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Image / Living / Interiors

Interior designer Natashe Rooca Devine shares her top tips for taking charge of your own home design


By Megan Burns
27th Oct 2023
Interior designer Natashe Rooca Devine shares her top tips for taking charge of your own home design

This year, the interior designer launched a new book full of ideas to make design and styling easy for anyone, even if you have no experience in this area.

Natashe Rooca Devine has plenty of experience helping her clients achieve their dream spaces, and it has given her a great insight into how we can all approach decorating our homes.

Her book, Step-by-Step Guide to Designing and Styling your Home covers everything from the planning stage to the styling of rooms, including to-do lists, tips, dedicated space for notes, and an entire section devoted to Personal Guides. These Guides cover mood boards, colour, floor plans, and getting to know your design personality.

Here, she shares some of her top tips with us.

What advice would you give to someone who doesn’t know where to start when designing a space?

Plan & Zone

When designing any room or home, before you move to the exciting element of creating themes, colours etc. plan the space, room-by-room and then you see the practical of what you need to do overall. Start by creating zones with the primary zone being; the main use of the room.

For example, if it is a kitchen the main area is the kitchen triangle; the sink, the fridge and the oven. While if there is available room add in a dining area such as; an island bar with stools or a dining table and chairs, of which can maximise this space.

Also, the seating area can be used for zones such as working or watching Television, working and dining. Include additional zones if feasible such as; storage, pantry utility room, pet area etc. in your planning and budget to allow for each of these areas to have importance and what you can afford or wish to do. Apply this plan to each room and write down what is missing, required or needs to be removed while remaining within an overall budget.

New or Renew?

Investing in a new design in your home is a pleasure and always worthwhile yet, can become costly and timely. So, I would suggest to break it down room-by-room and then total to see if you can start new or if it is a combination of both. With a kitchen as example, for new homes, these are generally designed or allocated into the budget at the early stages.

In an existing home, you could reinvent by respray which costs approximately 15%-20% of a new kitchen replacement. Respraying is a quick solution, which can be combined into any traditional or modern home alike. If this is new home or the budget allows it, work with a kitchen company or designer to ensure you get the best value and appliances to suit your requirements and have a long-lasting home for life.

Meanwhile, for a bedroom, bathroom, playroom or office the same applies as where you want to start fresh or renew what you have, both room by room and overall, as a home.

Dream Your Theme

Once the zones and budget you can now have fun and choose your “Dream Theme” for each room, bearing in mind that it remains suitable for the individuals, uses of the space, along with keeping in with style in the rest of the home.

Research online along with magazines to create a theme for this key area ensuring the finishes and appliances are stylish yet, functional and durable both short and long term. Invest in sustainable products, local brands and durable finishes to support the environment and local business if and when possible.

What are some of the most common issues you see people have when it comes to interior design?

Some of the most common mistakes are;
1. Not asking simple questions such as what type of project do I wish to have? E.g., styling versus design or renovation
2. Forgetting who and what the spaces are used for
3. Not planning for what is required
4. Underestimating the budget for what is required
5. Not planning for both short and long term
6. Trying to do everything and not hiring the right team who are required
7. Living on site when advised not to
8. Adding in too much furniture, art etc. versus keeping to a practical design plan
9. Expecting everything to stay on an exact schedule
10. Not being open to change in time and design alike

How does your book help people navigate the design process?

My Step-by-Step Guide to Designing and Styling your Home covers everything you need from the design project, interior design, staging and styling of all rooms, including some outdoor spaces.

My practical “how to” guide ensures that design and styling a fun, affordable experience for anyone, even if you have no experience in this area. Everything is at your fingertips, such as DIY starter kits, to-do lists, tips, dedicated space for notes, and an entire section devoted to Personal Guides.

What do you hope that people will get out of the book?

As an interior designer, author, mother and pet owner, design and communication is my passion, with family and home centred around my work. On each project, creating the dream home is my goal. So much so, I have travelled across the world and amalgamated my skills and experience into this book to help you become your own home designer.

This design guide will help you discover your own design personality, provide you tips on how to create your dream home or simple ways to fall in love with your existing home. It can also help you to sell or rent your property bringing finishing details into a closing deal. All while saving you time and money and most importantly, allowing you to enjoy the design process.

Are there any interiors styles or trends that you are particularly loving at the moment?

Sourcing Sustainably

My favourite trend now is definitely sustainable design, which I incorporate into each of my projects and my candles and this a key asset to modern design. This year there is a focus on textures such as marble stone
and wood, both in modern high-pattern way or just a simple finish and can be applied in each room in your home.

Historic Homes

I am also a huge fan of this trend, which is embracing heirlooms and vintage which is ideal as It also links back to sustainable design. Who doesn’t love to see a grandad chair or family suite come back to life? Or a table and chairs from a local vintage store bringing your home a new sense of style? Whether it is large or small with accessories there is definitely room for a sense of history in our homes.

Bold and Gold

I love bold and block colours, whether it is green and pink matches on tiles and wall colours, or dark navy or deep reds block coloured in a room against the matching or muted furniture, they are so stylish and chic. Plus, these matched against gold accessories and finishes such as handles, sinks, lights and even furniture stems are something I adore to bring a sense of plush into each space!

This article was originally published in March 2023.