EV Architects’ managing director, Paul Bagnall, is passionate about making a difference to people’s homes, yet he actually became an architect by accident.
‘I fell into it completely by chance,’ he says, ‘I was hating my physics degree, my flatmate’s course sounded much more interesting so I switched direction and I’ve never looked back.’
Paul launched Highams Park-based EVArchitects at the Grand Design Show in 2012, after two decades focusing on the visualisation aspect of the business.
He says: ‘I’d been creating images of other people’s designs but that relies on a thriving market so, when recession hit, I went back to what I’d trained to do.
‘We still used the industry standard visualisation, which has become our USP, but we now see projects through from start to finish.’
After almost 30 years, Paul is still passionate about helping people bring their domestic dreams to life. He says: ‘I had always loved going into other people’s houses and helping them make changes. I didn’t realise how much I missed that enormous sense of satisfaction until I went back to my roots.’
As property prices continue to rise, Paul says many clients are looking to redesign their existing homes rather than making a move. He explains: ‘Everyone is looking to expand to make room for babies, or elderly relatives, and because the value of property has significantly increased, you can spend money on making changes without fear of losing out.’
Transforming your home can really make a difference and, although a bigger budget can mean more space and opportunity, Paul says it’s more about the mind-set than money.
It’s music to my ears when a client tells me they’re looking for that ‘Wow Factor’ themselves when they walk into their home at the end of the working day because it gives me freedom to be more creative,’ he says.
‘I still find it really inspiring when someone wants to make something of their home, when they have ideas that we can help to bring to life. The best bit is knowing those changes will bring them pleasure every day.’
Planning changes can, however, be a daunting prospect and the time and expense involved mean you want to be sure to get it right. Paul’s extensive experience in visualisation means EVArchitects can provide a unique vision of exactly how those changes will look.
Paul explains: ‘With that background in 3D modelling and virtual reality, we can sit people in their own living room, put on a headset and let them see what that room will look like when work is complete.
‘We can include their garden, their furniture and artwork which makes for an incredibly realistic vision and gives them the opportunity to make changes before it’s too late.’
Most people looking to expand their home set a deadline of Christmas but, Paul says, they often leave too little time to ensure the work is complete.
‘Christmas is usually the universal marker but a typical job takes at least six months. If you find yourself sat around a cramped table on Christmas Day, get in touch as soon as possible to make sure you’ve more room for your festivities next year.’