There is absolutely no softening the significant physical, mental and emotional impact of losing a home, nor the challenge of evacuation, relocation, and rebuilding after a fire. Period. There is, however, as I’ve experienced in these discussions, some hope and possibility, some silver linings in the clouds of smoke and ashes.
While there will never be a way to make up for the loss, building a home from the ground up is a privilege very few people get to experience in their lifetime. It’s an opportunity to create a space that is expertly designed and built for the way one lives versus living into an existing framework and conforming one's life around it.
Here are a few examples of talking points that I typically include in my initial conversations with clients. Whether you’re a property owner or designer, I hope you’ll find these points useful in your design discussions to help to identify and give body to the opportunities and possibilities.
- What did you like about the house? What felt good? What will you miss?
- What did you dislike about the house? What felt funky or off?
- Did you like the orientation of the home on the lot?
- Did the home make the most of the views available on the site?
- Did you like the layout of the home? Did the spaces suit your needs?
- Did the home have enough bedrooms? Too many? Bathrooms? Storage?
- How was the flow from one space to another?
- Did the home have enough natural light? Did it feel spacious or tight?
- How did the indoor and outdoor space interact? Was there a connection?
- What do you dream about? What have you always wanted in your home that you never got around to or maybe never imagined you could have?