Penny Fayle moved into a townhouse that was designed by Neil, and subsequently engaged Neil to carry out some minor renovations.

What’s it like to live in a home that Neil has designed?

I think he is a fantastic architect because he’s designed this townhouse exactly how someone like myself would want. In other words, the bedroom and ensuite are downstairs. I’ve got an office and another bedroom upstairs with another ensuite bathroom, and that’s great for visitors or grandchildren. At this stage I have got no problems going up the stairs, but if I needed to I can just stay downstairs all the time. It’s very convenient for me.

What other elements do you enjoy in your day-to-day living here?

It’s such a light house, which I really like. Neil’s designed it so as you can see out to the street. For me this is an absolute ideal location and unit.

You have had some minor renovations done on this townhouse. Can you explain what you did?

Yes, there is a bookshelf and TV area in the lounge room with just had a basic shelf on it. I asked Neil to design some bookshelves. I like books and I wanted a cupboard to hide the junk. Now, he tuned into exactly what I wanted. He knew the style of the unit. He was familiar with that and he designed this bookshelf and cupboard section, which to me was exactly what I wanted.

I also had three bathrooms so I asked Neil to convert the one near the kitchen into a pantry and that was perfect for me.

He then designed a sideboard for the dining room. My brother in law who’s an architect drew up a picture and Neil took it on board and did that, which is also exactly the sort of thing that I wanted. I had the carpets and wall painting redone at the same time. I guess those were the main things that Neil helped me with.

What was it like working with Neil during that process?

It was so easy. He is a very easygoing sort of person. He seems to tune into exactly what I wanted.

How do visitors react to this home? What are the elements they comment on?

Well, they love it. They can’t believe that in such a small space, you can get a feeling of spaciousness. I think that is the quality. I’ve got a little courtyard out the front and a courtyard at the back which I have put in a little potted veggie garden.

How do you describe Neil to other people looking for an architect?

As far as my friends are concerned I think Neil would be ideal. He is so tuned into what you want and he’s easy to get on with.

I would definitely recommend him.

How would you sum up the experience of working with Neil on this project overall?

A lot of my friends have built houses and dealt with architects and builders and so forth. They seemed to have so much trouble, and it’s gone on for years and years. These were only renovations but Neil worked so well with the builder and together they seemed to be in tune with each other. I found it all so easy because things seemed to happen smoothly and quickly. If I did have to wait, they explained why I had to wait but I didn’t even have to wait long at all for this whole thing to be completed.

How did the budget go on this project?

The budget came in at what I thought it would. I didn’t have to worry about anything.