18 months ago, I started the most colourful and scary journey of my life. 
I can still feel the butterflies in my stomach when I clicked send on the application form for Interior Design Masters.

I remember thinking… “Oh gosh, who do I think I’m to apply to be on a tv show?”
But the ad popped on my feed as soon as I asked the Universe to send me a sign showing me what I should do next. 

I know… it sounds SO woo-woo! But, every good thing that happened in my life came after I followed my intuition.
And even though I was freaking out during every step of the long selection process, I knew that our fears usually are arrows pointing to the directions we should go.
So I went.
And what an incredible journey it has been! 

Don’t get me wrong; I’m still freaking out, as putting yourself out there to be judged by strangers, friends and people who you admire, it’s not easy! 
But no matter what happens next, I’m SO proud of myself and my fellow designers… what a brave and creative bunch we are! 
Designing with tiny tv budgets and crazy deadlines need a whole new level of skills! And despite all the pressure and having cameras following and stopping us all the time, we did it. 
And yes there was tears and drama along the way, but so much more love and laughter! 

Our first project was Show Homes, and I got to design the study.
So I’m sharing here the details of my design process for this project.

My room after finished – you can find more pics below


“The developers expect a high standard and an impeccable finish, and whilist they are not tied to any particular design style they will be expecting a room that has been superbly styled. With soft furnishings, objects and artwork thoughtfully curated and placed.”
The developer’s clientele expects rooms that are:
Sumptuous & luxurious
Comfortable & composed

Budget: £1500


The room before the makeover – Image credit DSP


Step 1: What style to go for

When I’m working with clients or helping my students to create their homes; we always start by getting clear on what they LOVE and what connects to them, so we can find out what’s THEIR style.
But because in this case, I didn’t get to speak to the clients and the brief said they were “not tied to any particular design style”…
I made up a potential buyer and designed for her.
Because if you try to appeal for everyone, you end up appealing to no one!

“Her name’s Anna, she and her hubby Tom have two young children. She has been dreaming about moving into a bigger house where she can have her own space to run her online business, instead of working from their kitchen table.
A place where she can feel the creative energy bubbling every time she walks in. She wants a space where she can breathe in positivity, and that helps her to feel inspired and connected to her work.
She’s design-savvy and not afraid of thinking outside the box and expressing herself.
She wants her family to experience a home filled with happy colours, functional design and sweet memories.”

Design Tip: Always start from YOU when you’re designing your home. Get clear on what you love, and what puts a smile on your face. This is the best way to find out YOUR unique style, create a space that says your name and stay focused on what connects to you, so you don’t get distracted by all the new ideas and shiny objects that come along the way.

Step 2: Pinpointing the project needs

I divided this step into two parts

1. The feelings the room will evoke

More important than how your home looks is how it makes you feel! 

Because there is no point in spending time, energy and money creating a space that looks beautiful but doesn’t make you feel good, doesn’t feed your soul or make you smile when you walk through your front door! 

So based on my client’s avatar (Anna), the study should feel:

  • Bright
  • Airy
  • Happy
  • Welcoming
  • Original
  • Sophisticated

2. Getting Practical

It was time to analyse the space and start thinking about the practicalities and how the room was going to be used.

The room needed to have:

  • Storage
  • A wow focal point
  • Appear bigger and brighter as big spaces + natural light are great selling points.

Step 3. Budgeting

This was the hardest part as we had a small budget of £1500 to design the whole room, including electrician fees!
But by investing in the wow items (wallpapers)
and compromising and getting creative with the rest, I managed to finish the project £39 under budget!

Image credit: Tom Scott for DSP

Step 4. Choosing the colours

Colour is one of the most important design elements in a scheme and once you know how you want your space to look and feel colour will create a solid base for it to happen!
so I wanted to make sure I was selecting the right ones before I started looking for inspiration.

Step 5 – Creating a concept board

  • Now that I knew:
  • The style I was going for
  • The feelings the room should evoke
  • The practicalities
  • The colours I should use

I was ready to start “pinning with a purpose” and start gathering ideas for the project.

Images source: Pinterest

Steps 6 & 7- Defining the layout and bringing the ideas to life.

Guessing can be expensive! So the best way to make sure you won’t be going uh-ohhh with your design is to create some visuals before you pull the trigger.
They are such a fun way to experiment with your ideas and see them come to life.

Here are the ones for this project:

Step 8 – Wrapping up the final scheme and start shopping!

After I was 100% sure of the items, I was going for I started the shopping.
This was such a stressful time because we had very short deadlines to get everything ordered and delivered to us in time for the courier to collect it from us and take it to the location.

They usually came on Sundays, so we needed to get it delivered by Friday! I think most of our budgets went on “next day deliveries”.

And if you would like to learn more about my design process and learn how to create a home that says your name and makes you feel good, why not to join my decorating membership? You’ll learn everything you need to design a home that you’re proud to show off! Plus I work closely with you!
Find out more here!

To a colourful life,

Ju xx