From beachside singles and inner city couples, through to suburban families and empty-nesters, creating a home you love shouldn’t be hard – no matter what your budget.
If you need a home revamp but don’t know where to start, hiring an interior stylist could be your answer. Interiors Stylist Lauren Keenan from Find it. Style it. is a master of colour, space, style and creativity – and knows just what’s required to create a stunning space that is as functional as it is stylish. Here, Lauren takes us through five of her client projects and tells us how she transformed these spaces from drab to dreamy.
“All parents deserve to have a gorgeous master bedroom,” says Lauren. “No matter how big or small the budget! Confine toys and sticky fingers to other areas of the home and treat yo’self to a little luxury with beautiful materials and dream-worthy colour palette.”
The brief: “My clients, a married couple in their 30s, really wanted their large master bedroom to feel like an adults-only escape. With two small children to raise, they needed a space to call their own and they wanted it to feel comfortable but luxurious.”
The colour palette: “I kept much of the colour palette from the downstairs area of this southern Sydney home – navy, pale pink and grey – to provide some consistency with the Scandi style design of the rest of the house.
“I also added in crisp white bedding and soft oatmeal tones in the bedhead and footstool to soften the look, and create that boutique hotel vibe the clients were after.”
Related: How To Create A Boho Vibe
The Great Entertainer
So you love entertaining… but what happens when dinner’s finished and you and your pals are ready to move to onto the living room? “What you really need is an abundance of comfy seating and somewhere stable to put your wine glass!” laughs Lauren. “Oh and of course, some colour, mood lighting and greenery won’t hurt either.”
The brief: “The brief for this project in Sydney’s south went something like this, ‘Please, pretty please, help us make these exposed bricks look good.’
“These clients had adult children and a growing extended family so not only did the interior have to work well with those pesky bricks, it also had to be highly functional to cater for impromptu family get-togethers.”
The colour palette: “There were two options for dealing with the intense warm tones created by the bricks. We could have gone really neutral and textural. You know, lots of soft beiges, milky whites and knits. It would have looked very pretty indeed.
“But then I looked out those living room windows and saw a glistening blue pool – light bulb moment – and I thought a far more fun solution would be to cool down the warmth of the space with vibrant blues, greens, greys and blonde timber.
“Blue and orange are opposite each other on the colour wheel, and for some reason this makes them great friends. It sounds like it shouldn’t work, but it does. The result is a casual, contemporary space where the clients can entertain with their family and friends.”
Related: Flamingo Home Interiors
So you’ve decided to move in together. Congrats. Now comes the merging of the styles! “It’s a design dilemma many couples try to fumble their way through but the solution is actually quite simple,” explains Lauren. “It’s all about balance – dark with light, hard with soft, masculine with feminine – and sometimes it just takes a few new pieces to bring it all together.”
The brief: “The couple who own this inner city pad in Sydney felt their living room needed a pick-me-up. It was a new building so their home really made for a great blank canvas but they couldn’t agree on what was needed and didn’t have the time to put it all together.
“The dark grey sofa was a fairly new purchase and it was definitely staying. With black doors and window frames, the room already had a fairly masculine look and needed some softening through accessories.
Colour palette: “I took my inspiration from Pantone’s colours of the year for 2016, Rose Quartz and Serenity – calming shades of soft pink and icy blue.
“I sourced new cushions and accessories to give this living room back its balance. Soft pinks and blues contrast well against the grey of the sofa and a variety of textures provide added interest and comfort, creating a snuggle-worthy sofa.
“A lacquered grey and oak side table with rose gold and concrete accessories were the finishing touches and appealed to both parties in this relationship.”
Living alone? Lucky you! “You can create a home that’s truly ‘you’,” says Lauren. “And the kitchen is still the heart of the home. Just because you’re cooking for one, doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice form or function.”
The brief: “My client wanted a space that felt light and bright and that was contemporary but complemented the home’s period features. And of course it had to improve the functionality of the old kitchen which was a small u-shaped space with limited bench space and no connectivity to the rest of the apartment.
“The home was situated in Sydney’s Eastern Beaches and the client really wanted to convey a modern coastal feeling in this space.”
The colour palette: “Choosing the right finishes was essential to the success of this kitchen. The hexagonal white tiled splashback is the hero piece in the room and the shape really pops through the use of grey grout work. A soft, speckled grey stone benchtop provides depth and white satin-finish cabinetry gives a streamlined look.
“This neutral palette is simple, but I chose a beautiful rosewood dining table that ties the kitchen to the rest of the home and adds more functionality. I kept the styling simple in this kitchen. Touches of aqua blue give a true beachside feeling while greenery and copper accessories soften the hard surfaces and keep things fresh.”
“Styling smaller spaces can be tricky business,” says Lauren. “If the furniture is too small it will take on a ‘doll’s house’ look. Too big and you’ll find yourself turning sideways to navigate around the space. In this look we’ve achieved the perfect size and scale for the space.”
The brief: “My client had a busy life and she wanted this space, the only living area in the apartment, to be equally well-suited to relaxation and entertaining. The apartment is located in Bondi within an old Art Deco building, so it was important to her that the living room reflected the seaside location and also made the most of the original features.”
The colour palette: “Luckily, this room has amazing high ceilings and an abundance of warm, natural light. We kept things nice and bright with Dulux Lexicon (quarter strength) for the walls, a versatile white with a very slight grey tone.
“The key pieces were all kept neutral – a low-line sofa in stone grey, a beige linen occasional chair and a textured rug. With the basics in place, we then had some real fun with colour!
“A specially commissioned Kristen Jackson artwork delivers the dose of colour the client requested. Similar colours are picked up in the cushions, with an eclectic mix of patterns and textures to create a layered, lived-in feeling.”
ABOUT: Lauren Keenan is an Interiors Stylist and the founder of Find it. Style it. She’s also the host of Australia’s first podcast dedicated to interior design and decoration – The Find it. Style it. Podcast. Follow her on socials @finditstyleit. All photos by Scott Keenan