As we say hello to Summer here in the southern hemisphere, we want to inspire you with some of our best home decorating and styling posts from Australia’s top designers.
We are also very excited to announce the launch of a new project here at Balance…. Renovation Rookie.
Deborah is turning the cameras on herself and testing out the advice of our experts to renovate her own home and you’re invited to follow the journey.
So if you’re thinking of renovating or simply changing up your accessories or the colour of your walls, Renovation Rookie and our expert line-up featuring Shaynna Blaze, Darren Palmer, Tara Dennis, Jason Grant and Megan Morton are sure to get you motivated.
In this clip, interior design guru Shaynna Blaze shares how anyone can create their dream home. Whether your budget is big or small. Whether you have a team of builders or a bunch of friends to help. Whether you take a conventional or outrageous design approach. She believes we all have the ability to turn our ideas into a reality.
Nowhere is this clearer than on the hit TV show The Block. As one of the program’s judges, Shaynna says she gets a huge kick out of seeing teams try to bring their concepts to life.
“The Block gives contestants permission to experiment – to do things they’d be too scared to do at home. And often they find out they are more talented than they originally thought when it comes to interior design,” Shaynna said.
With more than 20 years of experience as an interior designer, Shaynna says there are common mistakes that people make when renovating their homes. The first – not understanding how much things cost when it comes to major structural changes inside a house.
“You don’t know what’s behind a wall until you pull it down. And all of a sudden your $5000 reno budget can blow out in the space of a day if you discover termites or something else you weren’t aware of,” she said.
She says that home owners need to have contingency plans – especially when it comes to financing their renovations – otherwise they could be living in a half-renovated space for much longer than they had planned. She also recommends hiring a project manager.
“Builders are not project managers. A lot of people don’t understand that. Hiring someone to be responsible for managing your site is a great investment and will save you a lot of time and money in the long run,” she said.
For many people, renovating their home is about increasing the value of the property in order to sell it. Shaynna says that the real estate market has changed drastically over the past few years and that home owners need to be aware that it’s no longer about just bricks and mortar.
“What buyers are falling in love with is not the fresh flowers in the vase or the funky feature wall – they are falling in love with the lifestyle you are offering. That means you need to focus on your property’s lifestyle selling point and build its image from there,” she said.
Shaynna also warned against making the resale value the main focus of the renovation. She says many people start making design decisions and buying furniture to help ‘market’ their property – even if it’s stuff they don’t like themselves.
“When it comes to the wall colour, the cushions, the couches – don’t go with what will ‘sell’ because you still need to be able to enjoy living in your own home. I think a lot of people create their dream home for someone else,” she said.
Getting to know your tools
Shaynna’s final tip, for women wanting to test out their interior design talents: get to know the tools of the trade.