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Studio McQueen, Designing Perth Renovations + Interiors sustainably

Herne Hill Concept ~ Contemporary country Renovation with rustic tones.

Studio McQueen, Designing Perth Renovations + Interiors sustainably


Case Study; Herne Hill Concept, A Contemporary Country Renovation with rustic tones.


Clients of mine have recently bought a property in Herne Hill, (Perth hills) with quite a few acres. They want to renovate to create a new Living/Dining/ Kitchen open area with fireplace, with Bedroom Ensuite & Laundry room.  The existing part of the house (stage 2) will be converted to suit the clients, daughter and family; so to create a blended family home. So my clients came to me with a rough sketch of what they wanted but just felt the plan was lacking design integrity and needed some creative direction.

When I’m working with clients I like to set up a Pinterest Board for their renovation inspiration (it’s a hidden board – so no one visiting my Pinterest page can see their ideas & Inspiration). Sometimes clients find it hard to express what style they are after or most times the Pinterest Board becomes a mess of too many different styles. That’s where I step in, to analyse what style reflects you, your family needs and also matches in with the home’s natural character.

Firstly I like to start brainstorming what materials and finishes the clients are drawn to as this gives me a good indication what overall style to head towards. The clients loved the idea of creating a contemporary overall architecturally but then the kitchen creating rustic elements. Think of concrete benchtops with recycled jarrah kitchen cabinets. Then I’ll come up with a style guide for the overall look and feel I think the clients are trying to achieve. I send this off and we discuss ideas and relay feedback to get the clients opinions and further ideas.


Studio McQueen, Designing Perth Renovations + Interiors sustainably

The planning stage, coming up with the best layout.

When renovating, space planning is vital to get right and involves time to go over the plan continuously thinking how can I make the spaces flow better, reduce any dead space and make sure there’s adequate room for furniture. I always design my spaces based on clients furniture needs, do they need a 10 seater dining table when the family comes to stay at Christmas? So I always show furniture on my layout plans, even though it’s still early on in the design phase space around furniture is also what I’m allowing for. The other important aspect is taking in the environment conditions, locating the north and building living areas in this design space (if possible). As this allows natural light and using solar passive design techniques by naturally heating home in winter with the sunlight. Download my free ebook ‘How to Renovate sustainably with a sense of style’ to learn more about how I design using sustainable design principles.

So once I have sketched out 20 layout ideas I usually get a sense which 2 are going to work well. I always like to show my clients 2 design layouts, because it allows me to gauge what they like from concept and don’t from another. This is really when we discuss what ideas with suit their needs and lifestyle. These are the 2 concepts proposed to the clients. I also like to add a couple of 3D views to show them to give a sense of how it will look. During the meeting, I also take my laptop and show them in real view each option. 3d Model is so important I find with my clients (even though this stage the model is quite rough) Clients can immediately imagine what the interior will look like and helps them visualise the renovation completed.


Studio McQueen, Designing Perth Renovations + Interiors sustainably


Studio McQueen, Designing Perth Renovations + Interiors sustainably


Deciding on a concept and completing the layout design.

After this meeting, I have a clear idea which concept I think the clients are leaning towards and I head back to my home studio to tweak the plans and develop ideas further. I’ll go into more detail with the kitchens, bathrooms and laundry’s and any custom joinery design. By creating detailed architectural plans with elevations and some suggestions of tiles and finishes. While I’m working on this, once I know my overall layout I contact a builder I closely work with to give me estimates on the building costs. So I am checking I’m still within the clients budget at the early stages of the design, instead of leaving it to the end and realise a re-design is needed. I want your project to go ahead, so I will tweak and suggest idea’s with the builder and come back with design changes that will work within your budget.

Here’s a walk through video of the internal.



Proposing architectural drawings & finishes.

The next meeting is where we go through the architectural drawings, floor plan, site plan, elevations, kitchens, bathrooms and custom joinery. We discuss and changes and tweaks to each room / plan page, discuss budget costs (of building costs) discuss hard finishes (such as benchtops, cabinets, tiles ideas) and allowance budget for interiors (furniture, window treatments, soft furnishings). For the lounges and chair furniture, we need to discuss now as pieces usually take up to 8 weeks for manufacture & delivery – even if it’s not custom made. Most people are surprised by this, yes even if you go to harvey norman or freedom and buy off the floor there’s usually a time frame involved.

Most times in this meeting we also finalise all the hard finishes, benchtops, cabinets. This meeting is usually pretty straight forward because I have a clear idea on your design direction, I can go and collect the colour options and finishes I know will work and we can select together on the day. That means you don’t need to trape around to every tile store and get flustered because there’s a billion to choose from!


Signing building Contract & Project starts.

Yay the design is finalised, finishes all sorted! All this information goes to the builder to finialise a fixed price for the renovation and scheduled time frames for start and completion dates. If needed the plans are submitted to council for approval and the project gets underway.

Now there’s time to start ordering the furniture pieces that will turn your house into a home that makes you feel beautiful and inspired being in the space. This is where I build out a shopping list of the items for each room, we also build mood boards to show you how all the pieces work together. I utilise a clever software program that keeps all the information together so ou can go to the website and see what selections we are thinking, you approve and then we purchase and organise delivery to coincide with the renovation installation date.


Installation Date & handover you’re newly renovated home.

This is the exciting part and depending on how many rooms we are designing and installing it can take 1 -3 days to set up and is usually a bit of a mad rush to get everything looking so beautiful. When I started my design studio I knew I wanted to focus on delivering a high level of personal service throughout the design process & build process. As I believe the emotional journey of our clients from concept to completion is just as critical as the design itself. Theres nothing more exciting when you see the clients faces light up once the step into the room, as a designer that’s what I thrive on.


Are you looking for a bespoke designer that will help with your renovation?


Perth renovation & interior design


Hi I’m Melinda McQueen, I am the creative director behind Studio McQueen a bespoke Renovation and new home design Studio in Perth WA. With a holistic view in creating uplifting beautiful homes for our clients sustainably. If you’re looking for someone to help with your home renovation or just have a room that needs updating? Send an inquiry to me here and I’ll call you back to discuss your home renovation.



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