Show Us Your Blocks: The Brief

S. Group / December 05, 2018

Welcome to Show Us Your Blocks! We had a flood of amazing applicants champing at the bit to be part of this exclusive exposé into how we roll when it comes to the archi process here at S. Group.

Last week you voted in three epic couples: Jacky and Tom, Peter and Jen and Emily and Luke. They’ve been paired with their expert archi teams: Tim and Brenda, Anupa and Damo and Joshie and Jim-bob, who are going to design them their dream home. Just like bread and butter, salt and pepper and sandals and socks, these teams are a match made in heaven!

Last week our teams met up for the first time kicked off discussion of stage 1: The Brief. According to Josh Upston (a.k.a King of Resi), the Brief stage normally begin with an on-site meeting where we get to know our clients, their dream home specs (ie. number of bedrooms, preference for living, pantry, dungeon space etc). After that we’d catch up in the office, present our first thoughts for what could work on site, throw some building figures at the design and other associated costs, as well as put together a formal proposal.

After that they’d come back to us with their thoughts and we push on to the concept stage.

Any-whoo! Let’s get into the juicy stuff and learn a bit more about our couples or place your vote below!

Place your vote!


​Jacky + Tom

  • Tell us a bit about yourselves...

Tom and I have been together for 4 years. 12 months ago this January we were married at Bundaleera - we held both our ceremony and reception where we dream of building our family home. We were 5 months pregnant with our beautiful daughter, Olive at the time. This was a special day for us, not only because we were getting married but we also knew it was probably the last time everyone we loved would be together in the one location.

When people visit Bundaleera vineyard, they see a pretty special view. To us, it’s much more than a view. It’s full of memories - good memories, funny memories and difficult memories. All of which give us quite a big emotional connection to the property.

  • Have you always dreamt of designing and building your own home?

(Jacky) Growing up, I remember dad building many houses and units and I remember him spending nights designing floor plans. I loved watching him do this and hearing his ideas. Dad would give me pieces of paper to ‘help him and mum out’ (which at 10 years of age I genuinely thought I was doing!) and he would encourage me to have a go at a floor plan. Looking back, my ideas were ridiculous and terribly unrealistic!!! When it came to building a house, I would walk around the concrete slabs with dad and he would point out the different areas, often making reference to the floor plan I had presented him with. Looking back, there were absolutely no similarities to my 10 year plans and what was being built - but I didn’t know that.

Presenting my parents with plans of our dream home would be a very special moment for us. I have a feeling they’re going to be a little better than the ones I use to create for my dad.

  • Tell us about your brief…

We’re after something that blends in with the natural environment and doesn’t inhibit the quality of our grapes and wine production. In terms of the layout, we’d love a layout that encourages social interaction, especially for entertaining family and friends, as well as giving us space where we can ‘escape’ from the kids. Of course, we’d also like to take advantage of the magnificent view of the vines, rolling hills, North Esk River, and have lots of natural light.

  • What are you looking forward to the most about the design?

As Timmy said, the physical structures and environmental factors will very much guide the shape and design of our house - Timmy and Brenda have that covered! It’s our job to then make it a home. That is what we are most looking forward to.

  • How do you feel about the brief process so far (and just remember, the archi’s are reading this, and we don’t want to make them angry)?

What an experience! We’ve already been presented with innovative and well thought out ideas well beyond anything we would have imagined. We love that Timmy and Brenda are all over the finer details that could be easily overlooked. We are so impressed with the efficiency of our team to produce ideas of the concept within such a short timeframe! Very excited to see what they do next.


​Emily + Luke

  • Tell us about yourselves...

Luke and I have been together for 5 years, having met at Alchemy when I was a bartender and Luke was a (very) regular customer. These days, I’m a Phlebotomist and Fitness Instructor and Luke is a Project Manager. We have one fur baby, Bentley, with whom we’re a little obsessed. We love travelling, cooking, and enjoying a wine and a laugh with friends and family.

  • Have you always dreamt of designing and building your own home?

