I just love the design process. By that I mean, I really enjoy bandying around concepts and ideas. Starting to manifest my thoughts and ideas is nothing short of magical in my book.

As much as I love the process, I also want it all done yesterday! I don’t want the hassle of the untidy building process, or the waiting, and oftentimes, more waiting for my interior to transform.

But let’s be honest – other than actually living in the new space – this is where the fun and satisfaction is. The creating and manifesting part. You may notice I use the word ‘manifest’ liberally, because as a designer, that in essence, is what we do, manifest our thoughts into tangible reality.

Ok, spiritual segue over. Let’s begin.

My first projects include our bedrooms (master, children’s x 2, plus guest). Our downstairs bathroom (which will eventually be the guest bath), and opening up the current living, dining and kitchen until we extend.

I will also be replacing some very old and very sad ceiling lights. These initial projects are not budget busting and will link naturally into the ground floor overhaul in Phase 2 (see previous post).

If you are phasing your renovations as we are, it’s all the more important to look at your whole scheme upfront. For example, I want my bathrooms and kitchen materials to be cohesive. So, while I may not choose the exact materials for my kitchen just yet, I will certainly consider the palette and finishes now and link them through to my bathrooms.

Choosing a more timeless scheme is key here, so nothing will date. Similarly, I may use less expensive paint (but just as wow) in our current master bedroom and save the scheme of my dreams with matching budget, for our final master ensuite.

Planning begins, for me with gathering ideas in the form of images. Pinterest and Instagram are my main sources of inspiration. And I generally read a handful of interior magazine titles while sitting with an iPad browsing new homeware designers and other inspiring interior designers I find in the mags (you can get so many ideas doing this!). I am loving the work of Nina Maya Interiors of late.

Next up, begin to manifest (told you I liked that word) – space and floor plan.

While at interior design school I worked on a floor plans from rough conceptual hand drawn plans through to the perfection that is Computer Aided Design (CAD). I really enjoy both, and I’m starting here with hand drawn plans for the guest bathroom.

I did several floorplans before I settled on this one. This bathroom has to accommodate young children now, as well as adults. A freestanding bath is always going to feature in my house, and also to have a separate shower, space permitting, is a must. I have reconfigured a hallway cupboard to accommodate a larger bathroom area.


​Next up is the mood-board creation. I never skip this part as it gives me a wonderful visual to study and get a feel for how the actual room will look from a texture and tone perspective.

From top left anti-clockwise: 1. ‘Stiring’ porcelain tile by Tile Cloud. 2. Bathroom mirror image from Nina Maya Interiors. 3. ‘Kado Arc’ freestanding bath by Reece. 4. Teranova marble floor and wall tile. 5. ‘Wellington’ gloss chevron riles by Tile Cloud. 7. Brass and glass light from ‘Line’ collection by Douglas and Bec. 8. “Issy’ American Oak vanity by Zuster for Reece. 9. Brass tap by Astra Walker

​At this stage I may tweak a few things on my mood- board. In this case, the next stage of ordering samples meant that my tile choices varied and only by handling the real samples was I able to make my choices clearer.

I ordered tile samples from Tile Cloud. Their website is so easy to navigate, and they have a nifty room visualiser that you can interchange different styles in. My samples arrived promptly, and their ordering process is as simple as it gets – they even offer storage options for when the job hasn’t commenced yet.

Image by Angela Wheeler

The beautifully presented box of Tile Cloud samples.