Vision and Planning
Before you grab the sledgehammer, take some time to envision how you want your finished space to look. Consider your goals, such as increasing functionality, enhancing aesthetics, or adding value. Create a mood board or a folder of inspirational images to help define your design preferences. If you’re feeling stuck on where to look, The Society inc. Pinterest holds an abundance of inspiration, take a look at a few of our top boards here & see what catches your eye
Create a flat lay (or a colour box!)
Displaying and experimenting with physical objects can really help to inform the direction of your project. Getting a feel for textures, shapes and how certain colours and finishes sit in different lights can help to narrow down the many ideas that you’re sure to have.
If you’re located in Sydney, our guide shop is the best place to create your own unique flat lay. We carry samples in all finishes from our entire product library, as well as fabric, wallpaper, tile & paint samples from Sibella Courts range. We encourage you to browse our libraries prior to setting up your physical flat lay so that you have a general design direction to go in.
If designing a flat lay is not a practice that you’re familiar with or you don’t live near our St Peters store, you can create your own COLOURBOX at home. An engaging and intuitive practice that can be completed with your existing belongings. When curating your palette, keep in mind that not all of these colours will be used in one room. Combinations of your COLOURBOX will be used throughout the entire house, whether it's the exterior house paint scheme, the colour of your rendered walls & stone choices or the accent colours of your soft furnishings. It is a good guide for layering your space, you can refer back and find new inspiration - so that your design is never static. Whichever way you use your COLOURBOX it ensures a solid guideline throughout your interior project. And keep in mind that it is not simply about paint colours, but about the patina, textiles, natural materials and objects that are laced throughout your home.
Begin with the primary sources of your space
Once your desired plan is set in place, it is important to consider the primary sources and largest surface areas within your home, as these will dictate the rest of your design scope. Designing the primary surfaces of your home is a pivotal step that will set the tone for your living environment. These surfaces, such as walls, ceilings, and floors, serve as the canvas upon which your entire interior aesthetic is crafted. The choice of materials, colours, textures, and patterns can greatly influence the ambience and functionality of each space. Smooth, neutral-hued walls can create a backdrop of tranquillity, allowing artwork and furnishings to pop. Meanwhile, textured walls can infuse warmth and depth, adding visual interest and tactile appeal. Flooring selections, whether hardwood, tile, or carpet, contribute to the tactile experience underfoot and can ground the design theme.
Choosing your paint colours
Selecting the right colour to paint your house is a decision that significantly influences the overall aesthetic and ambience of your home. Begin by considering the architectural style and surroundings of your interior. Reflect on your personal preferences and the mood you want to evoke within your living space. Ensure to refer back to your Pinterest inspiration, flat lay & colour box to discover what brings you the most joy.
Steer away from painting your house all white. Although it acts as a great base and a fresh start, there are endless creative colour combinations that you can create to further infuse your personality into a space, & the beauty of paint is that it is an easily interchangeable feature, meaning you never have to stick with the same colour forever. If you don’t want to commit to a completely painted room, a feature wall is a great addition to any space as it adds just enough vibrancy to make the space visually appealing and unique. Browse a few of SC’s iconic colours from her range with Murobond here:
In addition to the emotional appeal and personal preference of the colours you choose, ensure to consider the practicality of the space. Factor in features like the natural light your interior receives; as colours can appear different under various lighting conditions. Sampling a few paint swatches on your walls can help visualise how they'll appear throughout the day. Ultimately, the colour you choose should resonate with your style & complement your home's architecture.
Choosing your tiles
When embarking on a renovation project, selecting the right tiles is a key decision that can significantly influence the overall aesthetic and functionality of your space. The choice of tiles extends beyond appearance; factors such as material, size, colour, pattern, and texture must be carefully considered to align with your design vision and practical needs. Moreover, the durability and suitability of tiles for different areas, such as kitchens, bathrooms, and living spaces, ensure their longevity and ease of maintenance. Thoughtfully chosen tiles can amplify the perception of space, evoke specific moods, and even influence the temperature and lighting of a room. Harmonising the tiles with existing elements like cabinetry, countertops, and paint is essential for a cohesive result.
Choosing the right hardware & joinery
There are many important factors to consider when selecting the right hardware for your renovation. Style, size, ratio, use, pairings, location & placement. The choice of hardware not only contributes to the visual appeal of the room but also affects how comfortably the space can be utilised. The finish of the hardware, such as brushed nickel, blackened iron, or antique brass, plays a pivotal role in establishing the desired aesthetic—whether it's contemporary, traditional, or somewhere in between. Equally important is the consideration of ergonomics; hardware should be comfortable to grip and easy to use. Matching the style and finish of the hardware with other design elements like light fixtures and faucets ensures a cohesive and polished look.
However, this isn't to say that if all of your existing fittings are chrome, you have to match your hardware to this. Mixing metals can give off a really interesting and unique aesthetic and it allows for you to experiment with pieces that you may not necessarily go for. The devil is in the details, and in the realm of renovation, hardware selection is a detail that merits thoughtful deliberation to achieve the perfect space.
One of the most important functional considerations is what you’ll actually be using the hardware for. Will it be used to open a solid wood door or a tiny drawer? Integrated appliances, for example, tend to need a sturdier pull that you can wrap your whole hand around because you’re often contending with a heavy door that closes with suction.
