Renovation Advice from an Interior Designer with Blend Interiors

Perway Construction Services
November 11, 2021
- Hi everyone, and so many people renovating, or building their home struggle with interior design. Ideas and really how to achieve, a healthier and nicer living space. So I'm Louise from Perway Construction Services and today we've got the lovely Cara. From interior, and her business Blend Interiors. And we'd like to welcome Cara to our call today. So she's gonna help us with some information about interior designs. So, hi Cara?

- Hello. How are you?

- Good, thank you. Thanks very much for jumping on and assisting us with, giving some education to our followers. So just really, Cara, to start off our conversation today. Why would someone decide to hire an interior designer?

- Look, home renovation, it's such a personal project, there's a lot of money invested. Some clients sometimes conflicting ideas on what should be done. Really an interior designer is just there to give a professional opinion, and help navigate the whole job for you. So we're there to make your life simpler. So that you're not out on all your free time looking at products, spending time, I guess going through magazines, articles. All that stuff's important, but really we just try to take the headache out of the nitty gritty for you. So we double check the codes. We find the materials that's best gonna suit your lifestyle, and your budget. And we present those rather than presenting every possible thing that's available. So we really just kind of help eliminate the headache. I think, so...

- Condense all the decision-making.

- That's it, that's it, you know, there's so many decisions to be made during a renovation project. Especially, if you're talking big renovations. Like a full home extension or somewhere like your kitchen or bathroom, you know, that's what we're versed in. Like it's, it's knowing the best product for the lifestyle and budget and, and just presenting those specific things that are gonna suit you and your household.

- Cara. So what are the most important elements of interior design in the home?

- So the most important elements I think would be, finding a neutral color palette to start with. Because those kinds of colors, they're really gonna create a timeless design. Introducing some texture, in terms of the materials you choose as well. So by that, I mean, introducing different materials. So timber, stone, you know it could go into your furnishings as well. That's gonna create some depth and layer, and ambiance to your space. And then probably the other thing I'd consider, one of the most important elements would be your lighting. So it's always important to have natural lighting. But then also paying attention to lighting layers. So, you know, your overhead lights and adding, I suppose mood lighting to a room.

- Yeah. Okay, cool. That's sounds, that sounds really interesting. Do you know about any health benefits of that? You know, any of those, you know the lighting, or the natural effects or, the textures. That I've read somewhere before, that there is health benefits, is that correct? Or maybe that's a myth.

- Oh, there definitely is. I think more, you know, the use of natural materials, definitely. And when I design, I try to use, you know sustainable materials and, you know, as natural as possible. I find some of the, the regulations around materials, in terms of health, you just need to be aware. And it's a lot of research that can go into it. But in te... Find probably in a health aspect, is probably more in terms of mental health. So I think, you know, even if you're looking at purchasing a home, you're gonna be more likely to purchase a home that has great natural light through it, as opposed to a really dark interior. And there are houses that I've gone into that have had that dark interior. And the first thing they want to talk about is, okay, well, how do I make it lighter in here? And then find, coming up with a game plan is to Introduce more light into the space. So...

- All right, that's cool. All right, Thanks for that. What problems, Cara, would you find, that customers face when they usually approach you first of all?

- Well, with me, particularly I like to focus on the interior architecture of the space. So somebody would come to me, if they're having a problem with, their current floor plan or their layout. Whether they need to rearrange the space, it's not working for them. If they, you know, if they want a bigger bathroom, you know, structural walls that kind of thing. We can help advise on that kind of stuff, to at least get the project started, I suppose. And maybe come up... We offer a drafting service as well, so we can do floor plans. So being able to go and have a look at the initial site, but then coming back to put it into, you know a 2D plan to be able to walk a client through. That's I think what they like. So, yeah, so I'd say probably, most of our residential clients. Is they've got a space, that's functionally not working for them.

- Okay. And that probably leads into my next question. Then, what qualities do you think then, a good interior designer should have

- First and foremost, you need to feel, comfortable with whoever you're interviewing. Because communication and trust, is probably the utmost importance. You know, a lot of the times with residential projects, we need to know you on a personal level. So, that's getting to know you. Getting to know your household. What each of you wants from the space, or how you view the space. And then working to kind of come up with a plan that's gonna make everybody happy. And sometimes with these renovation projects, they can go on for months. You've worked quite closely together, and, you know, you need to be comfortable with your interior designer to be able to. To get that kind of feedback and say, this isn't really what we were looking at. Can we, you know, can you come up with something else for us? Yeah. So you need to have that level of comfort to be able to speak with somebody and be and be honest with them. So...

- Yeah, building that, Build a team work. And a nice relationship with them. It's very important then.

- That's it. Yeah. And it's important you do it. And even from our end, like I develop relationships, and friendships with, you know the people that I work with, especially when they've gone on for over six months. So, you know, you get excited when they get excited. And you know, you usually know that the kids are returning to school on Monday type thing.

- So...

- It's, it can be really nice. So you wanna make sure that you're comfortable.

- Very good point. And, Cara, some people don't opt to have an interior designer. So perhaps they have budget constraints, or maybe just have their own great ideas. So is there any tips that you could give someone that may not go down the interior designer route?

- I've actually, like on my website, I've done a blog about this recently. So whether or not I start your project or whether or not you go ahead at it alone, you know. The biggest thing you can do, and the best thing you can do is, it takes planning. You can't just, don't just see something on the block and go, ooh, I liked the look of that. And think that you can pull it off in your house. It might not, even though it looks nice, it might not resonate with your lifestyle or your budget. So by all means, find pictures of rooms you like. On the internet, socials, Pinterest, any of, you know the websites, magazines, anything like that. Start putting it away into a box. And then when you've got time, really go through those pictures and, you know kind of pick apart what you really like about that picture. If I sit down with someone this is something, I would do with them. To get you thinking about what it is, that you actually really like about that photo. Or that interior, and then be able to build on it from there. So if you've got a generalized roadmap, of how you want your space to look. That's always a great starting point. Because it gives you some kind of direction.

- [Louise] Yeah.

- Probably the other thing I would recommend. Like when it comes to building, is, don't always go with the lowest cost. Make sure you're comparing apples to apples.

- I think that, I suppose that's all of the questions that, you know, I had ready for today. Is there anything else, Cara that you wanted to give before we finished off?

- Interior designers aren't scary. I think, you know, in movies and stuff like that, you know we've been portrayed as you know, that we're only for you know, people that live in the golden triangle. Or, you know, interior design services are unaffordable. And that's, that's not really the case. That's not how I run my business. I know that's not how my peers run their businesses. You know, at the end of the day, we just want to help create a beautiful space. That's gonna function and that's going to suit you and your family. Like everybody should live in a beautiful home. And, you know, we can, we can help, with those kinds of things, you know, while keeping your budget in mind. So...

- That's sounds, that sounds fantastic. Well, thanks so much Cara, for today. And so can you just let us know where we might find, your website, what's your website? And how we might contact you if anybody wanted to, you know, avail of your services.

- Yeah. Yeah. Thank you. So I'm on, you can get me on the socials on Blend Interiors - Perth. I've also got my website that has my portfolio, and that's at

- Fantastic. I'll pop it in the post as well, so people can access that quickly. Well thank you so much for your time today, Cara. It was great to chat with you. And I hope that gave some value to people that might be considering, using an interior designer or, if you want to do it alone. And there's some tips and tricks there. All right. Thanks everybody.