Lantanaland is many things. It's a rough piece of land, covered in lantana. It has a beautiful, but run down cottage on it, basically with one bedroom. What it needs is some renewal, not renovation, but for this I need to be sure of one thing. Good design.

We've been watching Grand Designs again, which always gets my design juices flowing. Interestingly the host, Kevin McCloud, wrote an article about the different reactions of the brain. Go shopping and buy something and you are pandering to the heroin of the brain, dopamine. Quick fix, short high, need more. But design or build something, plant a veg garden, anything that will provide pleasure over a period of time, produces serotonin, a much longer and pleasurable high. No wonder I like building things.

I digress.

The house here is small and very run down, particularly the deck. But we will need another room if (when) we have The Child, so the plan was to build a small extension, providing a bedroom up top, with a lounge below. The current lounge would be invaded by the kitchen, keen to pursue an old world colonization policy.

But what about the design! This house is very well designed. It doesn't need aircon in SE QLD, as the whole house breathes and catches the breeze. I'd like to build in strawbale, as I love the organic lines and texture. In fact The Wife and I have a great list of ideas, but it time to put together a master plan.

By this I don't mean sketches of how I want the house to look, because I'd rather the architect came up with those first without my influence, but rather the plan of how this building will fit into our life. For instance the kitchen is very important. I would like Lantanaland to one day be the provider of my income and food will play a big part of it. So the kitchen has to be able to look toward the future Lantanaland and anticipate what I might need. In other words how big do I make the walk in larder? Where does the cold room for hanging sides of beef and whole pigs go?

I've already had a lesson in poor design. When we moved here I found the old chook pen was full of white ants and had to be dumped. So we moved and I madly designed a chook house and pen. A chook house that turned out to be a feed trough for fox and snake, hard to access and hard to modify. So lately I've been working on a small changeover system, then I'll pull down this one and start again.

So this is the first of a few open discussions with myself about what needs to be discussed, pondered or put to paper. Feel free to butt in with any thoughts of your own, because I'd hate to miss something because I'm only using my brain alone.

Lantanaland from the iPhone

Happy meal