The Design Studio

Since the beginning of 2022, some of you may have been following along closely enough to have noticed we are building a design studio in the backyard. By ‘we’ I mean my husband has been embarking on an epic mission to fulfil my design visions single handedly – (#notbadforanenglishteacher).

It’s definitely a bigger undertaking than it looks, building something from nothing, from the ground up. My husband is an English teacher, not a professional builder, plasterer, electrician and everything in between, so he’s doing a fantastic job of building on his existing skills by learning from YouTube tutorials and watching/researching and planning. Everything has been meticulously considered We’ve had some assistance along the way, with my father-in-law coming around most weekends, but ultimately we have just been working together. While he is busy building, I’ve been on Pinterest and deciding what functionality my office will actually need, the spacial planning and the colour scheme.

The design studio is a dedicated space for me to host workshops, to see clients, to create flatlays, conduct all of my virtual consults, mentor sessions or appointments.Most importantly, it’s a place without my children. Like most small business owners with small kids, I lose so much of my day washing and cleaning and getting my house in order before I can actually commence work.

Now I will have somewhere I can easily close the door after a day of designing, creating and feeling inspired, and take comfort in the knowledge, that it will remain clean and ready for the next day. Life changing is an understatement.

Hours went into the planning and deciding what key pieces I need to make the space functional for my business. There is a seating nook with a custom built bench seat with storage for a sample library underneath, and a round table that was a huge challenge to find given that most tables at the right standard height are 120 cm diameter, and that’s half the room. It took me three months of facebook marketplace stalking, and it will need upcyling, but I found one!

I’m purposely trying to limit the furniture to maximise the space. I’ve selected an antique miners lounge going along the back wall and I have specifically chosen that because antique furniture is often smaller. I have sourced a mattress topper and some cushions to modernise it and cover up the current vibrant fabric, and bring in a more clean coastal look.

I am putting extremely large mood boards up on the wall as well as a pegboard with samples, all curated to keep me inspired in the space as I work. It’s also functional because whatever clients I’m working with at the time can be up on those large mood boards.

We have some really exciting collaborations and things going on right now, so keep your eyes on the stories or highlights in my Instagram. If you have any ideas you’d like to share with me or think of something you would have in your design studio that I don’t have in mine, please DM me or email me anytime!

I will share the big reveal with you as quickly as I can and we are sharing our processes along the way; however, life dictates one of us always has to be supervising the kids, etc., so it’s not as easy as it looks!

As far as the facade design selection goes, there were even more challenges. I needed to find a product to use on the exterior that would bring a modern aesthetic to a new building on the existing property. I wanted the design studio to not feel quite as modern country as the main house. Even though my home has a vintage twist, the studio is a standalone building and reflects my brand which is not about my personal style! I wanted the neighbours to enjoy looking at it as they get a direct view and eventually I decided on the James Hardie fine texture cladding, which I have used with clients and specified on a few jobs and those came out really successfully. I ordered some samples, and as soon as I saw the texture I was sold!

There are some obvious added benefits, such as it being bushfire resilient (important for this area) and it’s just the perfect organic texture and everyone knows I’m all about that texture. I love to touch the cladding on the daily. I wanted to be able to paint the exterior a colour that’s reflective of being surrounded by nature so I’m looking at something warm and earthy. I can’t wait to share it all with you soon.