If you’d love your home to look like it was straight out of an interior design magazine page, then keep reading. As a working mom, you’re probably thinking, yeah, right? Like that will ever happen. But turning the clutter and chaos you call home into a space you can’t wait to get home to might just be easier than you think with a bit of expert help. So, let’s talk interior design. Hands up if you are clueless when it comes to interior design or styling your home. And that is me, even though you want it to look like a style home 24 7, which if you’ve got kids, you know, is impossible, right? One of my goals actually, is to own a Hampton’s home on the beach with a chef and personal trainer…
But let’s move on and talk about my guest Katrina DeVere, an interior designer based on the Sunshine Coast. I met Katrina at a business retreat recently, and she absolutely loves property and has been a savvy investor over the years. Her business is called DeVere Design Co, and it’s a full-service interior design decorating studio, servicing mainly high-end clients. As someone who has limited home styling flare, I literally chewed her ear off for free advice on how to spruce up my home. And I thought, well, maybe a few of you might like to hear a few of her pointers as well. I absolutely love our conversation. she shares not only styling advice for busy moms, but also some great tips for renovating tired investment properties that won’t break the bank, and a bonus share on how she uses manifesting to build the life she loves.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN INTERIOR DESIGN?
‘I do full scale interior design service. So that’s everything from doing detailed plans for full high-end renovations and commercial spaces right through to furniture selections as well. Also picking all the pretty stuff in between.’
INTERIOR DESIGN TIPS FOR WORKING MUMS
‘Well, I think decluttering, even though it’s not an interior design, you know, act, it’s actually something that makes the space that we live in feel so much more enjoyable, and it actually improves our mood as well. So, I think of the home that we live in is the outward reflection of our inner soul, so to speak. So, you want that to project that in your surrounds. So clutter free, you know, cluttered house, cluttered mind, uncluttered house, uncluttered mind for starters. And then things like, you know, personalizing bedroom spaces. You don’t have to spend a fortune to make things feel beautiful. Know places like Pillow Talk and Kmart and Big W actually have some really nice pieces that are fairly inexpensive. So, look at picking a color that you like or a pattern that you like, and then pairing all your pieces back to a main focal piece. If you start with a piece of art, picking colors up in those pieces to put on the bed, keeping your bed covers quite plain, not too heavily patterned. And actually, jumping online and looking up how to make beds as well. So, if you can learn how to make a bed look and feel luscious and comfortable, that’s going to improve how you feel in your surrounds instantly.’ Or in just in our own homes? How can we sort of, Yeah, where would, where do you start? Break down the process for me?
OVERHAULING YOUR OWN HOME
‘You would start with a mood boarding of the space that you want to do work on. So, you can use programs like Canva or even basic PowerPoint, you know, to create a mood board. And you start with the collection of images that you may have collected on Pinterest. They’ll always have a common thread. You’re picking pictures that actually make you feel a certain way. And so it’s that emotional response that draws you to that image. And then you’re just looking for common threads through those pictures. So it could be particular colors, it could be a particular style. Trying to pinpoint what that is and then working from that pinpoint in selecting products. So, like I said, starting with things like, you know, cushions or bed linen is quite easy. Also, rugs, little décor pieces in varying shapes and sizes grouped together. We call that vignette. So, creating little groups of three beside the bed and changing in height, texture, and tone. We always like places that are light filled, so when we are looking at curtains and things, picking things that allow the light to come through that don’t block everything out during the daytime is quite important.’
HOW TO DECLUTTER YOUR HOME AND YOUR MIND
‘Well, I live fairly clutter free, like for me, I love, uh, my surroundings just to be this, you know, blissful space. The rest of my family doesn’t live that way, of course, but yes, you absolutely need to declutter. Ask yourself are you using it regularly? That’s incredibly important when decluttering, you know, what’s the reason for hanging onto something? Is it, is it because you’re using it regularly or you have an emotional attachment to it? If you have an emotional attachment and it’s not something that you’re using on a regular basis, then that’s something that you should probably pop into some sort of storage, you know, box hidden away in a cupboard or something. So, you know, less is more in your surrounds. You don’t have to fill a space with an excess amount of things for it to feel nice. If you have less pieces in your home that you just focus on, you know, displaying nicely, you’ll actually achieve a, a less cluttered home.’
