Thinking Differently – What An Interior Designer Does

Thinking Differently – What An Interior Designer Does

Thinking differently is one of the main reasons why interior designers are engaged. Passionate designers do think differently and can cast a whole new perspective over your renovation or redecorating. Here’s how.

There is nothing more personal than designing a home for someone else. However that doesn’t mean an interior designer imposes their personal likes and dislikes. At least it shouldn’t otherwise choose another designer. Thinking differently is an important skill good interior designers develop early. I mean, who wants ‘same-same’. Individuality is far more exciting to live with than what everyone else has.

When you engage an interior designer, I’m sure you are looking for results you feel you can’t achieve on your own. Maybe you’re not used to thinking differently because you don’t have the time or inclination for interior design. Perhaps you think an interior designer will create a show home where you’ll be too afraid to sit on the beautiful custom furniture.

Your Home, Your Way

The job of an interior designer is to interpret what you want in the best possible way. Your home, your way – with functionality, style, creativity and fun. Yes FUN! In thinking differently a good interior designer will also find ways to surprise and delight. It could be a quirky wallpaper, an unexpected art work, a hero light fitting, or smaller decor items that take the viewer by surprise.

In this article, we will also discuss how you can create a truly authentic home. Because living in a home that’s authentic is important. You don’t want your friends (or yourself) wondering who lives in your home because it DOESN’T reflect you and your loves.

So work with an interior designer who embraces you and your lifestyle. Not someone who wants to strip your home bare. Even when working with a ‘blank canvas’ an interior designer will create a home that reflects YOU not them.

Thinking Differently with Fresh Eyes

An interior designer has the ability to cast fresh eyes on your home. They have different perspectives largely due to being exposed to myriad design challenges and solutions. However, what’s most important to an interior designer is the lives, loves and lifestyles of those who occupy the home they will be re-designing.

Therefore, the questioning from an interior designer should be quite personal. And if they don’t ask you enough questions, then maybe they are not the right interior designer (or building designer or architect) for you.

Questions should revolve around your likes and preferences, who lives in the home, how spaces are used, at what times of the day, what you like and dislike about the home, what attracted you to the home, etc.

Working with an interior designer is a two-way street. How you want to love in your home and how you want to FEEL in your home are vital to the process. Thinking differently will help a designer to understand what you want. However it’s also how designers create exciting and liveable spaces.

Designers See Through Walls

Most often, a space to be renovated is not completely bare. There will be obstacles including built-in furniture, kitchen counter tops, cupboards and walk-in pantries, wardrobes, walls to removed, floor and window coverings, furniture and architectural details. Designers must see through these obstacles and design for what WILL be there.

Interior design can be complex in its simplicity. Interior Designer, Vincente Wolf, described it as “… a bit like a choir, with all the voices singing different parts. Yet when you hear them, they sound like one voice. The separate elements blend in perfect harmony”.

Vincente Wolf

Thus, many modern rooms may look quite simple on the surface. Yet when you investigate further the individual elements you realise that something on its own may appear quite ordinary. Yet when it’s used in conjunction with all the OTHER elements in a space, the result is warm, cohesive and beautiful.

For example, I designed a master suite which was elegant and neutral which looked almost entirely creamy beige. Yet there were 14 different textures and surfaces in that room including silk, linen, velvet, cotton, wallpaper, fabrics, metal, marble, painted wood, and glass. The owners love that room and described it as having the feeling of a six-star hotel. It was deceptively complex and an example of thinking differently.

What Is ‘Timeless Decor’ Really?

I have often heard people say they want something ‘timeless’. However, real timeless décor is authentic. It is a mix of contemporary and period furniture, new and existing pieces. Don’t be afraid to take items away if they don’t work or feel right. Stand back, view the space. Does it still ‘work’ without that piece you just took out? Thinking differently achieves exciting results. Boil it down to its very essence. Allow the room to ‘breathe’ and don’t have furniture clinging to walls. This actually creates a sense of more space, not less.

Choose things you love. See how different patterns, fabrics and textures work in the various rooms of your home. The natural light will be different so the effect will be differ from room to room. Be true to your authentic self and your home will be authentic, timeless, beautiful and warm.

Want More?

Did you know we publish a seasonal digital magazine? Plush Homes is a 100-page guide on renovation and styling for home lovers. Sign-up now and never miss an issue. Plush Homes will teach you how to work with tradies, start DIY projects, be inspired with real renovations, where to shop, designer interviews, new products and more. If you are a renovator, re-decorator or home lover then Plush Homes is for you.

Best Decorating Tips with Easy Ideas to Steal

Best Decorating Tips with Easy Ideas to Steal

Our best decorating tips will give you lots of new ideas to style and redecorate your home. And the best part… most tips are DIY.

