Interior designer & Author
Shaynna Blaze is a woman of many talents. She’s a stylist, an interior designer, an author, a blogger, a brand ambassador, an artist, a teacher, a commercial artist and a jazz singer – but she’s best known as TV Presenter and Judge from the Channel Nine series ‘The Block’. An award winning qualified interior designer, Shaynna has created stunning interiors in residential and commercial spaces for over twenty years. She is passionate about creating interiors that not only look amazing but bring energy and happiness into the lives of those that live, work and interact in the space. Her tenure as an interior designer has made Shaynna a household name as well as the Brand Ambassador for Taubmans Paints.
My starting point
Where do you start with interior design projects, particularly if it’s updating an existing home?
Starting with a blank canvas can be quite daunting. So my advice is rather than looking at art or a signature piece, look at the style you want to work with, and whether there are any architectural features in the room to use as a starting point or that you want to hide. Then consider the colours that you want to use in the room, for instance, do you want it to have an energy to it, or a place that is calming? Then your colours will follow.
Where do you get your inspiration from when it comes to interior design?
It sounds clichéd, but your lifestyle and the environment around you is the perfect way to first be drawn into things you love, and then focus on the intricacies of the details.
Feature walls seem to divide people’s opinion – where do you sit in this debate?
If a wall with a bold colour ‘smacks you in the face’ it becomes confronting, rather than a feature. I love using strong colours as part of the room rather than one single feature, you can do that by connecting two walls to extend the length of the space. If you are after dramatic impact go all the way and use the colour on all walls.
What do you tell people who would love to have more colour in their homes but are too scared to take a risk?
Start with one room and pick three colours you love – use one as the base colour and then slowly add the other two colours over a couple of weeks. If you are loving the look and feeling braver then you can start filtering this to the rest of the house.
What’s your favourite decorating trend for 2017?
The ‘not a trend’ idea!
‘Seasonal colour’ and ‘colour of the year’ are becoming more and more popular – how do you ensure the interior doesn’t date too quickly?
Keeping up with trends is about taking inspiration from yourself and not changing your whole house for a trend. First, look at the base in your furniture and consider the colours that you love and then see which of the latest season trends will slip into your decor. The best way to incorporate a trend is to paint a couple of walls in the house as this is the easiest and most inexpensive way to keep up to date.
What tools/resources do you recommend to people who are unsure of where to start their decorating journey?
Use Taubmans Sample Pots to trial colours on a white A4 card so it can be moved around to test the colour first, before taking the plunge and painting entire spaces; colours will change with different lighting and reflection and so each colour looks different in every house. Testing your paint colour with sample pots allows you to see the colour at different times of the day and see how it looks in your surroundings. This way you can test a couple of colours at one time to work out your best palette.
Paint can be a bit of a chameleon, and even the most seasoned designer or decorator (including myself) cannot be 100% sure of the performance of a colour. Don’t get me wrong – a colour won’t change dramatically from a blue to a red, but the subtleties of a colour will change in a room. For example, a blue might take on a greener tone depending on its surroundings, or what you thought was a very bright white might have a slight yellow to it in your house due to the timbers in the room or the direction it is facing.
A word from Taubmans about Design it Youself:
“We are a nation obsessed with painting and Taubmans loves tools like Design It Yourself that help people make the right colour choice. The team at Taubmans is always looking for ways to make painting and colour choice more fun, especially digital tools that make life easier for their customers, so Design It Yourself is right on trend,” says Taubmans Brand Manager Fiona King.