Successful housing treads a fine line between viability and being properly attractive to its intended market. It needs to function well and meet the long-term needs of the people who live there. It also needs to add beneficial amenity to the local community. We find that properly thought-through, bespoke design allows our clients to do more without tipping this difficult balance. In fact, we use the fact that projects are cost-sensitive, margins narrow and timescales tight as the grit in the oyster for value-added design.