We Design Homes
We've teamed up with a super cool (and smart) brand to share ideas and insights about extensions. It's all about exploring the idea of "what makes your house a home".
Dean McCauley-Bové AKA marketing and DESIGN communications GURU
Christopher Moore aka architecture journalisT extraordinaire
We are a shop-window for the some of the best, most talented, most creative architects in the country. If you are looking for someone to design a home, an extension, an interior or a garden space that will enhance your life, We Design Homes can connect you.
Christopher & Dean
What was your first job?
Dean: I’ve had a job since I was 13 years old, but my first proper weekend job was working back of house in a small garden centre. I think it is where my love for nature started.
Christopher: My first job out of high school was bank teller at the local branch of the ANZ Bank! My first job in journalism was sports reporter for the local newspaper in Melbourne.
Where did you grow up?
Dean: I was born in South East London and have continued to live in London my whole life.
Christopher: I’m a Melbourne boy born and bred. I’ve lived in London nearly ten years.
Do you have a fond memory of a place there?
Dean: Greenwich Park was always my favourite place to visit with the family. As well as large green open spaces, you had amazing places to visit such as the Cutty Sark, the Royal Observatory, and the National Maritime Museum. I loved it.
Christopher: Summers at the local municipal pool in Box Hill are a sun-soaked memory of my childhood. The Art Deco entrance to the lido survives to this day. Incidentally, most of the place names in Melbourne are loving nods to British locales. I grew up in Blackburn, for example. It’s nothing like Blackburn.
What is your favourite part of home?
Christopher: My apartment was designed by John McAslan. I have a favourite chair in the corner of the dining room that enjoys a lovely aspect throughout the day. It has views to the south-east, and when the sun washes over the floor, it is a wonderful place to be.
Dean: My favourite part of the house is my living room in the late afternoon/evening. With the evening light flooding in, and a large bay window with plants everywhere, it is where I enjoy winding down from a busy day.
Where’s your favourite place to work from “home”?
Dean: For the past 3-4 years my job has always taken me to different places across Europe, the Middle and Asia, and so I’ve always worked remotely. For me, my favourite place to work is somewhere where I get to feel the ‘hustle-bustle’ – be it an airport lounge or coffee shop looking out at the busy streets.
Christopher: I’ve just returned from renting an apartment in St Leonards for a week and working from there. The building was beautifully refurbished by Ed Williams, a partner at Fletcher Priest Architects, and it was a joy to have a change of scenery, and a view of the sea.
Liddicoat and Goldhill
In close to 5 words, what do you do during 9-5?
Dean: Clearly demonstrate the benefits of a well-thought-out design approach.
Christopher: Communicate about the built environment to a broad audience.
…and what’s your favourite thing to do outside of “work”?
Dean: Outside of work I love to keep busy with making improvements to my home environment, whether it be showering and repotting the plants or learning a new skill with a spot of DIY. I am just in the process of buying a nice modernist townhouse that needs a bit of love – so that will keep me busy and happy!
Christopher: My knees would have you believe otherwise, but I am still a keen cricketer. I also love travelling and exploring design hotels around the world.
What do you listen to? Podcasts, what’s on Spotify?
Dean: I am an avid listener of Monocle Radio. It is great to listen to a wide range of guests talk about the news, foreign affairs, business, culture, design, urbanism and food & drink. Most importantly, it is nice to hear from other start-ups and the challenges they overcome with their business.
Christopher: This time of year always reminds me of Christmas in Australia, so my Spotify is currently loaded up with classic Aussie pub rock like AC/DC, Cold Chisel, Midnight Oil and INXS.
Do you have a fave quote, or lesson, or mantra you have about “home”?
Christopher: If the coronavirus has taught me one thing about spending a lot of time at home, it’s that you can never have too many indoor plants.
Dean: I would have to agree with Christopher! I’ve always loved plants in my home, but now as I spend more time at home, I truly believe they have a large role to play in my mental wellbeing.
Has there been any exciting stories or moments within your We Design Homes journey
Dean: It was when I first launched! I set up We Design Homes because I saw some fantastic practices out there and I want to see them creating more, thoughtful homes for everybody – but I was not ready for how supportive those practices would be in seeing the site a success. Everything we have done so far has been in collaboration with the community of practices and everything we do going forward will be as well.
Christopher: When Dean asked me to be a part of We Design Homes, I was thrilled. There is no architecture as deeply personal as your home, and I am looking forward to helping more people build a place that enhances their lives.
If you could learn something new, what would it be?
Dean: Oh that is a good question! As I’ve gotten older, my appreciation for good craftmanship has also grown and so I would love to learn more about the ‘ins and outs’ of good carpentry and woodwork.
Christopher: If I had my time over, I think I’d like to have studied architecture. Although many of my architect mates think I’m mad for that wish! I’ve managed to pick up the guitar in the last few months and learn a few tunes.
What is the most asked question to you about We Design Homes?
Dean: ‘How do I find a good architect?’ is the first question I’m always asked by the client. There are a large number of practices out there and sometimes homeowners just don’t know where to begin. We work with them to develop a clear brief so that they can really think about what it is they want for the short- and long-term and what the type of aesthetic they would love for their home. We then give them the means and confidence to go out to a wider market that are ready to actively engage.
Christopher: For me, it is ‘How do you select the architects that feature on your website?’ The answer is we seek out the architects and designers that elevate residential design and are able to help people achieve their goals for their home.
Loader & Monteith
We have some other great tips, stories and insights lined up which we can’t wait to share with you. In the meantime, you can check out We Design Homes website here.
You’ll find sensitive, modern takes on architecture within the home. It’s all about adding your own personality into home improvements, with affordability and ease – two things you may not expect when you’re talking about extensions.
Thank you Dean & Christopher for sharing your knowledge and platform, on behalf of everyone!
Hero image credit: nimtim architects