When home lovers start to redecorate their homes, many wish to undertake much of the work themselves. Others don’t have the time or inclination. However, if you’re one that LOVES to roll up your sleeves and lavish your creativity our best decorating tips are for you. Otherwise use an expert interior designer.

Steal Our Best Decorating Tips

– hang ceiling to floor drapes to create drama and provide relief from drafts

– fake a carpet runner up wooden stairs by painting a wide central band with a black border using glossy paint

– use stencils to paint patterns and florals on a wooden floor

– paint one wall in a bold colour and hang a dramatic art work or ornate framed mirror

– wallpaper or paint the wall behind book shelves for instant luxury and dramatic interest

– instead of painting cupboards black, try a dark blue or indigo with gold or rose gold hardware. Fabulous!

– choose an outrageously bold fabric for a single arm chair. You will LOVE the uniqueness this will create

– throw a coloured sheepskin rug on the bed, not the floor

Don’t Be Afraid of Dark Colours

don’t be afraid of dark colours, even black. If a room is dark anyway with little natural light, a dark colour will create cosiness. Add pops of bright or moody colour and ambient lighting

– paint wooden floors in Black Japan paired with bright white walls and ceiling

– if you have a freestanding bath, hang sheer fabric to the floor around the bath. Use a wide ribbon in a generous length to tie back

– organize bar clutter on a retro drinks cart. Place mixed bottles of spirits, fancy glasses, and an ice bucket mixed with a book on making cocktails, swizel sticks and a bowl of lemons

when arranging books, don’t place via size. Instead, arrange those with similarly coloured spines together for an artistic effect

Patterned carpet in decorative living room interior with painting above couch. Real photo

Don’t Be Matchy-Matchy

– instead of having matching bar stools, choose the same chair style and upholster in different colours of the same fabric. This applies to dining chairs too. Alternatively, choose a single colour and upholster chairs in different hues from dark to light. Beautiful upholstery will make a huge difference to the style of your home

– spray paint a concrete garden statue in a bright colour and place inside

MY TOP TIP: Don’t seek perfection. The best homes are those that are perfectly imperfect. Live with what you love… discard what doesn’t make your heart sing

Want More Best Decorating Tips?

Read our great post on home styling with easy ideas for every room.

How To Successfully Nail An Open Plan Home

How To Successfully Nail An Open Plan Home

An open plan home is the modern design approach for the smart use of space. However, large spaces can be difficult to contain and decorate. For space AND intimacy, follow these essential tips.

An open plan home is a powerful design statement being spacious with a timeless aesthetic. Boasting freedom of movement, modern homes are now highly social spaces whereby the kitchen is no longer isolated.

As interior designers and renovators, the single biggest area of our work is designing an open plan home with a luxurious kitchen. This space is always connected to a casual dining and living area that flows outdoors via bi-fold or stacker doors. This creates seamless indoor-outdoor living perfect for the Australian lifestyle.

Whilst undeniably aesthetic in nature, there are certain rules to consider for the successful interior design of an open floor plan home.

An Open Plan Home Makes Multiple Rooms into One

In an existing home, it’s common to combine two or more smaller rooms into one spacious kitchen-living combo. Did you know this can have numerous benefits for your psychological well-being?

#1 Benefit: There is a sense of freedom when walls and doors are removed. The removal of these ‘obstacles’ creates a calmness which is highly beneficial.

#2 Benefit: Removing walls will let in more natural light to saturate an expansive interior. Natural light is one of the key architectural tenets that help create a beautiful home.

Are you concerned about noise levels, kitchen aromas, or the lack of privacy? All these issues can be addressed with the smart use of ventilation, textures and layering, and medium-rise furniture.

Retain Structural Integrity

When designing an open plan home, never compromise the structural integrity of the existing building. Always seek advice from a Master Builder to ensure load-bearing walls and other weak points are identified. Load-bearing walls can be removed but must be strengthened with suitable beams, ceiling joists or columns.

Create A Focal Point In Your Open Plan Home

Include a focal point to draw the eye to a hero feature in an open plan space. Great ideas for a focal point include a stone fireplace, an oversized window, or cathedral ceilings. Every room should have some type of focal point. However, in an open plan home, it’s also a way to create intimacy. Because furniture and fixtures can be created around a focal point.

For example, having well-considered furniture styled around a fireplace creates a delineated conversation area. This keeps the space open but also creates a more intimate environment.

Decorating an open plan home can be difficult for the novice decorator. However, consider having a suitable interior designer engaged even before the building stage. Why? Because a qualified interior designer will be able to analyse the proposed floor plan, identify ways to maximise the space, design joinery AND decorate the finished space.

An interior designer will use furniture, lighting, colour, texture, and accessories to fully decorate an open concept space. They will do this in such a way that the space feels intimate not cavernous.