For the past 2-3 years we’ve had the goal of building or buying a home, so we set about the task of working our butts off to save for this goal. I’ve been studying and working full time and Luke’s been working between Sydney and Launceston. We’re definitely committed to making this dream happen!

We fell in love with Swan Bay and were lucky enough to find a block that had the spectacular view AND enough room for Luke to have his dream garden. As for the house itself, we’ve always loved S. Group designs and are always saving pictures of their builds then picking apart together what we like and what we don't about each house.

  • Tell us about your brief…

We want something that will give us lifestyle flexibility. We love entertaining, so we want big open living spaces to entertain friends and family, as well as four bedrooms and a second livin. A big priority is also the mud room, so Luke (an avid gardener) can have somewhere to leave his boots. Of course, it’s a given that we also want the design of the house to take advantage of the amazing water and hill views around Swan Bay.

  • What are you looking forward to the most about the design?

We are looking forward to having a space that suits us and is completely our own. We are also looking forward to getting James and Josh’s advice for highlighting the views of the water and building a timelessly designed home that will suit us in the years to come.

  • How do you feel about the brief process so far?

So far, the process has been very fun! Jim-Bob and Josh are our kind of guys, with a sense of humour, but incredibly professional. The guys listened to us so attentively and genuinely want to work with us as a team to create our dream home. We have full faith that the lads will create a brief that suits us (and maybe snag us a prize if we are lucky!). Go Team J&J!


​Peter + Jen

  • Tell us about yourselves...

Jenna and I have been together for 5 years and living in her family shack she bought off her parents about 7 years ago. There’s never a dull moment in our house, since we have five children: Georgia (13), Mason (10) and Amber (9), who live with us half the time, and then Boston (2) and Billie is (6 months) all the time! I’m the Principal of Boat Harbour Primary School and Jen is a teacher at Stanley Primary.

We’re all about family, having Jen’s family close by in Edgcumbe Beach and Boat Harbour, and my family in Wynyard. When we all get together there is quite a few of us!

  • Have you always dreamt of designing and building your own home?

We absolutely love living on the beach and originally wanted to renovate the shack we live in. Then the block next to us came on the market and we decided to start from scratch.

We have definitely always dreamt of designing and building our dream home, it’s just been a matter of where and when. We’ve always wanted to live on the beach, for the awesome lifestyle it gives us and the kids. The great thing about where we are is it’s so small that we often get the whole beach or river to ourselves!

  • Tell us about your brief…

For our home, we hope to make the most of the view and the location. We love entertaining and having friends and family round for a bbq so opening our living space up to the outdoors is a must! We also need a few more bedrooms, as we’re currently sharing our room with the little ones, while the bigger kids share as well. We’d also like Two bathrooms, a large laundry, walk in pantry are some other things on the list.

We also threw a spanner into the works when we mentioned an indoor swimming pool to run swimming lessons out of, but realistically, there’s only so much you can fit on one block!

  • What are you looking forward to the most about the design?

We’re most looking forward to having more than one bathroom in our new house, as sharing with a teenage daughter and five others isn’t ideal! We’re also keen for a walk in wardrobe and a laundry big enough to accommodate the never ending piles of washing we have.

On a deeper level, we’re just so happy to be creating our dream home that can be a haven we all come home to at the end of the day.

  • How do you feel about the brief process so far?

We entered the competition because we have seen the incredible work S. Group do, and are so thrilled we did! Already we have been blown away with the hospitality shown to us. When we met the team we were welcomed with open arms (literally) and given such a fun and exciting afternoon working with Damo, Anupa and the rest of the crew. Jen and I are already hanging out for next week to see what the future holds.

Check out how well the archis have fulfilled the briefs and VOTE NOW to help one couple score $5K of S. Candy (a.k.a future S. services).


S. Group Level 1, 10-14 Paterson Street Launceston Tasmania 7250 Australia (03) 6311 1403 info@sgroup.com.au 11 Morrison Street Hobart Tasmania 7000 Australia (03) 6251 3906 info@sgroup.com.au 83 Langridge Street Collingwood Victoria 3066 Australia (03) 9999 0776 info@sgroup.com.au