In our second edition of Fairley Trade Chat, we sit down with the gorgeous Chontelle Samios from Elles in Design.
Chontelle takes us through the interior design process, how to choose paint colours as well as upcoming interior trends for 2020. She also provides great tips on balancing practicality AND style in your family home – and yes it is possible!
Chontelle debuted on Aussie TV as the youngest contestant on reality design show HomeMADE in 2009. She went on to join the team in transforming rooms on Channel 9’s Domestic Blitz. Now, when she’s not creating dream homes for her clients, Chontelle tours the country hosting design workshops with the Bunnings team.
First and foremost Chon, how can an interior designer help when it comes to creating a dream home, and what can a client expect throughout the process?
An interior designer offers a number of services that span all stages of a project – from briefing, design and execution. At Elles In Design, stage one involves meeting with the client to gain an understanding of their vision, and to clarify their needs and desires for the space.
Based on this information, we then go away and develop a design concept that not only looks incredible but also reflects their lifestyle and personality. As part of the design process, we develop three dimensional images or perspective shots of each space, giving the client a realistic indication and preview of how it will look and feel. We package this all up into a custom Concept Report.
Once the concept has been approved, we then commence project management for the selection and purchase of products, shipping, delivery and installation of the project, all on behalf of the client. Everything is taken care of, so the client can simply walk back into their home with a completed design – stress free. The beauty of that is there’s no liaising with trades, no having to time deliveries to ensure daily access to the home, no second guessing if something will work or not – everything is taken care of and all part of the service.
Speaking of design, what do you consider is the most important factor when designing a room?
I believe the key to designing a room is spacial awareness. So often people purchase furniture without considering the size of the space, the functionality of the room or the movement of traffic in the area.
Before confirming anything, my recommendation is to get out your measuring and masking tapes, and outline directly onto the floor, the size and location of all desired furniture, lamps, floor rugs, and floor plants. This will give you a much better idea of how the space will functionally work before investing in the delivery of items.
Other important elements to consider when designing a space are levels. Creating different levels will produce a strong visual appeal, and also allow the eyes to move around the space in a soft, considerate way. As a family home, you also want to ensure you’ve created warmth, comfort and a sense of excitement in a room.
Now for the million dollar question – how do I choose the right paint colour for my home?
Paint is a crucial and tricky component to a successful interior and exterior design. Thankfully, paint companies have carefully selected their own whites, darks and colour swatch options to make this process a little easier for the untrained eye.
My tip is to grab a brochure and a sample pot to paint the colour directly onto the wall. This allows you to test the colour with the room’s natural sunlight and any artificial lighting over the course of the day, to observe how it changes in real life, to help with your decision.
What are two key decor elements that will elevate a room?
1. Adding an oversized wall or floor mirror will instantly elevate a space. The mirror will reflect and bounce light around the room, adding drama and sophistication to the design.
2. Don’t underestimate the power of plants! Adding plants to a room design adds depth and breathes life into a space. It transforms the look and feel, pulling all elements together in a harmonious way.
Having three, gorgeous young children of your own, what are your design tips for styling a home with small kids?
Lots of storage! As a first-time Mum, I aimed to achieve a plastic-free and minimal toy selection for the benefit of the house – but after three, I’ve accepted the fact that toy clutter is inevitable, so I needed to come up with clever storage solutions to help manage the chaos instead!
My go-to toy storage is large functional consoles with deep drawers, cupboards, blanket boxes, and baskets with lids.
This will save your sanity and create an aesthetically pleasing space for all – it also makes it super easy to tidy up when visitors arrive unexpectedly!
I have a lot of interior design accessories in my home including plants and flowers on coffee tables, side tables, and ottomans – I never purchase anything that I wouldn’t mind being broken and I always pick hardy, durable items that will withstand the curiosity of little darlings if it does end up getting pulled off the surface.
Finally, what’s your favourite interior design trend for 2020?
Wallpaper and wall murals are going to be massive in 2020! They’re an incredible way to add interest and mass appeal very quickly and inexpensively in your home. There are some amazing wallpapers out there now which mirror timber clad, exposed brick, concrete and grass cloth as well as the stunning, large print florals.
Bold and daring but beautiful!