Keep A Unified Theme

Open concept homes must be cohesive especially when areas are delineated with furniture, architectural features, colour and rugs. The last thing you want is a cavernous space with all the furniture hugging the walls. You can still have unique spaces with an open-plan floor plan, just keep the colour palette and theme consistent.

Easily delineate spaces with some interior design tricks. For example, define the dining area by placing a large rug under the dining table and chairs.

How To Define An Area

Define a living area with sofa and chairs in an L-shape, a C-shape, or opposite each other with a rug and coffee table in between. Use console tables at the back of sofas to add some height with lamps, books, and other objects. Therefore, creating visually exciting ways to add energy to your interiors.

Unify spaces by using a similar colour palette – either several shades of the same colour or up to three colours using the 60/30/10 rule. 60% is the primary colour; 30% is the secondary colour; 10% is the accent colour.

Designed by Plush Design Interiors. Kitchen with lowered ceiling area. Image by Claudine Burgess Photography

Use architectural features, such as a low dividing wall, a pair of columns, a bulkhead or rustic beams to acknowledge the difference between spaces. A bulkhead in the kitchen may be lower than the ceiling in the living room, for example. In the image above, designed by Plush Design Interiors, the lowered ceiling delineates the kitchen area in an open plan home. Image by Claudine Burgess Photography.

Open Plan Home Ideas for Other Spaces

Comfortable living spaces aren’t the only areas suitable for an open concept. As more home owners create their own retreat, an open concept bedroom with walk-in robe and bathroom is popular. A free-standing wall hiding a walk-in robe behind has become more common than a walk-in robe with a door, for example.

Bathrooms that are freely seen from the bedroom can maximise the space and natural light beautifully. However, always ensure the toilet is not easily seen from the bedroom area.

I love open concept living. Using a few simple tricks your open plan home can be as warm and luxurious as you wish.

PhotoReal Renders Are Changing the Game for Renovators

PhotoReal Renders Are Changing the Game for Renovators

PhotoReal renders have become a game changer for interior designers and home renovators. Going beyond 3D imagery, this technology helps homeowners to become more engaged with their project.

From taking out a wall to adding an extension, photoreal renders are hot! Because they enable renovators to see how changes will look before demolition. Additionally, they enable an interior designer to showcase different ideas for the same space.

Think about your renovation. You’ve probably been clipping ideas from Pinterest and Instagram. Maybe you have a Houzz account and have been saving images in an ideas book there. However, your renovation is personal to you and your lifestyle. How do you know that an idea you see will work for you? An interior designer has a good eye but is also used to viewing many different spaces. Yes, we can see through walls. Well, almost. We need to be able to visualize concepts and final results. However, new technology does help us to help you.

3D Imagery versus Photoreal Renders

There is a difference between 3D imagery and photoreal renders. For example, one of my earlier clients wanted a two-way fireplace in her new living room extension. However, she was unsure how the rooms would work with a fireplace in the centre. She also wanted an existing laundry and toilet re-designed as a guest bedroom. That room would have access from the new living space. Would that work? Moreover, she wanted to know if a current wine storage wall in the kitchen could be re-designed as a small butler’s pantry. Could this be done by encroaching some space from the current dining area?

I was able to manipulate the 2D floor plan to show her what the space could look like. However, that’s a bird’s eye view. So, I was also able to use a 3D imagery program to show her the space populated with furniture. Just not HER furniture. However, it did give her an excellent idea of what the open plan renovation could look like.

Staying Ahead for Better Results

Interior designers, architects and builders must stay modern by utilizing the design tools available. When I created the 3D imagery above, I was pretty happy with the results. After all, the purpose was to help my clients make important decisions about their renovations. Now photoreal renders and fly-through videos are the icing on the design cake.

Kitchen + joinery design by Plush Design Interiors. Render by Maria Georgiou

Many clients have an idea of what they want for a better functioning and more stylish home. Nevertheless, they can’t visualize the design solution. 3D imagery has been a fantastically useful tool. However, it comes with limitations. For example, in some 3D imagery programs you can not ‘import’ the exact accessories. Furniture is shown as a ‘place-holder’ – a similar image, say, a white sofa. It’s not the exact article. Nor is wallpaper, joinery design and other important elements.

This is where photoreal renders area a game changer. Sure, it’s an additional design fee. However, if you’re renovating several spaces, it’s worth it to see the results before you demolish. Taking out a wall? How will that effect the traffic flow, natural light and views within your home?

