believe you can, but first of all let me help you find the beauty or the opportunity in your current home.
Start with asking yourself a few of these questions:
Why did I choose to live here?
Is it because it was a really convenient location, or did this house have the perfect layout? One of the clues to finding the gem in your current home will be why you chose it in the first place.
What do I love about this place?
Is it the sunshine in the kitchen in the morning, or is it the view out of the living room window? The next clue is a bit more personal, because it will relate to you and your family, but the chances are that the next people who buy your home will also love the same things about it as you do.
What would I change or what is missing here?
Almost every client that I have ever worked with can pretty much pick what is wrong with a property. Solving the problem is usually where they come to me for help. Clarifying where your focus is required will be the first step to improve it – trust your instinct, as it will send you in the right direction.
Does my home focus inwards or outwards?
By this I mean is the opportunity to focus on the inside or to help the spaces feel as though they connect to the outside.
Then answer these questions :
If I could live anywhere in the world, my dream home would be …
And it would look like …
And it would have …
By answering this honestly, you will be able to connect your desires with the opportunity in your current home.
Every place can be extraordinary, the key ingredients are your dreams, your vision and you.
Jo Chrobak has studied architecture in Australia and worked in architectural practices across the world. With her 17 years experience working on hotels, houses, developments and high-end interiors, Jo now mixes coaching styles with design to achieve transformational results. She works with clients so that their project becomes a lifestyle upgrade rather than just another stressful building project.