How to Up Your Home Space According to an Interior Designer



Though lockdown restrictions are gradually lifting, we're still stuck in iso for the time being. But now, the novelty of staying home is beginning to look like a cross between stir crazy and get me outta here... 

The end may be close, but perhaps not close enough. Australians have done an amazing job of flattening the curve and keeping this pesky virus at bay but we're not quite out of the woods just yet and are still required to stay home under most circumstances. 

For many of us, staying at home for the last couple of months has been a bit of a drainer so to get us through to the end, we asked interior design queen, Donna d'Paul, for her tips on how to change our spaces and survive home life during lockdown. 


Obviously there’s a lot more people staying home or working from home. How important is it to have our homes set up, styled or designed to accommodate these extra hours indoors?

In times of uncertainty it is incredibly helpful to make small changes within your capacity to encourage a sense of normality.

We don’t all have a designated office space at home, so I’m sure many of us have our laptop set-up on our kitchen bench or dining table.

Whilst the kids may be running circles around your computer, your pets are begging for a walk and the fridge is calling your name for the 5th time in an hour, efficiency, focus and comfort are some of the main issues when working from home.

Do you think styling has an impact on your emotional state?

The environment that we live and work in can affect how we feel and behave.

We all intuitively design our spaces to encourage us to evoke a particular response. For example, at home we choose furnishings to create a sense of warmth and comfort, whereas at work we seek focus and organisation.

What are your tips when it comes to styling your home for 'essentials' like wellbeing, comfort and privacy?

We all have different factors that encourage us to feel comfortable in our abode. Therefore, it’s important to create a list of things that you require to have a sense of wellbeing, warmth and security. This is where a perception of control can be gained.

For example, I like my home to be decluttered, minimal and clean, whereas others require layers of accessories and belongings to gain a sense of wellbeing and security.

Once you have acknowledged what suits you best, it’s time to have a play with the items in your home and manipulate the space to make it feel ‘just right’.

Don’t underestimate the power of moving the existing items within your space to sit in the precise position that you want them. 

Since we are unable to visit many of our favourite retailers, try making sensory changes by introducing items such as lamps, candles, incense and music so that you can be the divine orchestra of your abode. 

For me, sensory changes have had a really positive impact on my environment and ultimately, my wellbeing. I like to start my day by blasting my favourite soundtrack, I open my balcony doors, light some incense and place candles where I want the warmth to glow. This is my own delicious recipe to help me feel relaxed and enjoy each day.

What can we do to not get sick of our own four walls? What can we do to enjoy our homes and our spaces?

Remember in 2019 when we all craved coming home after work? It’s time to fall in love with those reasons all over again! Remind yourself as to why it was so amazing to return to your castle.

Start with gratitude – and let’s layer on the love for our abode from there.

From 1 bedroom apartments, to Bayside mansions and houses positioned on rolling hills, the same rules apply during this period – we all need to find ways to keep positively amused and mentally stimulated.

What’s the one item we should all have during these times?

Let’s flip the question – if you weren’t in quarantine and you were enjoying a day at home, what would you need?

I personally need my Spotify playlist and awesome speaker. Music helps to sooth my soul through every emotion.

What’s your go-to quarantine activity?

Dancing around the house with my toy poodle—true story!

There is a video circulating of me following the Spice Girls routine to none other than Stop Right Now.

What’s the first thing you’re going to do post-lockdown?

Other than giving all my friends and family an indulgent squeeze, lick, kiss and cuddle, I will be hitting the salsa bars as this is my hobby.

Images via Donna d'Paul and köntrast interiors.

Donna d'Paul is an interior designer, Head Stylist for köntrast interiors, avid salsa dancer and mummy to fur babies, Byron and Ollie. 
Follow Donna on Instagram and whilst you're at it, we also recommend you throw her another cheeky follow over at köntrast