Joinery + interior design by Plush Design Interiors. Render by Maria Georgiou

Taking Photoreal Renders To The Next Level

Spacial planning, joinery design, natural light, views, privacy and noise control are all integral to interior design. When we design spaces, we take all this into consideration. So photoreal renders will show you what views will be seen from a renovation. Renders can also show how natural light will be cast in a room at certain times of the day. Alternatively, a clever renderer, like Maria Georgiou, can show different lighting ideas. For example, the strip lighting that was integral to the masculine and moody wine tasting room I designed.

Joinery + interior design by Plush Design Interiors. Render by Maria Georgiou

As the name suggests, photoreal renders have a photographic quality. You may see images on Pinterest and Instagram without realising they are photoreal renders. This technology can be used to represent any interior or exterior space.

When it comes to your costly and important renovation, floor plans are only one design element. You’ll also need 2D elevations of joinery design, 3D sketches of design concepts, mood boards and selections list. To understand more about what we do at Plush Design Interiors, please view our Flip Book.

Neale Whitaker Talks New Styling Trends

Neale Whitaker Talks New Styling Trends

Neale Whitaker is a high-profile Australian design expert and television personality. His advice is sought by home lovers across the country so who better to discuss current styling trends.

Whilst I’m not a trend-led designer, it’s always valuable to keep up-to-date with trends that may help clients make informed decisions. Neale Whitaker is a leading voice, and eye, when it comes to interior design. He’s recently visited trade show, Maison et Objet in Paris, one of the premier interior design events in Europe.

He has returned with information on trends shaping the design industry. He says sustainability is big among the primary players along with small-scale living multi-functionality and ‘bricolage’. This is an interesting trend which mixes styles and eras, shapes and textures for truly original interiors. Apart from functionality, above all else, home interiors must be authentic.

Neale Whitaker Throws Away Trends

Funny that we’re talking about trends and Neale’s first piece of advice is throw away the trend book. A man after my own heart. Neale says that one of the first considerations of interior design in your home is your own emotions. I totally agree. One of the first questions I ask my clients is “What drew you to this house?” and I often discuss with them how they ‘feel’ and to trust their instincts.

“People often don’t consider how a space makes them feel,” says Neale. “It’s easy to open a catalogue and simply pick out a theme to replicate, but if your space doesn’t suit that theme, it simply won’t feel right. Your home is yours, so make it your own. Merge trends, and don’t be afraid to mix and match styles within your room.” Neale suggests you go slowly and take confidence in your own taste and style.

What Is Bricolage?

To this end, Neale Whitaker brings back from Europe the trend of bricolage. Whilst sustainability is a macro trend, it’s not going away anytime soon, he says bricolage is a micro trend. Micro trends tend to be about shapes and styles including current themes such as those that are artisan made. These may include using natural fibres including jute, rattan and wicker or global-nomad influences such as Asia and the Middle East.

“Most of the current trends are quite neutral,” suggests Neale. “These can be easily added into existing decor themes, like the inclusion of a rattan-backed chair, or a group of ceramic vessels, similar in shape or colours. My favourite interiors are always the ones that blend different tones, different styles, different colours, different periods.”

Maximise Natural Light + Add Warmth

In addition to the interior design styles you favour, maximising natural light will open up spaces and elevate the mood. I will always find ways to maximise the natural light in a room. However, finishing a room usually requires window treatments. Neale Whitaker is also an Ambassador for Luxaflex® so he knows how impacting window dressings can be.

“The Luxaflex® LumiShade® is a great option in terms of a classic window covering. They combine the versatility of a vertical blind with the elegant appeal of a soft window furnishing. This lets light in whilst balancing style, durability and practicality, he says.”

Another fave for Neale Whitaker is the Luxaflex® Pirouette® Shadings. He says they are perfect when adding warmth and seeking a soft finish. They are seamless blend of blind and sheers allowing a warm light but also privacy. Their shutter-like effect is very on-trend with delicate folds appearing to float above the window allowing light to filter through.

Lamps. of course, are wonderful for softly illuminating spaces. Use rugs and soft furnishings to also create warmth, layer with art you love, personal photographs, books and mementos. Your personal items tell your story, add depth and personalise your home.

Trust Your Instincts

This is important advice from Neale Whitaker and one area of interior design I share with all my clients. It’s YOUR home, YOU live there. Therefore your home, and sanctuary, must reflect you, your loves, your lifestyle, your travels. Imbue your home with spirit, personality, fun and surprises. Mix things up a little. If you love it, then you’ll love living with it.

Designing for the Future

I am often asked for timeless or classic interior design. However, unless you live in a museum nothing is truly timeless. (OK, maybe Hamptons style is, haha). In our modern era, design and technology go hand-in-hand. There is a growing emphasis on sustainability and smart homes. Modern renovations and home building will incorporate smart design and technology that contributes to homes being energy efficient.

