The Playoust Churcher Architects guide to designing your dream home


Before you can even start thinking about building your dream home, there is an important relationship you need to build… and that is with your architect.

The right architect can translate your goals, vision and style preferences into a spectacular home design. And they are the one you will rely on to guide you through the thousands of design decisions you will need to make in the home building process.

Playoust Churcher Architects guide to designing

Playoust Churcher Design Director, John Hooghuis, explains:

“Some people choose an architect based on their ability to create a particular style of home… and when the home is finished, they find that it doesn’t entirely suit their lifestyle. Our approach is to vary our design style to meet our client’s needs and to guide them in a quality direction to get the outcome they are seeking.”

Design is more than the exterior style of the home or the finishes inside.

It is how the home is designed to suit your lifestyle. And getting that subtle lifestyle element right can be the difference between your dream home and a house you simply live in.

Communication is key

Communication is key


When you are working with an architect to design your home, there are two elements to successful communication:

  1. Your architect should ask lots of questions and listen to the answers
  2. You should clearly articulate to your architect what you like and want from your home

Listening is a huge part of what we do at Playoust Churcher… and it’s something our clients really value.

John Hooghuis is a talented architect who knows that without understanding what his client wants, his designs will not hit the mark:

Understand your aspirations

“When an architect listens as we do, it gives a client confidence in our ability. At the end of the day, we are designing your house, not ours. To do that we need to understand your aspirations, your lifestyle and requirements… and we can only do that through open communication and truly listening to what you are saying.”

Communication should flow both ways. Without it, you and your architect won’t be on the same page… and that’s critical to getting a bespoke home design you love.

Form follows function

Form follows function


Good design in architecture isn’t always about a particular style of home. When you love your home, it will be about how it makes you feel as much as it is about how it looks.

And when an architect can successfully combine those two elements, you are onto a winning formula.

Our Playoust Churcher architects work with the philosophy of form follows function.

That is, as much as we will be guided by your style preferences and aspirations, the style of your home will flow from the functional and lifestyle elements.

Let the style come from clients

Whether we are designing a modern beach house or a traditional north shore estate, our approach is the same.

“We prefer to let the style come from the conversations we have with our clients. If they can describe what their ideal house would be and how it would make them feel we can start to build the whole picture.

That’s everything from sharing images or written descriptions or even details about the types of materials they want to use, lifestyle issues and environmental concerns. Some clients want a low impact, relaxed and simple home while others want more of a showcase or a living gallery. Everyone is a little bit different and it’s our job to understand that,” says John.

Innovative spaces

Innovative spaces


When we talk about the lifestyle elements of your home, it’s really identifying what it is that you love and what is going to make your home life. And then we include innovations in your home to make the spaces comfortable and special… or whatever it is that you want your home to make you feel.

“Those innovations might be looking at new and different ways to capture more sunlight in the home and make the most of the views… or it could be opening up the walls to enhance the relationship between the indoors and outdoors… or for some clients, they want a more structured home that takes cues from the past so we look at ways to incorporate those elements into the modern family lifestyle,” explains John.

Innovations in the design

At Playoust Churcher we pride ourselves on our innovation and how we dig deep with our clients to truly understand what they will love.

One of our past clients in Palm Beach was looking for a Northern Beaches architect who could work with their very steep site to maximise the views.

Our innovations in the design included a garage in the upper level of the home to improve the flow through the home. We also designed multiple living and dining spaces, each taking advantage of the beautiful views, but designed with privacy in mind.

High-performance design

High-performance design


We like to take the concept of performance and apply it to home design. It’s a concept John is passionate about because he knows that a high-performance house will result in a better outcome for our clients:

“A low-performance house is not fit for purpose. It is built on a block of land without taking into account the features around it, such as views or maximising sunlight.

On the other hand, a high-performance house maximises the potential of the site. It is designed to perfectly suit the needs of the occupants and to make their daily life more enjoyable.”

That really is the secret to a bespoke home that you will fall in love with. And with an architect who listens and has the skills and experience to bring your vision to life, you will fall more in love with your home every time you walk through the front door.

Get a design you love


We have decades of experience as North Shore and Northern Beaches Architects, designing dream homes for our clients. We are excellent listeners who are passionate about good design and helping our clients on their journey to a home they love.

Contact us to discuss your vision for your dream home with one of our experienced architects.

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