She knows how to breathe life into spaces…how to work with colours and textures…how to create rooms that are so welcoming you never want to leave. These are just some of the reasons why we’ve chosen to feature interior designer and TV presenter Shaynna Blaze as part of our ‘Women who inspired us in 2014’ series.
Shaynna Blaze had no intention of studying Interior Design. In fact, she ignored the letter of acceptance that came in the mail from design school – deciding instead that she would take a year off to go travelling. What she didn’t know at the time is that her father had picked up the letter, contacted the school and enrolled her in the course.
“A week before it started, dad handed me the paperwork and told me that I was going to study Interior Design – and that was that. Looking back, I feel lucky to have had someone in my life who could see further into my future than I could at the time,” Shaynna said.
Her flair for design started at a young age – mainly thanks to her father. Shaynna said he was a frustrated builder and artist who was constantly coming up with DIY projects around the house. She was his little helper. When she turned 14, her father let her renovate her bedroom. Shaynna’s first big design decision…to rip up the carpet.
“I understood about the beauty of bare floorboards, even at that age, so I insisted that we get rid of the carpet. What I didn’t know back then was how cold my room would become! I basically froze for two years because I was so stubborn about my decision,” she said.
Shaynna also credits her aunt, who was a painter, for inspiring her to pursue a more creative path in life.
“I actually applied for graphic design school, as I wanted to explore the artistic side of myself but I didn’t get accepted. At the same time I’d applied for interior design but wasn’t serious about it – until my dad stepped in,” she said.
From design to jazz
A week after graduating from design school, Shaynna was hired by Australia’s leading supplier of bathroom and plumbing products – Reece – to design their showrooms. Working alongside tradesmen, she was able to revolutionise the concept of the retail showroom…and make her mark in the industry.
She spent many years transforming commercial and residential spaces – creating inspiring interiors that were well-received by her clients. But after the birth of her two children, and following a split from her husband, Shaynna took a break from interior design to explore another side of her creativity. She began working as a jazz singer. Below she explains to Deborah how the career-change came about.
On our TV screens
For more than 20 years she has been transforming commercial and residential spaces. Her stunning interiors have been featured in magazines and websites across the globe – winning her a reputation as one of Australia’s most innovative and exciting interior designers.
Today, Shaynna she is best known as a judge on the popular Channel Nine TV series The Block – as well as the co-host of the LifeStyle Channel’s award winning program Selling Houses Australia.
To find out more about Shaynna and her book Design Your Home, head to her website.