How I sketch floor plans and elevations.

Professional drawing for interior design is a disciplined and time consuming thing. At design school we spent many an hour at the drawing desk with a t-square, set-square, scale rulers, a variety of pencils/fineliners and, if your me, an eraser. I change my mind, ALOT. And don’t even talk to me about CAD! Again, for me, this was an awesome way to remove the creativity from my process. So now, before I cheat and get out the graph paper, I’ve found that I am most creative using a blackboard and chalk pencils.

Sketching client floorplan with blackboard and chalk

I have small boards that allow me to roughly sketch out ideas and try various layouts quickly and easily. I can rub off large sections at a time if I change my mind or I can leave the original layout and chalk the changes over the top to see how they fit.

Whilst designing the layout for a space I am constantly thinking about how the space will be used. This step of the process is essential for a design concept if the furniture and fixtures are being removed/replaced/reshuffled. Spacing and traffic flow is sooooo important in a room if it is to function efficiently. Some spaces have limited options while others are very versatile and, on occasion, it is relevant to illustrate the different options for my clients, everyone likes to shuffle the furniture around at times!!

Once I have decided on the layout of the larger items and in the case when a client requires elevations, I then begin to concentrate on the finishes, art and object that will create the atmosphere intended for the space. Elevations help to illustrate the reasons behind my decisions and give the client direction for vertical decoration/styling. Awesome rooms are created layer by layer and, even if the purchases have not been finalised, you can still sketch a concept that provides ideas and direction.

Client elevations

Floor plans and elevations give you insight into how your existing (or new) items can be rearranged in the most effective and visually pleasing way. These are both very specific design tools that prioritise measurement and space in a very practical way and are perfect for those of you that like specific instruction and a complete preview of how your room will look before you begin the design process. There are some truly gifted artists out there creating amazing interior drawings, but the hours poured into this make the exercise an expensive one. I don’t know about you, but I like to save my pennies for the pretty things?!

How I create custom design concepts for clients.

Wanna know how I get things done? While there’s definitely creativity involved, there’s also a system behind it all. Creating a custom interior design concepts is a lengthy process that involves a million decisions but it begins with:


I begin with the details; room type, dimensions, door and window placement and existing furniture and fittings. Once I have this information I can sketch a floor plan and begin to visualise……


I give my clients fun and easy homework to complete using a specifically designed questionnaire. The answers help me determine the clients priorities, style preferences and expectations.


I also create a secret board on Pinterest for my clients and ask them to pin images that appeal to them adding comments about why. Pins are definitely not limited to interiors, I ask that they include any and all subjects that capture their attention.

Client Pinterest board used for room design

These are my starting points to begin planning the project and working towards supplying the advice that enables the client to implement the design concept on their terms, budget and timeframe.

The next step is refining the ideas and creating an Inspiration/Storyboard of images that provides colours, textures, patterns and styling ideas that will mentally stimulate the feeling or idea for the space. I normally give clients a glimpse at this point to ensure we are on the same page. I then move onto creating a detailed list referencing design elements, principles and styling tips that can be put into practise to transform the idea into reality.

Storyboard created for client inspiration

The Storyboard alone is perfect for those who are confident in their ability to decorate but need both style ideas and boundaries. Do you regularly walk into interior stores and love a multitude of things but walk out with nothing because you can’t decide how to tie it all together?

Using an inspiration board as a design tool provides you with clear visual direction. In addition, creating a room this way means you will end up with a space that is distinctly yours, a room that reflects your choices and one that evolves over time.

There are many more aspects to creating a complete custom design concept but this is the starting point……..



Road Trippin and Repetition

Great rooms are like great songs, sometimes you love them because the lyrics are clever and other times the tune is just catchy and easy to listen to.

There are a couple of sure fire ways to make your room catchy. Repetition is the easiest. By repeating a common element around the room the eye naturally follows. This creates rhythm and becomes expected. Think colour, shape, pattern or texture, your mind likes repetition because it is consistent. Create a moodboard, they are powerful. Without guidance we all get off track and a moodboard is like a roadmap pointing you in the right direction. First you need inspiration…….

This week one of my closest friends has moved to Sydney, only for a short time as her job has taken her there, but I will miss her more than she knows. So I’m dreaming of packing my bags, hijacking my favourite people (you know who you are!) and going on a road trip.

Road Trippin

Image Source: One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six

Back to decorating….Use your moodboard and refine your idea around repeating a common element around your room. Colour? Pick one and include it in artwork, cushions, shelving and accessories.

Styling with red copy

Image Source: One, Two, Three, Four.

Not a fan of colour? What about shape? A combo of round mirrors, wall dots, vessels and lighting.

Repetition Circles

Image Source: One, Two, Three, Four.

Maybe you love neutral and are not a fan of pattern. Why not focus on loads of similar texture, baskets, timber stools, a wicker chair and chunky woven throws.

Repeating texture

Image Source: One, Two, Three, Four.

What about pattern you ask? Maps are so cool and can be included in so many different ways. Display them as a cheeky reminder of where you have been and where you would love to go….

Styling with maps

Image Source: One, Two, Three, Four.

I could go on but I’m sure you get the idea. Repetition is catchy and catchy is memorable. And this is just one of the many ways you translate an idea into a room design!

Whatever you decide, follow the voice in your head and I guarantee you will have a world of fun styling a room that sings!