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.
HERE’S THE BRIEF WE RECEIVED:
“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
MY ROOM: THE STUDY
THE DESIGN CONCEPT
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:
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:
- 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!
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.
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,
I am an American living in Cambridge, UK. I had the blessing of watching you on
Interior Design Masters each week of its first showing! Thank you for
your inspirational attitude and design talent throughout the season! I learned
a great deal watching how you think and design throughout each stage of the competition. May you and your business flourish!
Thanks so much for leaving such a lovely comment! I’m really happy that I somehow inspired you!
Thank you for letting me know, and if you ever need anything from me, just get in touch. xx
Can you tell me the pattern name and maker/manufacturer of the floral wallpaper you used in episode 1 in the model home office? Your style is so fetching and completely my aesthetic. Would love to find that wallpaper! Thanks so much!
Hi Rosalind! Thanks so much for your lovely words. Really appreciate it! So that gorgeous floral wallpaper is called Marianne Fuchsia from Designers Guild. xx Here’s the link:https://www.designersguild.com/row/wallpaper/designers-guild/marianne-fuchsia-wallpaper/p23060
I was going to ask exactly the same thing! My favourite room and designer by far!! x x
Ahhh thanks SO MUCH! XX
Hello Ju 🙂
This article is so nice, I would be happy if you do the same for each design you did in interior design masters
Good luck <3
Ahh thanks so much, Silvia! I’m planning on doing it as soon as I get some time! xx
Querida Ju, já conheço a sua história, recentemente me tornei membro da da Blooming Home Society, e até já nos falamos pelo Zoom! Vc é muito querida e está fazendo um trabalho lindo e muito bacana!
Sobre este texto q vc enviou (q aliás foi muito interessante de ler), vc poderia detalhar como fez os desenhos dos steps 6 & 7: por ex: Qual programa usou para colar figuras de diferentes fontes? Qual programa usou para fazer o layout “take a peek inside” e para o floor plan? Enfim, como fez para as figuras ficarem deste jeito tão perfeitinho? Me lembro em uma das nossas aulas, se n me engano, no Trello, vc fez algo parecido para montar o esquema do seu master bedroom. Se vc puder der mais detalhe super agradeço! Super beijo e obrigada!
Oi Lu, obrigada pelo carinho, amada. Feliz por vc fazer parte da TBHS! Então, esses desenhos foram feitos em um programa profissional para interior designers chamado VectorWorks. A mood board foi feita no Canva, tem lessons no membership onde eu ensino como faze-las. xx
Ah, e seria demais se vc fizesse um post deste para cada um dos espaços q vc criou e montou na série! Bjs
Oi Lu! Vou fazer sim, só preciso achar um tempinho. Beijosss
I watched on Netflix right away, and am thrilled to find the explanation of your process here. It’s interesting to see the actual brief. Boy, it is brief! I’ve taken the 3-course Colour Class and seeing how you employ the principles you teach helps me understand even better. Thanks for your generosity and the fun you share!
Ahh so happy you found it helpful, Deni! Thanks so much for your lovely words, really appreciate it! xx
I watched the IDM and was drawn to your style the most. Others were lovely, too, however I could relate to you the most. This inspired me to look for you in social media.
Looking forward to getting inspired and learn more, discovering my own style which is very close to yours.
I wish you all the best and a daring and blooming business.
So pleased I found your page!
I remember watching the episode and recognising the wallpaper 🙂
I have been admiring the marianne fuschia wallpaper for years and am
just deciding to take the plunge in my living room!
Can you advise on what paint/ shade of grey you used to
compliment it on the room please?
Thank you 🙂
Hey Rachel! Me too… I’m so happy you found me here and also got the courage to go for the Marianne – it’s sooo stunning!
I love Quartz Flintz 4 from Dulux, because it’s a really fresh grey and works beautifully with the wallpaper background.
Good luck and keep me posted? I would love to see it! xx