Laura - the brains behind House of Cove gave us the inside scoop of her latest designs for Project Bridgeman. She transformed this Brisbane family home with the Newport Jade green subway, Potts Point Carrara look tile and the Thirroul matt subway in Bone for a signature House of Cove look.
Tell us a bit about who you are and what you do?
I started House of Cove 5 years ago, when my first born son was 2 years old. I had spent a few years working at a Brisbane based interior design company, where I had the opportunity to work on some high profile jobs, and be apart of many home magazine shoots. I gained so much knowledge and valuable experience. After my eldest was born I decided I wanted to pursue my love for interior design, while also being home to raise my children. Fast forward five years and I have three beautiful children, Oliver, Finley and Audrey.
House of Cove offers interior design and decorating services, to Brisbane and surrounds. For those out of Brisbane I offer e-design packages, which helps anyone design their home and source products online. Helping clients uncover their style and injecting that into their homes, to me, is a very exciting process. I know the industry can be quite intimidating, and so I love simplifying the design process and making it achievable for the everyday person. To me it's an honour that someone would allow me into their house to help them create a home they are proud of.
What inspired you to pursue a design carer?
My creative flair started at school for me when I found a love for art. But it wasn't a straight forward journey to interior design from there. I went on to study Mass Communication (marketing & PR) at QUT, and whilst studying I landed an admin job at an interior design company. A spark was definitely ignited when I was thrown into the world of interior design, and from then I just knew this was where my passion lay. I worked with some very talented women, who saw my potential and taught me everything on the job. I eventually started obtaining my own clients and managing the business. I use to say I was lucky to land such a job, but I know now that it wasn't luck, it was a lot of investment and hard work that I am very proud of. My marketing degree hasn't go to waste, but has only helped me better understand my business and clients.
What did you renovate?
This particular client purchased the home knowing that its dated interiors would need a freshen up. What was meant to be a temporary repaint and new soft furnishings turned into a renovation that lasted more than a year. The laundry (that use to be at the other end of the house) was an extension on to butlers pantry and the ensuite added on to a bedroom.
What motivated your clients to renovate?
Because this is a forever home for the clients, it was so important to make the home not only functional for the growing family of five but reflect their own personal design flair too. They initially wanted to just freshen up the home and dive into the renovation later on, but we were able to come up with a really great floor plan so they decided to jump in and renovate straight away.
How would you describe your style?
I always find this question a tricky one to answer, as I don't think my designs fit in one particular box. I would describe all my designs as having a modern take on a classic look. The colour I inject into my work gives great personality and a signtaure House of Cove look.
We were able to have a lot of fun with designing the girls ensuite and reflected her style with bold colour. We wanted a timeless and classic style in the laundry and used modern accents to tie it to the rest of the home.
Does working with a client have its challenges?
There are definitely challenges with design jobs, but I see these as normal parts of any design process. It's through the challenges that I can really refine the design to produce my best work for that client. I have also learnt that it's ok to say no to a job, after all I want the best outcome for the client. So if I feel my style or vision for a job doesn't align with theirs, then that's ok. I'd rather be upfront and say that I am not the best fit for their job rather than take them through the process and not meet their expectations.
Talk us through the process you take in the planning stages of the renovation!
After chatting with the potential clients, I will meet them onsite to go over the work involved and chat budget and brief. If the client has an idea on the style they like, I will run with that. Otherwise I will help the client uncover their likes and dislikes and potential styles that would work with their home.
From here I spend a few weeks researching, planning and designing. I start by creating a Pinterest board of images that inspire me for the work and generate ideas. Once I have a direction for the design, I head to Style Source Book and start creating my moodboards. This is where I take my time refining the design and making sure all the fabulous ideas floating around my head are cohesive. At the second meeting I present my mood boards to the client for approval. It really is a great tool to communicate the concept to them.
Did you come into the TileCloud showroom to look around at tiles? Did you order samples?
Sometimes a design is formed around a particular product, while other times I have to search for a product based on the colour scheme I want. I knew I wanted a deep green feature tile in the ensuite, so I popped onto the TileCloud website to see what they had. I saw the beautiful Jade green Newport subway tile and thought it looked perfect for my design. While I was scrolling the TileCloud instagram for inspiration, I saw the new Thirroul subway tile and knew it would be a great match to the white shaker cabinetry and black accents in the laundry. I ordered samples of these are presented them to the client for their approval.
Why did you choose TileCloud / What did you enjoy best about the TileCloud experience?
Though there is no TileCloud showroom in Brisbane, I don't hesitate using their product as it's such an easy process ordering samples online to show my clients. The abundance of inspirational images on Tile Cloud's social media is very helpful in showing the client how the tiles look in different settings. And not to forget their exceptional customer service!
Any advice for first time renovators?
1. Know your style. It's easy to be overwhelmed by so many styles and new trends but pick one and stay authentic to that look.
2. Plan. Know all the decisions you will need to make and product to have on site well before you start the renovation. If you leave your decisions and ordering of products to the last minute you will end up with second best, because your tradie needs an answer now or the product is out of stock.
3. Hire reliable tradesmen. Don't necessarily go for the cheap guy who can start tomorrow. Focus on developing a team of reliable contractors. Put it out their on your local community page, word of mouth is best! Or hire a designer who will bring in their trusted team of trades.
How can we find you?
Jack Hughes Photography