What are your top five tips for choosing colours for fixed items in a new build?
Firstly, work from the floor up, select a neutral colour or white, make selections based on design and function before trends, make design choices based on your architectural style and be consistent with colour.
Working with your floor colour is important in creating a timeless and cohesive flow from floor to tiles, cabinetry, paint colours and window treatments.
A neutral colour that blends with your floor is the best choice for selections to stand the test of time. White is a popular choice which allows for flexibility with accent colours, however, with so many whites available, thought should be given to whether it should be a warm or cool white.
Your architectural style will indicate the style of your flooring, tiles, cabinetry, lighting, window treatments, furnishings and accessories such as artwork.
Colour consistency is important from inside to outside and from room to room. A neutral is a great canvas for a home and the accent colours can add a new interest to each room.
What are the most common mistakes people make with the layout/design of their new home?
Understanding the size of your home and how you will live in your spaces is required to avoid making common mistakes with furniture not fitting, lighting and power sources placed incorrectly and doors colliding or blocking passages.
If your plan is difficult to visualise at 1:100, enlarge your floor plan to 1:50 and place your furniture to the same scale within your rooms. This can help you visualise your family moving through the home and using each function of the home, enabling you to identify your needs for lighting, power, furniture, accessories and features and the clearances required.
What are the biggest mistakes people make when finishing their home?
The biggest mistakes made with selections for a new home build or renovation would have to be inconsistency. It is imperative that a design concept be created before selections are made. A clear direction in design and colour avoids any confusion with the details that help to achieve the big picture.
How can an interior designer help people create their dream home?
As an interior designer, my role is to listen to lifestyle needs and style preferences and create a consistent style with colours that blend when they should blend and pop when they should pop. With my knowledge of design principles and ability to source products that are both functional and stylish, a homeowner has my support throughout the project to confirm they are maintaining consistency in the big picture while they are focusing on a small detail.
What areas of a new home should people splurge on? What areas should they save on?
I recommend for first new home builders to save on the flooring, windows treatments and benchtop surfaces by choosing affordable products and use energy-efficient CFL lighting internally. Externally, finish your landscaping using reticulation and young plants. Save on paving and create defined garden beds to reduce maintenance.