The Loft

The Home Base blog

Setting The Scene

An inside look and some top tips for the all-important prestart process when building a new home


Creating an interior that reflected this property’s beachside location was top of the priorities list for designer and prestart expert Adriana Peci.

The front elevation incorporates weatherboard cladding and limestone feature render. The coastal theme continues throughout the home, from the polished off-white porcelain flooring, through to the timber-look tiled splashback in the kitchen.

“I selected furniture that was all light in colour to reflect the colours of the beach,” Adriana says.

“Artwork really sets the mood in the house and it reflects the theme. In the outdoor area to create the illusion of more space, we have had a beachside mural painted by Perth artist Linzi Carter. When sitting in the open-plan kitchen, living, dining area or walking down the passage in the home you can see the calming mural, it really adds to the overall feel.”

Adriana says timber-look tiles were another great inclusion. “These were used in the kitchen as a splashback and in the bathroom and ensuites as an entire feature wall,” she says. “Timber-look tiles don’t just have to be used on the floor, they are so versatile that they can be used as a wall feature as well.”

She says the clever use of wallpaper is another element that helps to create the overall casual look and feel of the home. “It is a cheap way to create a striking feature in a room and it is very easy to install,” she says.

“We used wallpaper in the master bedroom and theatre in this home. In the bedroom, we selected a weathered timber paper. It is a subtle feature that works well with the colour and texture in the room.”

Another clever design feature is the use of pendant lighting. “In the master bedroom, we opted for simple black and glass pendant lamps instead of bedside lamps,” she says. “When including pendant lamps over the bed, make sure you include a light switch next to the bed too, so you don’t have to get up to turn the light off.”

Adriana says the keys to successfully completing prestart and laying the building blocks for a stunning finished home is to plan carefully and work within budget and time constraints.

“Preparation is key,” she says. “Think about the overall colour scheme for the home, bring along pictures of front elevations or kitchens that you like to your meeting so your designer can achieve the look that you are after. Look over your electrical and lighting plan prior to your prestart, think about furniture positioning and how you want to use each room.

“Know how much money you would like to spend at prestart so you can determine what is worth upgrading now and what can be changed or added once you have moved in.

“Building your dream home may be the most amount of money you will spend in your life so make sure you have plenty of time for the meeting. Take a day off work, you will feel more focused on the prestart if you have no other distractions.

“My advice is to start the prestart in the morning and allow a whole day to make all your selections with the designer. Pack lunch so you don’t get hungry and can stay focused. Don’t take your kids with you, they will get bored and become a distraction. Organise someone to pick them up from school too.”