“The Luxaflex® Duette® Architella® Shades have an innovative honeycomb design with cell-within-a-cell construction, for example, that helps reduce heat loss in winter and keeps the home cooler in summer. They can reduce your heating costs by up to 43%[1], making them the most energy efficient window coverings on the Australian market,” advises Neale Whitaker.

Trends will come and go, authenticity will remain. What will also remain are genuinely useful, functional and design-worthy elements that enhance your lifestyle.


[1] [1]  Savings are based on the installation of fully-recessed, reveal-mounted Duette Architella Shades with 20mm blockout fabric in an average home in Sydney, compared with the House Energy Rating standard of Holland Blinds from AccuRate, in that home. These calculations have been modelled by an independent third party. Savings will vary based on the window type and installation.

Five Architectural Tenets That Come Before Interior Design

Five Architectural Tenets That Come Before Interior Design

Architectural tenets are those areas that support the planning and philosophy of architectural design. These tenets will help you to have a more comfortable and functional home that supports your individual lifestyle. So what are these tenets?

When I was in high school, I studied technical drawing for two years with a view to being an architect. I have computer designed over 300 houses, and love architecture, however interior design was always my true passion. Even now, Plush Design Interiors designs home extensions and undertakes complex renovations. However, architectural practice and tenets are of great interest and do affect my work as an Interior Designer.

Some people may think that an Interior Designer simply chooses wall colours, fiddles with fabric and throws cushions around. Well, many of us do but that’s only one small part of creating beautiful spaces. Interior designers must consider five important architectural tenets BEFORE embarking on a design project.

1. The Space

One room can appear different from another through manipulation of the space. Any room must be a quality space that best functions in relation to YOUR family and lifestyle. How will the space be used and by whom? What activities will take place? What architectural features are part of the space?

I will consider the space and all its dimensions – vertical, horizontal and diagonal – and how the space will ‘work’ before other considerations. For example, does the space need a picture window, a door, a wall removed or a wall put in place. It’s true – form follows function with architectural tenets. My expertise will help you to identify how best to utilize the space and make it work for you.

2. The View

To maximize good views and minimise bad views is a key consideration. No one wants to look out to a brick wall. Other considerations are how much privacy may be required, how secure and protected the room feels, and if you want to see who is approaching but for them not to see you.

Many people miss this important element because they may assume that ‘the view is the view’ and not much can be done about it. However, good views can be maximized for great enjoyment. Similarly, bad views can be disguised and minimized with a variety of good design ideas. Remediation will also enhance your enjoyment of the space… and the view.

3. The Air

Cross-ventilation and the movement of air is very important. Heating and cooling affects your enjoyment of your home, and your budget. Houses that are more narrow and rectangular are easier to cool with fewer ‘dead spots’ of air. Whereas houses that are fatter and squarer are harder to cool with more ‘dead spots’ of air.

The air flow in your home is one of the important architectural tenets with which I can help you. Heating and cooling are one thing. However air extraction – say from a kitchen or bathroom – is important as is the flow of fresh air. Part of any interior design plan should include looking at these aspects.

4. The Light

As an interior designer, I will see how much natural light comes into a room, the arc of the sun and the lighting needs of the room. The positioning of the room in the house and on the block is also highly relevant.

There are three types of lighting – Ambient (sometimes called general lighting), Task and Accent – each of which has a different purpose. A study will require different lighting from a kitchen, a dining room or an open plan living room, for example. Ambient lighting is that used generally. Task lighting, as the name suggests, is for tasks such as reading, studying, cooking etc. And Ambient lighting is mood lighting so may include strip lighting, wall scones, and other soft lighting,

5. The Sound

Often forgotten, sound is an area that really does impact the livability of a home. Is the home next to a railway line? Are there timber floors that clatter and echo? Will children need to sleep while adults entertain friends? Will children playing need to be heard from another room? The acoustic properties of a home can be manipulated and remedied with acoustic panels, fabric, books, rugs, etc.

Plush Design Interiors

To truly live in a home that you love, an interior designer will consider these five architectural tenets before they begin to think about redecorating.

I’d Love To Help You Create A Dream Home

Whether you are building a new home or extensively renovating the home you have, Plush Design Interiors can help. From concept and design to demolition, renovation and handover, I’ll be with you every step of the way.

I work with a high-quality building company that will provide a detailed, fixed-price quote. Your new home or renovation could be closer than you think. Please feel free to contact me for a no-obligation chat. Please see what my clients say in their testimonials. I’d love to help you create a dream home.

Luxury Living Room Key Features

Luxury Living Room Key Features

A luxury living room will be different for every person. What makes something luxurious for one will not necessarily be shared by another.

So the idea of a luxury living room depends on the perception of the home lover. Additionally, the word ‘luxury’ may be different for each person. Depending on the style of home you want, your idea of luxury could be contemporary, rustic, traditional, futuristic – almost anything.

