Design's Best-Kept Secret

Posted on 23 Apr 2019

Have you ever been scrolling through Pinterest or Instagram and felt a pang of envy when you spotted a beautifully styled home interior uploaded by an old acquaintance? Or have you ever wondered what you’re missing when a friend plays coy when you ask her how the heck she managed to pull together a thoughtfully curated living room in her new home, knowing full well what her usual styling efforts entail? It could just be that your acquaintance has always been effortlessly stylish, and maybe your friend has found a new hobby in design… but it’s likely that their homes are the work of an interior designer like Adriana Peci.

Adriana started Hatch Interiors, her interior design company, in 2013 with the idea of making interior design an affordable option for those building their dream home. Combining a passion for creating timeless and functional homes with a budget-conscious approach, Adriana is the go-to interior design expert for many of Perth’s best-known and respected builders.

We sat down with her to talk all things interior design – including some of her favourite building materials, why she chose the builder she did for her own home, the design process she went through while building, and her top tips for achieving a polished, cohesive style in your own home.

Adriana, it’s so nice to be chatting to you today! Perth is home some incredible architects, home designers and builders. Who did you choose to build your own home with, and why?

It’s so nice to chat with you too! I chose to build my home with Mondo Exclusive Homes here in Perth for a couple of reasons.

The first was that, as I’ve been their interior designer for about 5 years now, I’ve built a strong relationship with Ray and the team. I really believe that when you’re building with someone for 12 months or more, you need to have common ground and trust.

Secondly, due to the nature of my job, sometimes I’m not the most decisive person when it comes to making decisions. If I see new things, I want to incorporate them into my home, and I knew they could offer me that flexibility.

As an interior designer, I’m sure planning the look of your new home was exciting! What was the process like, and what were some of your considerations?

Being that my home was in Scarborough, I really thought about the demographic of people that were living around there, and the type of home that they would want to see if they were looking to buy. So I thought, if I had a coastal-inspired colour palette and style for the home, it would be a good fit for the area. I tried to keep resale value and ease of selling in mind, because while this is an absolute dream home for me, you never know what will happen in the future!

And did your home turn out like you envisaged? How would you describe it now?

I got everything I wanted! I wanted a really light and bright interior, and that was achieved through the white walls and my light timber flooring. I also love that big, open, spacious feeling, so I made sure there was a white-toned entry and that the colours were really neutral. 

While the brief started out as coastal-inspired, the styling took a bit of a turn when I selected my ensuite floor tile, which is a patterned blue. I thought, “Well, it’s still coastal…,” but it ended up leading me down a sort of coastal-boho avenue, so halfway through construction I started researching that. In that, I found there were a lot more cane elements, and macramé, and lots of striking patterns – and from there, I started introducing those sorts of elements into the furnishings. 

Do you have any regrets?

Like everyone, there are things I’d do differently now… but they’re the things that only living in the home will teach you, even as a designer. No regrets though!

So, I’ve never built a home before, and I’ve heard it can be a bit daunting. How does an interior designer make things easier for the client?

Having a professional guide you through the pre-start process can make it so much less daunting, because we can direct you to the right suppliers and retailers, and of course help you with your selections!

Being guided through the process – from pre-start right through to completion – is great if you lack building experience or aren’t design minded, even when it comes to deadlines. For example, so many people only start considering furniture for their home about a month before handover… but you really need to start looking way earlier so you have time to choose, instead of making rushed decisions because you’re pressed for time.

What’s the best way to prepare for your first meeting with your interior designer?

I always suggest doing some research on Pinterest or Instagram first. Think about colour schemes, bench, counter or flooring materials, and even overhead cupboard designs. That way you’ve got examples to present so your interior designer can get a real feel for what you want, and that can carry you the whole way through the build.

Going back to your home – you’ve used some very traditional building materials in a couple of unexpected places. Can you tell us about that?

When I was designing my wine cellar, I decided I really wanted exposed brick in there. Midland Brick had just released their Subiaco Red brick, which is a natural-looking brown-and-red blend, and I thought the coached version of that with trowelled-off, white mortar would make the cellar look like it had been around for a really long time. Happily, it does!

The Subiaco Red brick also ended up being used in my fire pit outside. I had half a pack of them left over, and we didn’t want to waste them, so we came up with that. I was so excited about it… and then the bricks got stolen from site! Ray (my builder) was joking, like, “Oh well, that solves the problem!” But by that stage I had my heart set on the fire pit, so I ended up buying another half a pack so we could create it.

Do you have a favourite room in your home?

It’s easily my cellar, because it’s so different. It draws everyone’s attention. Visitors come in, and they’re like, “no way!” I love my kitchen, and my dining area, and my outdoor entertaining, but the cellar was just a happy accident. I had an area under the stairs that couldn’t be used for much except storage, and I already had so much storage. The idea developed over time, and I really grew to love it.

You also used stone on the front and rear elevations of your home; what was it that attracted you to it?

I’d been using Midland Brick Cultured Stone on so many of my clients’ projects that I really felt I needed to include it in mine, which helps to bring across that coastal look! I’ve used it on the piers out the back in a blend of Country Ledgestone in White Oak, Aspen and Wolf Creek, and the stone helps add texture to contrast with the weatherboard and the render being so smooth and clean.

I’m sure there are people out there who are looking at your home on Instagram and are coveting the look you’ve achieved. What 3 tips would you give them to recreate it at home?

Firstly, you need that crisp balance between your floors and your walls. Whether that means you go with dark timber flooring or not, your walls should always be a white so that your artwork and other furnishings stand out.

Secondly, bring in patterns – and don’t be afraid of conflicting patterns or textures, so long as they’re in a harmonious colour palette.

Lastly, going back to colour. If you decide to have a real accent colour (like I have done with the blue), make sure you carry that through to the whole house, because you want the whole house to help tell the story. 

Adriana offers consultations at Home Base – to book, contact her at hatchinteriors.com.au. To find out more about Midland Brick’s range of building materials, including bricks and Cultured Stone, browse our products online, download a brochure or pop in to one of our four retail locations

Images: Gathering Light Photography

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