BUDGET RENOVATION TIPS FOR LANDLORDS
‘I guess, the obvious one is always paint. Paint will transform the way spaces feels. I guess a lot of the time it’s not something they can do themselves, but if you can do it yourself, you are looking down the barrel of, you know, a handful of hundreds of dollars versus thousands of dollars. We can look at things like freshening up bathrooms, even a really good deep clean in an old space can actually change the way it feels if you get really tired tiles re grouted, or having those things professionally cleaned can enhance the way the space feels over many years. Tiles will get a very thick layer of dirt sitting on top of them, so they dull and it’s not so nice looking. So cleaning is one thing. You can actually paint tiles. So, you can refresh a bathroom space by repainting tiles. When we look at spaces like kitchens, again, cleaning of grout, you could replace splash back tiles to freshen up a kitchen and you can actually paint kitchen cabinetry and benches as well. So, if you do have a little bit of the DIY side in you, there’s plenty of things that you can do to achieve a fresh feeling in an investment property quite simply and effectively.’
‘There are so many things you can do. We’ve personally have done it in an investment property that we had. We actually took all of the kitchen doors and draw fronts out and we sanded them and primed them and painted them. We also repainted all the cabinetry doors, put new handles on and then just replaced the bench tops of them with very inexpensive laminate style bench top. You can get laminate bench tops with a nice square edge these days. It just gives it that really fresh feel. It was quite inexpensive. I think the, the paint to paint the cabinetry was maybe $300. So, I mean, you can freshness space up fairly quickly and inexpensively just with a little bit of your own time and these things.’
TOP THREE INTERIOR DESIGN TIPS
‘My top three interior styling tips would be picking a color scheme or a theme to stick to. Like I’ve said, less is more, and you can shop budget, and just spend some time practicing styling, like styling is the be all end all for how a space feels. I could walk into your home, and you’ve got plenty of nice pieces, but if they’re not arranged in a particular way, they’re not going to give the same kind of feeling if they’re a bit scattered all over the place. So, we do like to cluster things together, creating little clusters of pieces is a really good tip. Clutter free and fresh, and I actually am a big fan of a fuss free bed. And so, staying away from patterns and bold colors, I think people can be drawn to bold colors quite easily, but they don’t, really do in your home what you think they might do when you see them in the shop. So, sticking to a plain color on a bed and then adding in accent cushions is a really good way to achieve a designer look, and throw rugs as well on beds is a good thing.’
‘Adding cushions to furniture, you know, creates that luxurious sort of softness. We prefer feather filled cushions as opposed to sort of the, the polyfill cushions. So, they’re very stiff and structured, whereas if feather filled give that softness to a space and they have that luxurious feel, they can fluff them up and do the little chop in the middle and that kind thing. I like heights, we work with heights a lot, so, you know, tall, medium, small, if everything’s the same size as each other, it doesn’t look right. So taller, maybe a little bit rounder, you know, down a little next level and a little bit slimmer again. And then, you know, shorter and slimmer again. So, we are grouping things, we’re looking at a difference of heights as well.’
MANIFESTING FOR BEGINNERS
‘I love manifesting, that’s my, my go-to for everything. So, I really actually just a real big fan of taking time for yourself to be with yourself, and preferably outside and actually really dropping into what you’re feeling and what you’re wanting in life and in business and really leaning into that with your thoughts and your speech. I think, you know, what we say outwardly is what we get back in return. So, I think being really, really conscious of the words that exit your lips ensuring that they’re not negative, that they’re not kind of a precursor for you to have a negative lifestyle basically. So, speaking about what you want quite confidently and quite happily, without any fear of being judged for that is important. Manifesting is focus, a hundred percent. Just believing with everything that you are that is going come to fruition for you, if you start questioning it, then you are, you’re inviting in, you know, doubt and you’re offering the opportunity for it not to come through. So just a hundred percent conviction that that is coming your way or that you’re working towards that. I mean, like obviously you can manifest winning the lotto, but it’s not something you can take steps towards achieving without, you know, buying a ticket every week. So, it has to be something that you can take steps towards achieving, but just having a hundred percent conviction, believing that that is something that is happening for you. It has happened for me quite a few times. It actually happens around property a lot.
I’m a huge fan of property. I love buying and selling property. We were looking for an investment property once and couldn’t find anything. I drove past this house and I said, I need that house there to come on the market next week. That house came on the market and we bought that house. So it was just a hundred percent conviction, right? That’s the one that needs to come up for sale, and that’s what happened. So, you know, you’ve really got to get in the zone and work out what it is you want and have a hundred percent conviction that that’s coming your way.’
There’s no reason any of us can’t create a home and spaces that give us joy, peace and happiness … now if you’ll excuse me I’m off to declutter!!!