However, when it comes to designing your own luxury living room, there are key features that are shared by every elegant and luxurious room. Deliciously, you can incorporate these key features to create your own luxury room without the price tag.

Image courtesy of RLH Studio


The Window Treatments:

Bring a luxurious feel to your living space with heavier drapes that hang above the top of the window and to the floor. Even if the window does not reach the floor, ensure your drapes do. There is nothing more luxurious than stunning drapes that touch the floor.

Image courtesy of Applegate Tran Interiors


The Wall Art:

I always encourage my clients to choose wall art to which they are drawn. Pieces of art, including wall art, sculptures or installation art can add a very luxurious feel to a room when well-chosen. Don’t be concerned about buying a ‘name’ artist or whether the piece matches the cushions. Hang or install art and sculptures that you love. Simple.

Image courtesy of Ann Lowengart Interiors


The Rug:

Create a luxurious focal point in your living space by using a beautiful rug that is the right size and pattern for the space. Rugs anchor and delineate a space when used in front of a fireplace or under the sofa and coffee table. It’s very important to choose a rug that’s the right size. You won’t create a luxurious looking living space when the feature rug is too big or too small. It must be perfect.

Image courtesy of James Said


The Lighting:

Similar to a rug, dramatic lighting such as a chandelier will provide a luxurious focal point of your living space. Not all chandeliers are large and dripping in crystals. The style of your space must be considered. There are now many chandelier options including mid-century modern arm chandeliers that will create a stunning focal point.


The Vignette:

Styling centerpieces are now very much part of interior design. Whether you arrange items of varying height on a fireplace mantelpiece or on a tray for the coffee table, display vignettes suggests luxury and thought. Use candles, fresh or faux flowers, succulents, objects and books. Use your creativity and change seasonally.

Create vignettes or table decor by organising objects in a delineated space, such as on a tray or table runner. Mirror bottom trays reflect glass, crystal, flowers and other objects such as a silver animal. I have mirror bottom trays in living rooms, the guest bedroom, bathroom and in my dressing room. I use items specific to those rooms including beautiful room diffusers and highly scented essential oil Tilley soaps in the bathroom.


Another excellent item to add to vignettes, especially if you use flowers, is battery-powered candles. The new candles have a wick that moves simulating real fire-light. They come in a variety of sizes and my guests are always surprised that they are not real candles.

Plush Design Interiors


In creating your luxury living room decor, it’s important the the style reflects your tastes and lifestyle. For example, if you have small children running around then choose more child-friendly objects to display on coffee tables.


The final element in creating luxury living room decor is to not have too many social points. Don’t cram all the ideas listed above into one room. Pick a dynamic and single focal point – such as a rug or chandelier – and then par back on the other luxury inducing items.


As with all interior design advice, it’s YOUR home and your lifestyle so stay true to what you love and how you live your life.

The One Important Decor Trick Most People Miss

The One Important Decor Trick Most People Miss

There is one important decor trick most people neglect when it comes to interior design. How can one little imperative make all the decor difference? You’ll be surprised when I tell you…

We live in a country where people love their homes, and their gardens. For such a bunch people who love their indoor-outdoor living, it’s surprising that one important decor trick seems to get missed.

Many people who contact an interior designer, do so because they need expert advice and a stylish eye. Bringing on a professional designer will help make a home more functional, livable, modern and chic.

When I start working with clients, I look at the functionality of the space including the use of the room, the air flow, natural light, sound design and, importantly, the view.

Yes, this is the one important decor trick that most people neglect, miss or ignore completely!

The view! Whilst you may not have million-dollar views, you can create a better view within your own home. Consider your home – when you move around the rooms, what views do you see? Which rooms have the best views? Which rooms need help?

The view from your window is the one important decor trick most people miss. Because they usually don’t consider it unless it’s a big picture window.

modern white living room furniture in front of huge floor to ceiling window

Even in the glorious Adelaide Hills, where I live, not every home has views of rolling hills, leafy eucalypts and lush shrubbery. However, you can maximize the views or create a new one with some deft interior design advice.

It’s not all about big windows and sprawling bi-folds either. Perhaps you have small bedroom windows or windows with views on to something ugly… like the neighbour’s fence.

Here are five ways to embrace a single important decor trick you can use TODAY. These tips will help you to maximise good views and disguise bad ones.

Bring the Outdoors In

Keep connected with the outside environment by positioning furniture to take in outdoor views. Place a chair for reading near a window. Position a dining table, sofa or bed to see some kind of outside space.

Your home is not meant to be a solitary space even if you live alone. Favourably impact your mental well-being and sense of human contact by opening up the views you DO have.

two leather chairs positioned in front of lots of indoor plants

Hang trailing plants around the windows if you don’t have much outdoor space. For example, add a ledge above the window frame so plants can trail down beautifully.

