The Making of Compass

When first considering the creation of their dream home, Compass, Dorian already had a few ideas in mind. The two main things that impacted the home’s design, had little to do with aesthetic and everything to do with function.

As a family home, Dorian explained that everything needed to lead outside. ‘In our home, I wanted us to be in the kitchen and living but also with a flow to the outdoor space.’ With kids in the house, entertaining is a priority for their family. And as Dorian said of their activities, ‘everything leads outside.’

Their second priority for Compass was also around its function as a family home. Specifically, safety. ‘As a parent, with pools you want to know that your kids can use it and it’s functional but also safe and that you can keep an eye on what they’re doing whether you’re in the kitchen or living room or elsewhere.’

In their previous residence, everything was separated. The pool was downstairs, rooms were cut off, and the space wasn’t used like it could be. Dorian’s vision for this home was all about connection.

‘With this build, we knew we wanted everyone to have their own space, but we also wanted it to all be used, and we wanted to be connected to everyone else in the home.’

Integrating lifestyle within the design.

So, what does it look like to take these requirements and work them into the design? At Compass, it was an open concept floor plan with the home wrapping around a central, backyard pool.

This design utilises the central outdoor area as a natural extension of the living space while ensuring that the pool is visible from almost every room in the house.

Things like adding an outdoor shower, tiles throughout the ground floor, and large folding doors add to the use and purpose of the space. It suits how the family lives in the home.

‘Our media room also flows to an outdoor space where we can set up a trestle table and coolers, give the kids pizza, and they get a whole indoor-outdoor space where they can be loud and do their own thing.’

Adding in aesthetics.

Even within their home’s modern design, Dorian knew she wanted to include some timeless elements to soften the look and bring in a coastal element. Alongside keeping a neutral colour palette, she added,

‘Our house is very modern, but we incorporated some timeless elements like the whitewashed Victorian boards and the clean lines – it’s modern but it doesn’t age.’

Allowing the colour palette to stay neutral throughout helps a home feel seamless and cohesive. But there are still ways you can make it pop. One of the things that does this for Compass is the landscaping and use of art.

Pulling it all together.

As Dorian pointed out, the balance of aesthetics and functionality comes down to good architectural design. This is what allows continuity in a home while it serves as a haven that makes living easy.

‘Trust the architect and trust the builder,’ Dorian advised. ‘We had three builders we were considering and sat down for a beer with each of them. Dayne was just a really good listener, and he kept coming up in conversations for us with different people we knew in the community.’

See how Compass Place came together here.

Since moving into Compass, Dorian and her keen eye for functional design has joined the LAWRIE team. Read more from Dorian in an earlier feature, Inside LAWRIE Design.


Compass Place

Architect: Tim Ditchfield

Build: LAWRIE. Group

Project: Compass Place