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  • Writer's pictureAdrian Ramsay

Creating The Perfect Space

Updated: Oct 23, 2020

Adrian is this month's feature editor of My Renovation Magazine!

He is chatting about all things interior design this October, telling you how to create a space that LOOKS and FEELS great!

Read the full article below - or online through My Renovation Magazine here >>

ARDH Adrian Ramsay talks about interior design with My Renovation Magazine
My Renovation Magazine w Adrian Ramsay

There is a definite distinction between a house and a home. To successfully make your house into a home, the place to start is to tell the story of yourselves. What kind of journey do you want to have when you walk through the front door?... What type of journey do you want people who visit your home to have?

When I am decoding someone’s wants and needs - I go fishing. I throw out ideas like bait and see which ones they latch onto and then finding out WHY they latched onto it. Often, in couples, what lights up one person is not always the collective! The trick when decoding multiple design stories is to focus on the nuances, to see how different desires fit together and meet the needs of the couple, while maintaining flow within the space.

It’s hard to decode your own personal story unless you have someone to help you bounce things off and see your views and emotional triggers without any personal attachment. Here are some key things to think about and focus on when you are wanting to turn your house into a home that not only looks good, it feels great too.

Adrian Ramsay Cover Story in My Renovation Magazine October 2018

When buying your house/land the first point of need that people are going to want to satisfy is location. Do you dream of being by the beach, having horse stables, a home with a view, maybe rural is your dream or perhaps living isolated in the bush? No matter what your dream home is… The location is going to play a massive part of that dream! After your location wants and needs are met – the next point of need is the requirements of the home. This is how many bedrooms there are, how many bathrooms / carparking spaces it has as well as if there is an outside area for dogs / kids / gardening / relaxation time. Regardless of whether you are buying new or renovating – meeting your first and second point of need will determine how you can turn your house into a home that looks and feels great FOR YOU.

When designing your own style within a house to make it a home; remember that there are multiple areas / zones to consider. It is important to keep in mind that different zones within a home require different moods. Creating mood shifts within the home is what will make it feel like your own… I always say – you don’t want the bedroom and the laundry to have a similar feeling when you walk into the room! Remember what works for one person, may not work for another. If you’re coupled - work with your partner to create a joined journey that tells your individual stories as well as your collective story. For many people, maintaining a similar colour pallet through the home makes it calmer to live in and grounds the spaces throughout the home. For some however, they don’t want to live in a calm space – it’s the difference between going op-shopping or into a curated showroom… Different things appeal to different people, so don’t be afraid to make your home your own and share your style and your stories within you home!

Create private and public areas. Every single house has private spaces and public areas… however not all of them feel that way! Know the difference between where you want to be able to retreat to and where you want people to feel invited into. We can define public areas as “workspaces” within the home. This is your kitchen, bathroom, garage, office, laundry combined with your “entertaining” areas; dining, living, decks, and pools. Private areas are those places where you can relax and turn off – some of these spaces may be suited for just you, and some may be designed for more than one person. These are areas such as a parent retreat, library, reading nook, window seat, music rooms, balcony / private deck, family room and bedrooms.

To create a difference between public and private areas; identify your stories, know what colours you love and what areas those colours work in, investigate textures and lighting that you can add to the space to help tell your story for that room. For example, when you are cooking, you want to have a bright light while you are working – but when you go to eat, it is nice to have softer lighting. The ability to relax into a workspace is a true skill of creating home space that FEELS great. Simply adding in dimmable lights or lamp light to a dining / living area can immediately soften the space.

ARDH Project [design, build & interior] in Buderim on the Sunshine Coast
Adrian Ramsay Design House


Decode your stories. What you are doing when you are creating a home is stacking up emotional stories. When a home reflects the people who live in it – all of a sudden it gets comfortable.

- There are stories in your life that come from childhood that have different emotional attachments (safe places, relaxing spaces and fun places). With each of these there will be elements of when that was the strongest emotion that you had – often anchored to colour and people.

- We are so exposed to media and movies, that we often hold strong emotional ties to the feel-good moments in movies. This will reflect in rooflines, doors ways, fit outs – it will connect to how we imagine we would like to live when lost in the movies.

- The purpose of a designer is to hear your stories and focus on them. As you go through life the weight of your story changes alongside the narrative of your life. A way to move with these changes can be as simple as something like a shift / addition in décor. These personalised décor pieces can become an anchor to your individual stories and create a home, while emotionally supporting you.

Decoration and personal items. In the décor, have things that are personal to you and tie them into other objects around the home.

The idea behind this is that in glance that you’re in a different time just from seeing these personal items within your décor. TIP: Picking a genre to work within can make this step much easier to create a unified feel and coordination throughout the home.

Know your layout.

Whether you are drawn to open plan living or all separate rooms tells you pieces of your heritage, what you grew up in (and whether you enjoyed the spaces within your home as a child), and how well it will suit the life that you want to live now and in the future.

Colour is important. There have been so many studies done on how emotions are linked to colour – use this to your advantage within your home!

Depending on the location of the colour it can completely change the feeling of the colour and the space… Be creative and inventive in your use of colour and work it into your home with the idea of creating a journey.

Connection to the landscape.

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, location is one of the key points of need people have when finding their home. If you feel in love with the place, why? How are you going to ensure you stay connected to the environment within the home as well as in outside areas? How does the architectural style of the home connect you to the land?

ARDH Project [Design, Renovation, Build & Interiors] in Buderim, Sunshine Coast
Adrian Ramsay Design House

It can be difficult to understand how to analyse and decode what makes you tick. This is where hiring a designer can really assist in helping you to creating a home, instead of just a house.

For me, when talking to clients I want to know their needs, wants, desires and dreams. What makes great design is not just knowing what these are now – but also predicting what these will be in 5 years, 10 years and 15 years’ time so your home can grow and move with you and life’s ever-changing story.

Feature Editor Adrian Ramsay talks interior design in My Renovation Magazine this October

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