As a Building Designer, Mark has (for some decades now) helped clients with their designs for new homes, extensions and alterations.

He has worked on private dwellings, public buildings, education buildings, offices buildings, and designer shop fit-outs. The commercial and industrial buildings he worked on include the monumental structures of the High Court of Australia and the National Gallery of Australia, where he worked alongside international Architects in Canberra.

As a young man, he worked in a large company and studied architecture at the Auckland Technical Institute (now the Auckland University of Technology). Recently, to update himself on the technology side of architectural design and drafting, he completed the Diploma of Building Design, Queensland.

Mark assist clients to realise their dreams and wants with a design roadmap that leads to a new home design fulfilling their needs. He is responsible for assembling their ideas and aspirations and transforming them into a working design that meets the aesthetic, functional, and spatial desires within the constraints of regulation and budget.

While commercial projects are about creating spaces that are commercially viable, residential design is mainly about creating spaces that people choose to spend their time in, which is much more rewarding. Renovating and altering peoples' homes is often about taking a home that is designed for someone else at another stage of life and re-creating the spaces to be what the current owner needs for the next decade. Mark enjoys focusing his diverse experience in design roles to bring about these spatial solutions for the end-user client. In short, helping a homeowner create improved spaces for their everyday living.

The designer is the connector between the ideas that drive the reason for the renovation, and the end design solution tailored to the clients wants. Mark considers it his duty to ensure that his clients have the best possible information about their proposed works and, from there, assists them in making their decisions.

The Refresh Renovations process allows the home-owner to work through the total renovation planning and management activities in an orderly and understandable staged development plan. This allows the client to be fully involved, with professionals, in all the decisions that affect them. Not to deliver a standard, packaged, one-size-fits-all product, but being a much more individual and inclusive pathway to create a unique home to suit the needs of the people who live there. The Refresh Renovations process in turn also enables the designer to work through the client's ideas and ambitions in an orderly manner, starting with the assembling of the information, creating the first concepts, working through the design development stages, and progressing toward what becomes the right answer for the home-owner.

A common misconception about the design process is to underestimate what is involved. The work that goes on behind the scenes is usually not obvious from the simple drawing ultimately produced. Also, I also think it is easy for the media, both television programmes and building industry marketing, to create the impression that much more can be achieved in certain time frames, and certain budgets, than is generally realistic.

Mark's tips for renovators: It is a good idea for the pending renovator early on to start a folder file to build up their notes, assemble their own images, and keep even supplier product information, that reflects their ideas. This might include photographs they have taken, pictures from magazines, or images from other sources. Assembling the notes and images not only allows them to review, modify, and fine-tune their own thoughts but assists with communicating their thoughts with the designer.

Renovate Handbook Download