Gaurav Builds a House Episode 3: The Architect of My Dreams Never Showed Up

by Gaurav Nanda

There I was, a proud homeowner, enjoying the home I bought several years ago. Then, it hit me—this place was ready for a Modern-Spanish transformation, turning it into an eternal vacation in Tulum.

Armed with an assortment of inspiring images and a vision that craved abundant natural light, lofty ceilings, and a seamless connection from the living room to the backyard pool, I embarked on a quest to find the perfect architect. I was in search of someone who not only shared my taste but also had an eye for the nitty-gritty. Little did I know that this journey would take some unexpected and comical turns!


The Architect Hunt

My initial attempts to find the right architect quickly turned into a series of comical misadventures. As a creative soul who thrives on building and bringing ideas to life, I was on the lookout for an architect who could truly grasp my vision and pay attention to even the tiniest details. I'll admit, being an architect isn't a walk in the park, especially when dealing with demanding clients like myself—a furniture designer. Trust me; we can be some of the most challenging clients because we come with a flood of ideas.

First up was "The Out-of-Touch Dreamer Architect." This architect seemed to exist in a world where corrugated metal houses were the height of design. Their ideas were as wild as a zebra lost in a snowstorm, and trying to align our visions felt like stepping into a parallel universe of design.

Next in line was "The Cookie-Cutter Creator Architect." They had a one-size-fits-all approach. My plea for uniqueness was met with a rehearsed script of the same old. It felt like they were adding extra doors just to block the natural flow of an open floor plan.

Then there was "The Stagnant Designer Architect." This one was eager to push boundaries and explore innovative ideas, but it seemed like we were stuck in an eternal brainstorming session with no breakthrough in sight.

After spending a couple of years with these architects and feeling like I wasn't getting what I wanted, I had already invested my time and money in these three architects. Frustration was mounting, and budget constraints were testing my patience. That's when I decided to take an unconventional approach.


The Draftsman's Approach

Through my network, I was introduced to a draftsman with extensive experience collaborating closely with the city's building department. He had his own engineer in-house and assured me that he could translate my ideas onto paper and handle the necessary approvals. As someone who relishes a hands-on and creative approach, this setup felt like the perfect fit. I sketched rough plans in Illustrator, handed them over to the draftsman, and embarked on a months-long journey filled with discussions, navigating constraints, and engaging in conversations with the city. This route turned out to be a more budget-friendly option compared to the traditional architect route.

- Early layouts of new Kitchen & Office spaces

Every detail, from closet sizes to the location of outdoor trash cans and ceiling heights, became my responsibility, adding a significant load to my shoulders. The draftsman's approach may not have been the conventional path, but I learned a lot along the way.





  • Find an architect who gets you.
  • If the usual methods fail, think about working with a draftsman and engineer
  • Going unconventional gives you control and more responsibilities
  • Building your home is a journey of learning
  • It's a chance to craft something one-of-a-kind and extraordinary