Add colourful pots of succulents or other virtually indestructible indoor plants. Greenery and living plants inside will help keep you connected to nature… which is very healthy. Health and well-being in our homes is very much supported by this important decor trick

Expose As Much Glass As You Can

Enable curtains and blinds to be completely drawn back from the window frames.

rustic window seat in front of huge window

This means either no window treatments OR extending the curtain rods beyond the window frame so drapes can be pulled back from the window. Expose as much glass as possible when the curtains are open.

Crop and Frame

Think of your windows as the frame to an artwork. What can you see through the window? How can you maximize the view? For example, a window may capture trailing roses growing on an outdoor wall. However, cropping will eliminate the view of your neighbour’s ugly air-conditioning unit.

This is also why you should invest in quality outdoor furniture. If you don’t have a proper view, create a beautiful outdoor setting that will be seen from the windows. Add plants atop the table, candles and gorgeous seating cushions.

Paint It Charcoal

I am constantly recommending to my clients that they paint a garden shed, fence or back garden wall in a dark charcoal. Dulux ‘Domino’ is a fave of mine and works beautifully with Colourbond ‘Monument’.

Dark colours recede so dark charcoal is a perfect colour to blend with residential flora and trees. So if you have an ugly shed or fence when you look thorough a window, paint it dark charcoal.

Another popular trend, and important decor trick, is to paint windows in a dark charcoal. The dark colour works to blend the view and the window frame making the window less obvious when looking outside.

modern bedroom with charcoal painted window frames

In fact, I have just had the windows in my own home painted in ‘Domino’ both inside and out. They look amazing.

Avoid cream and green because they don’t blend as well as a dark colour. AND it makes the space seem bigger… and not in a good way!

Light It Up

Adding solar powered fairy lights to trees and shrubs means you still have a delightful view when it’s dark. The result is that night time is the optimum time to enjoy your views, even if you have create one yourself.

large garden tree lit up with thousands of fairy lights

An important decor trick is to take the focus away from un-slightly views to fairy lights and a gentle ambience.

Want More Expert Tips? Why not view more of the great advice offered by Plush Design Interiors in our Expert Design Tips section. Articles are added regularly and seek to provide you with information you can use immediately. Because when you love where you live, you want it to be better and better, right?

Plush Design Interiors is an Adelaide based interior design, outdoor living and home additions design company. We specialise in residential interior design, especially in the Adelaide Hills around Stirling, Crafers, Aldgate and surrounds.

Renovation Advice You Won’t Have Considered

Renovation Advice You Won’t Have Considered

Renovation advice is always best taken from people who have ACTUALLY renovated. As an interior designer, I help home lovers renovate all the time. So you can imagine I’ve learnt a few things along the way.

If you have read my earlier blog post on ‘Pre-Renovation Planning‘ you’ll know the important elements to consider when planning your renovation. So this renovation advice follows on from that post.

Once the pre-renovation basics are taken care of, you can plan the interior design. It is important to plan the interior design before you start renovating because it’s not all throw cushions and bed linens.

Why Take Renovation Advice From An Interior Designer?

Working with an interior designer isn’t just about choosing fabrics and positioning the sofa. Far from it, in fact.

At the time of planning to renovate, you’ll be dealing with Council approvals, contractors and suppliers. This is the ideal time to get an interior designer on board who can help you with floor plans, lighting, surfaces, flooring, colours and selections. These are all things you shouldn’t change once the re-building has begun.

sketch of a new kitchen with staircase

Select all the finishes, fixtures and materials before getting quotes. In this way, it will be easier for contractors to quote more accurately saving you money down the track. This is renovation advice you need to know.

Did you know that most interior designers can recommend builders and other tradies with whom they work regularly? Plush Design Interiors does not take kick-backs or commissions from the trades we use. Therefore, we can work with your tradies or recommend our own.

An interior designer will help you select everything you require to get accurate quotes from other trades. Further, they can also negotiate discounts from retailers or gain better wholesale pricing for you.

Look to Your Home’s Architecture for Clues

There is so much inspiration for interior design that some people become paralysed with indecision. Consider the style of your home and decide on a theme before you start.

modern spanish style bedroom with large oversize windows

Is there a stunning stone fireplace, fabulous wooden floors or surprising windows? Which architectural features can you enhance? Again, an interior designer will help to clarify the design direction for your home. Their renovation advice will give you a result that reflects YOU not them.

See some of the ‘Testimonials‘ for Plush Design Interiors to see what other people have said about this.

