Giorgio Armani nailed it

“The difference between style and fashion is quality.” - Giorgio Armani

This quote is as relevant to designing and building a new home as it is to the apparel industry. Building a new home requires a creative phase. Here, knowledge of the owner’s lifestyle, aspirations, budget, and aesthetic preferences are paramount.

In his quote, Giorgio Armani firstly differentiates the concepts of 'style' and 'fashion', and secondly, provides the sageness that quality is the by-product of style over fashion.

Style is an expression of how intelligent and thoughtful human beings present and represent themselves. It's not meant to be an act of showing off, but more a way of finding accord and alignment and also a way of achieving everlasting and sustainable creations or impressions. It's timeless in appeal, attracts value and inspires all of us to better ourselves in the way we think and behave. It's reflective of the best human experience.

Fashion, on the other hand, represents a trend and is very transient and superficial. In the late 60s and 70s, building designers all jumped on the Spanish bandwagon and mimicked haciendas, by adding an assortment of arches with bagged rendered finishes - more akin to a kitsch wedding cake, than a true depiction of Spanish culture and style. Thankfully, not many of these creations have endured as stylish examples of the built residential form.

The era was not all bad, especially when you consider the achievements of local architects such as Geoffrey Summerhayes, Iwan Iwanoff and Peter Overman just to name a few. Their works are renown for their sheer style, longevity and for inspiring the architects and designers that followed. The master works by the greats such as Frank Lloyd Wright, LeCorbusier, Mies van der Rohe and current day Starck, have all been responsible for a body of work that has inspired for decades. The works are of such significance that they gain classifications which protect them for future generations. The works all have style.

In creating stylish and everlasting buildings, all of these architects made use of durable and natural materials and design themes that respected minimalism, just as an impressionist artist would. Thus, enabling the observer to imagine and contemplate what is possible and to fill in the perceived absent elements, using their own life experiences as cues.

When designing a home, irrespective of ones budget, it's important that style is placed above fashion. As the iterative creative phase develops, ensure that the budget parameters are met and that an eye is kept on quality - this is a key indicator that it's on the right track.

At Collier Homes, we're passionate about the creative phase, and regard it as an important, exciting and integral part of building a new home. We have longstanding relationships with leading designers, architects and engineers who can translate your aspirations and functional needs into something stylish and everlasting. We can even commission artists to create unique and original works to complement your new home.

I personally project manage the creative phase, so you gain the benefit of close to 40 years of building and engineering experience to ensure that style prevails over fashion!

Dario Amara BEng(Distn), FIEAust, CPEng, NER is a second-generation builder, experienced construction and engineering executive and chartered professional engineer with some 40 years' of industry experience.

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