Business Central December 2023

68 | Connected with every project That ability to transfer a person’s ideal living situation down into nuts and bolts design ideas is a real strength. Kapiti Architectural Design T T Sue Russell ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN Kapiti Architectural Design is a bespoke practice based at Otaki Beach on the Kapiti Coast. Rochelle Chapman enjoys living in this special part of the country, which she says enjoys its own micro-climate. The team comprises Rochelle, Karyn Walker and husband Gary Chapman, who helps keep the administrative processes ticking over and often sits in with Rochelle when she meets clients. Karyn has returned from maternity leave and works two days a week “I like the fact that we are just a small design business. It means that I am connected with every project we take on right from the start and I like that level of engagement. I feel its a strength of the practice that we are small,” Rochelle says. Rochelle completed her NZ Certificate in Architectural Design, a two-year programme, in 1994. She then worked for seven years in a prenail trusses and frames company, which gave her a good understanding of what makes sound construction. Quite reserved in nature, and not one to push herself out there too much, Rochelle is happy to have her work to date speak for itself. “I find its the best way, by word of mouth and people seeing what I’ve designed. They can see that I really listen to clients about what they want from their home and especially the way they live.” That innate ability to transfer a person’s ideal living situation down into nuts and bolts design ideas is a real strength Rochelle carries. In fact Kapiti Architectural Design’s mantra ‘Design for Living’ beautifully articulates just what Rochelle and Karyn are able to achieve. Asked just how busy she is as we head toward the business end of 2023, Rochelle says she is comfortably busy. “Given the economic constraints impacting building/construction and the tightening financial climate, I just kept steadily ticking along, which is a really positive thing.” One thing Rochelle is particularly strong on is factoring into any design, the issues of accessibility and ease of use of space, as clients in a home age. “I like to point out elements to consider for owners as they get older, like wider hallways, accessible bathrooms and the like.” Kapiti Architectural Design focusses on residential additions, alterations and new homes and the bulk of Rochelle’s designs can be seen along the Kapiti Coast and into the Horowhenua region. “Using the Revit 3D programmes makes it much easier to explain to clients why an idea works or doesn’t.” Rochelle derives the greatest satisfaction from seeing clients really enjoying their homes. “I spend a lot of time initially trying to get clients to think about how they like to live. Do they enjoy open plan, how many bathrooms, what hobbies they enjoy and if they work from home. All these things influence a design concept.” Rochelle says often the very best designs arise when clients are not overly fixed on what they want, but rather bring ideas. “When they bring photos, snippets of ideas they have seen that they like, its a good way to begin the conversation.” There’s an element too of just ‘knowing’ when a design is just right and it is time to stop. Clients come sometimes by referral from a builder and often Rochelle will recommend a builder she knows well to clients who haven’t yet secured one. She holds Design 2 LBP credentials and is a professional member of ADNZ. Rochelle looks forward to the annual ADNZ Conference. This year’s event is being held in the new Wellington convention centre, Takina. As a member also of ‘Superhome’, an organisation with like-minded designers, builders, suppliers who are committed to designing and building healthy homes, Rochelle hopes that more people understand, in time, the importance of building a well insulated, warm home. “It makes such a difference to people’s health and wellbeing and impacts the long term energy costs of running a house. I can’t over-stress how important designing with these principles in mind is to the quality of the outcome.” Unlocking dreams for over 20 years Looking for a real estate partner with a proven track record? Look no further than Rachael Steinmetz, your trusted industry expert with two decades of unparalleled experience. 027 488 7455 Licensed REAA 2008 | PB069646 027 433 1090 | Offering high quality renovations, alterations & new builds Proudly supporting Kapiti Architectural Design