Also worth considering is the environment it’ll be used in. If your hardware is to be located on a bathroom cabinet, your hands will often be wet when you need to use it, so consider which finishes will stand up to that kind of treatment with a minimum of fuss, we recommend Brass - you can read about this incredible material and why we love it here. If you’re getting the impression that you may need to select a variety of different pieces of hardware for different purposes, even within the one room, you’re probably right. Many of our pieces pair beautifully together, and it’s perfectly acceptable to mix items within the space–in fact it’s recommended to create a beautifully layered, bespoke finished product!
It’s worth playing around with the placement of the hardware on the surface before you start drilling holes to see where it looks best. Most commonly, pulls will be horizontal & aligned towards the top centre edge on drawers, and vertical & aligned to the middle of the opening side on doors. However, there are plenty of times when you’ll want to break this rule too. If you need guidance on selecting the right pieces, we have a range of informative blogs that you can explore here
Once the primary surfaces of your space have been selected, the next crucial point is choosing the heavy, fixed appliances for the space. Selecting fixed appliances in interior design requires a balance between functionality and aesthetics. When choosing appliances like built-in ovens, stovetops, or sinks, it's vital to consider how they integrate with the overall layout and design scheme.
Additionally, assessing the workflow and usage patterns within the room helps optimize placement for convenience. The choice of finishes and materials for these fixtures can impact the overall design language, however, this isn't to say that you can’t put unlikely pieces together. In fact, we find that mixing and matching elements in your home creates a greater sense of depth and visual intrigue.
Lighting & cushions
The significance of choosing the right lighting cannot be overstated. Similar to the rules that apply to hardware that we covered earlier, these also apply to lighting. Mixing, matching & experimenting with eras and styles is key to visual intrigue. Natural light should also be considered, as it can influence the intensity and distribution of artificial lighting.
If you’re looking for a quick solution to adding new lighting, our cage lights can be hung by drawer knobs fitted to the wall. Such as our Bower, Thornbill or Lyre knobs. They can also be suspended from bookshelves and bedsides with our durable Trouve & Ephemera clips. We also have an extensive selection of hooks in a range of styles fitted to your needs, you can browse them here. This can be a fast solution to avoiding downlighting (and an electrician!)
Another simple, DIY fix is to use a lighting cord to suspend a fabric lantern from the ceiling. Just run the cord from the nearest PowerPoint up the wall and across the ceiling. On an even more simplified level, solutions to existing lighting can be swapping out lamp shades, changing the bulbs to a warmer setting or adding layered lighting, like using our lineage candlesticks or our cage lights scattered throughout a space to give different levels of light & ambience.
Salvaging and decorating with both old & new pieces
Let’s begin with loose furniture first. We always suggest a mix of both vintage & newly bought pieces, as it creates a unique environment that is comfortable, yet also rich in history & nostalgia.
If you’re looking to source new furnishings or upholstered pieces, Sibella has an upholstered furniture range with Molmic, which pairs beautifully with both vintage and newly bought pieces. The Shipley collection is a nod to heritage upholstered shapes & age-old master crafts with a modern sensibility. It embodies the elegance of a 19th-century parlour piece with modern comfort & proportions to lay about. Sibella’s love of textiles is celebrated in the curated choice of fabrics to adorn the top swag & cushions that make the piece unique to the owner. You can read more on the Shipley here as we think it makes a great addition to your newly designed space and will last a lifetime. One of the many positives to this lounge is that you’re able to pair it with interchangeable slipcovers, ranging from plaid patterns to florals or just simple linens. Making it the perfect, flexible piece of furniture.
If all of the bases are selected and finalised, vintage furniture and found objects can aid in adding those final touches, enriching the interior with your personality and unique style. Begin by acquainting yourself with the world of antiques through books, you can browse Sibella’s books here online resources, and museums to develop an understanding of different periods, styles, and materials. If the space you've designed is quite modern and/or cool-toned, then a great thrifted cabinet can help to break up the room and provide contrast and of course, a little touch of history. Attend antique fairs, estate sales, auctions, and reputable antique shops, as these venues often yield a diverse range of authentic pieces. When assessing potential finds, closely examine details, such as patina, wear patterns, and construction techniques, which can reveal the item's age and genuineness. Patience and a discerning eye are crucial, as the joy of sourcing antiques lies in the discovery of hidden treasures that carry the whispers of bygone eras and cultures.
Textiles & wallpaper
The selection of textiles and wallpaper becomes an opportunity to infuse personality, comfort, and character into your living spaces. Textiles such as curtains, upholstery, and rugs not only add warmth and texture but also contribute to the overall ambience and should be considered in relation to your primary sources. Texture doesn’t have to solely be from soft furnishings, wallpaper can be a powerful tool to transform walls into captivating focal points.
Decorating & styling - accessories & mirrors
Perhaps the most familiar step in the process, decorating and styling a room is one of, if not the most influential & exciting parts of a renovation, as it takes your space from a room into something that is truly unique.
Layering through rugs, cushions, and mirrors adds depth and tactile interest. A thoughtful selection of artwork, decorative objects, and lighting fixtures infuses personality and visual intrigue. Our Earnest rods are a great way to display a hanging gallery wall. You can read all about the different ways to use these pieces here.
As you come across items that you need around the home, jot them down and keep a running list. That way when you are out & about and come across an interesting-looking store, you have something to refer back to. When collecting art, it can be great to come up with a theme or a muse. Sibella’s go-tos are ships, portraits and still life in the form of paintings, and drawings on various templates & shapes. But your linking could be a colour, tools or even an era!
Adding mirrors to any interior is the perfect way to extend the space, especially if you’re working with a smaller room. They have the ability to open up any environment and reflect your beautifully selected furnishings.