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A Window Into Interior Design with Shaynna Blaze

March 10, 2016
A Window Into Interior Design with Shaynna Blaze

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Shaynna Blaze presented a seminar on 'A Window Into Interior Design' at Hawthorn Town Hall on February 23rd 2016. The one-hour seminar saw Shaynna share her best tips on all things renovating, decorating and how to ‘claim your space’.

Award-winning interior designer, television presenter and author, Shaynna brings two decades of diverse and impressive experience to her work. From her television roles, on Selling Houses Australia and The Block, to her books: Design Your Home and Design With Colour & Style, and regular newspaper and magazine columns, Shaynna is one of Australia's best loved design luminaries.

Investing in your home, be it a full renovation on your first home or decorating your rental, is full of big decisions. Creating your own private oasis stamped with your particular style requires some thinking. Which colours do I use to create the effect I am after? How do I display my treasures to their best advantage that compliments my home? Whether you are buying, selling or renting, we all want to make our home the best it can be. In recognition that investment in the home is an obstacle course of decisions, the seminar answered questions on major choices through to the finer details. Not only for homeowners, Shaynna’s practical tips are bound to lend a helping hand to buyers, sellers and renters alike.


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Shaynna says that home is about your soul. You need to engage the space and you need to capture people's hearts, whether it be for yourself or for future home owners.

"Design is so simple, that's why it is so complicated" quote by Paul Rand that Shaynna resonates with. Shaynna says that simplicity is the key to get the best out of your home. Good interiors take time.

The first question you need to ask yourself is are your decorating or renovating your property for yourself or are you completing this project for resale? If this is a short term, less than 3 years project, then this renovation is for resale. If it is for long term, more than 5 years, then this project is for yourself and an investment in your home.

It can be very overwhelming to start a renovation or decorating project. Shaynna recommends wiping the slate clean and keeping it simple. Reflect on what you really love and want from a renovation. This is achievable by creating structure and organisation to create a great space.

What makes a great interior as advised by Shaynna:


Architecture in your building is the beginning of your design. These are the main features that are set in stone unless you completely gut them. Therefore work with what you've got and utilise gorgeous skirting boards, architraves, etc. into your design. You can also use gorgeous architectural pieces, such as a fireplace, as a focal point for the room. This will center the room and then you can style your space around this central point.


Colour is an important aspect for any room. You need to look at the main colour palette as this will be the main presence in any room. It will set the tone for a moody library living room or a light and bright kitchen. You can go bold with your paint or you can be minimalist and instead bring colour into your space with accessories.

"Colour: a complex woman. She can manipulate a space, create a mood, divert a mood, frustrate you, make you joyous, or soothe you when you need it most."


Keeping the right balance in a room can be tricky. Try to keep it simple and don't incorporate too many objects into a space, as it will then become overcrowded and busy. Keep the balance simple and in return your room will feel calm.


The shapes of your furniture will define the essence of your space as well. Your style can get stuck in one style, i.e. Hamptons and then suddenly all your furniture is a casual elegance beachy vibe. Try blending elements from each style to create a harmonious blend of pieces.

“Style influences colour. Colour influences style. Style influences lifestyle. Lifestyle influences colour. Lifestyle influences style.”

Aspects you need to consider for a renovation:


How do you live: casually/formally? Do you need space for kids? Do you prefer open plan living so you can spend time with the whole family and know where everyone is? Or do you prefer closed off areas, so everyone can have a bit of quiet time? Do you need a space for keys or a room for muddy boots? Do you have pets? Note down these aspects of your life and then this can be incorporated into your requirements when renovating and thus making your interiors, and life, simpler.


Stuck for ideas for your decorating/renovating project? Shaynna recommends searching anywhere and everywhere! Stylist and renovators used to go to hotels to get ideas and the luxury hotel experience. In recent years, there has been a push towards hotels becoming more 'homey'. Shaynna recommends trying new restaurants, cafes, go travelling - locally or overseas. Even events have become something even more imaginative and jubilant than ever before. Any source of inspiration is a good thing. Remember to ask yourself why you like it and can you see the longevity in it for your home. Shaynna also pointed out that trends are constantly changing. The current trends are lasting 6 months whereas they used to last 10 years. This fluidity in the trend world’s means your home can look outdated very quickly. To combat this, try not to change a whole room to a current trend. Instead utilise small items, such as art, cushions and pendant lights and incorporate these into the bigger picture of the space.

“Your personal style will be a pinch of your past, a lot of your present and ever evolving into the future”


Budget depends on how much you have to spend, how much you want to do and who you are renovating for. Consider all these aspects and then market your house for that. If you are selling for a profit, then only do a little so you get a maximum profit with a minimum spend. If you are renovating for yourself, then invest in pieces that you will have a good return on investment. I.e. those hardwood floors you've always dreamed of. But sometimes you will have to compromise. Maybe you only have the budget to update the kitchen at this moment in time or just the flooring throughout your house. It is better to spend more money completely renovating one area than to try and spread your budget for a full renovation, as you may have to compromise certain aspects of your build and you might not be happy at the end.


For your renovation: you need to plan, and then plan and then plan some more just in case. Renovating is a constant battle of unexpected hurdles that you need to jump through. Always have a 20% contingency plan for any unplanned discoveries.

The main things that Shaynna expresses is that you need to tell your story. Your interiors should reflect your lifestyle, history, taste if the interiors are for you. For selling, interiors should be about the buyer. Tell your story and someone else will want it.

"Live for yourself and not for someone else" Shaynna's motto

Feeling inspired by Shaynna's advice? Shop now