I love interior designer Shaynna Blaze – she’s warm and real. I first discovered her in Selling Houses Australia, whipping houses into shape on next to no money and was so happy to see her pop up as a judge on this season of The Block. The panel needed a woman and she’s been fab.
Shaynna’s interiors style is uncomplicated and quirky. She mixes old and new and keeps it real. We dropped in on a recent shoot and asked her the number one interiors question – how do I decorate with colour?
What is your most treasured piece in your home?
What’s the last item you bought for your home?
A big comfy couch.
Tell us about your current home renevation. What have you got planned?
I’ve gutted the kitchen, bathroom and laundry. I’ve been dying to do it for years!
The Colour Guide.
What colour trends are you noticing in Australian homes at the moment?
Tangerine. People are starting to bring tangerine into all the accessories. Not so much on their walls. Yellow is definitely coming in too. And in strong shades. For some reason people seem to be taking a leap with yellow. There was that honeysuckle pink (Pantone’s Colour of the Year in 2011) but I don’t think it really took off because it was a bit pastel-y and girly. Turquoise, which is one of my favourite colours, is remaining popular. It’s punchy. Grey is a great base colour at the moment. All the way from soft silky greys to deep charcoals. There’s so many different levels of grey that you can get.
What are your tips for choosing a colour theme for your home if you have more than one favourite?
If you have a fear of commitment, start of with the basics. Black or charcoal or whites for your basics, like the couch or rugs. Then introduce colour with a $20 cushion. Or a $5 vase. Get those touches of colour into your house and live with them to see how it makes you feel. Put them into view when you first walk in a room, and then two weeks later change it with another coloured piece. That way you can compare how you felt. This will build your confidence to grow and grow the colour.
How do you compromise when you live with someone else, like your husband, who may not have the same happy colour as you?
I have colours that make me feel great and my husband has colours that make him feel great. I have taken ownership of a room that I consider to be my happy place. My husband’s happy place is the bathroom. Because we have a fish pond in there! So I told him to put his happy colours in there to make it his own space. I have my pieces in the formal lounge room, and for the rest of the house we mix it. You don’t have to compromise throughout the whole house.
If you pick more than one colour for your home decor, how can you keep the look unified?
The flooring will always create a unity. You’ll also find the style of the house will inspire a complementary look. When you have rooms that are open to each other you have to make sure there’s a link of some description. If you’re looking into the next room identify the nook that’s closed off and make that the place where you feature a contrasting colour. For the areas that you can see from one room to the next, make sure they all tie in together. However I find people tend to have a style that they stick to that helps unify the whole look.
What colour features in your home?
Turquoise is the base of all my accessories. It used to be red for a while and then I changed it because I realised it wasn’t my happy colour. I would walk into a room that had the red and I’d absolutely love it, but I’d then walk into a room that had the turquoise and feel instantly happy. I haven’t gotten rid of the red, I’ve just worked it into the room in smaller elements, like the candle holders. I make sure I put the turquoise, like these beautiful hand-blown vases I have, in a spot so that when I walk in the room they’re the first thing I see.
DIY Colour Tips.
Do you think painting your wall is the most cost-effective way to bring colour into your home?
It can make an instant change. If you can get the preparation right one weekend and the next weekend you do the colour you’ve got a whole different room. I find one of the best things is if you’re going through a hard time and you choose a colour that makes you happy, it can elevate your mood. People should look at colours that can change the energy and the mood of a room.
The LifeStyled List.
Tea or Coffee?
Favourite Flower? Peonies.
Heels or Flats? Heels.
Style Crush? Audrey Hepburn.
Every home should have… a cleaner. I hate cleaning!
Favourite City? Melbourne, but if I had to move it would be Paris.
Can’t live without… my family.
Reading… ‘The Girl Who Played With Fire’ by Stieg Larsson.
Listening… Nea Davenport.
Watching… True Blood.
I need… a holiday!
I want… a holiday!
Photographer: Ellen Purtill