Consider Your Lifestyle

How you live your life is a very important part of interior design. If you have small children or a dog that runs amok you’ll probably want to reconsider those white linen sofas. Be honest about how you live your life so your home can be functional as well as stylish. Choose surfaces, fabrics and flooring that reflect your lifestyle.

Family spending time together at home. Father and Son looking at laptop

Plush Design Interiors LOVES The Textile and Design Company for super cool outdoor fabrics and knock-out sun umbrellas that are straight out of Hollywood. Divine!

Don’t be afraid to use outdoor fabrics and patio paint indoors if you need tougher solutions. Modern fabrics and paints can be tough but beautiful. Outdoor fabrics include soft and resilient velvets that are virtually child-proof and weather resistant.

In looking at the floor plan, locate power points wherever you think you’ll need a plug and away from water sources. A lighting plan prior to your build will be of great benefit to your electrician. So follow this renovation advice to save you money and heartache.

Choose the Right Lighting

Often overlooked when renovating, lighting is a very important aspect. How much natural light does your home enjoy? Should you install skylights? Lighting also influences the way walls and ceilings are finished because lights cast shadows or enhance areas.

3d rendering interior of a modern bathroom

Colours will look different under different lighting conditions – pendant lights versus wall scones, for example. Given you are renovating, get renovation advice on how to integrate lighting into the architecture.

Flexible track lighting is also increasingly popular. These moveable fittings have a come along way since ‘back in the day’ and are now beautifully designed as well as highly functional.

Remember the Landscaping

Make landscaping part of your plan. This will help with budgeting but may also relate to the colour and material choices you make.

outdoor contemporary garden seating in a townhouse courtyard

For example, when considering the flow between indoor and outdoor spaces. For a seamless look, choose the same or very similar flooring options that flow between spaces. This may become a landscape issue when creating entertaining spaces adjacent to the home.

Further, when it comes to choosing plants and shrubs, ensure nothing is planted that will block natural light from entering a room.

Home Renovation Preparation Advice

Home Renovation Preparation Advice

When you need home renovation preparation advice then ask a professional. It’s people like me who work in this area and we’ve probably seen everything. So when it comes to home renovation prep, here’s my two bobs worth.

It’s one of my favourite sentences… “We are renovating and need your help”. My eyes light up and a wave of excitement washes over me. Often, however, the person speaking those words is as confused and terrified as I am delighted.

Whilst most people want to live in a home they love, watching renovation shows can make things appear a lot more seamless than they are in reality. If you are planning for a renovation, or even some major redecorating, there are home renovation preparation items to consider BEFORE you even think about interior design.

View of a kitchen with blue cabinets from the viewpoint of the living space which has cream sofas

Home Renovation Preparation: Your First Priority

Before embarking on any renovation or major redecorating project, ensure the essentials are in great condition. Check your plumbing, electrical circuits and roofing. It is imperative to fix any issues, such as water leaks, rising damp or faulty old wiring, before you start. Fixing any issues now will save costly repairs in the future.

Have a Clear Vision

Your budget will blow out if you start making changes to the design after your renovation has commenced. Be very clear about the design before works begin. This is an important home renovation preparation tip.

Write a brief that clearly explains your vision, your budget, timeframes, what will remain IN the house and what needs to come OUT. Have a clear colour palette to use through your home for a cohesive look.

A detailed brief can be referred to later if you need to make a decision.

bedroom with ruby red wall and green bedding

Maximise the Positives

Always consider important elements of the home including natural light sources, air flow, views from windows, and noise control before you start making interior design decisions. The functionality of your home is the priority over gorgeous fabrics and divine furniture.

Fast-Track Approvals

Required approvals will be easier to achieve if you know the rules and can provide rationale for your design decisions. If necessary, tweak your design to fit the required rules.

All the best home renovation preparation in the world won’t help you if you can’t get Council approval. In some States and Territories, illegal renovations may inhibit you from selling your home.

white kitchen with marble centre island and black pendant lights

Tradie Access

Ensure your renovation plans include easy access for trades and delivery of big items. Can trades access the rear of your property from the outside? Can vehicles park on-site? What is required to ensure easy access and minimise the impact on your existing home… and your neighbours.

Renovating for Profit

If you are renovating to sell, research property sales in the area. Adjust your budget, and be strict with spending, so you do NOT over-capitalise, that you cover all costs and you make a profit. Include often forgotten fees such as skip hire, dump fees and a contingency of at least 15% of the total budget.

mid-century style beige sofa with autumn toned velvet cushions and yellow vase

Budget for Interior Design:

Self-serving? Well, no. Budgeting for interior design isn’t necessarily about hiring Adelaide’s best interior designer (although it could, haha). No, it’s more about YOU than me.

It’s important that you provide a budget for furniture, fabrics, lighting, art works and accessories. These are all part of the renovation process not an afterthought.