How to refresh a space according to product designer and interior stylist Sarah Ellison

26th February, 2022

A sneak peek of Sarah’s design work in my home

If you’ve not yet spied product designer and interior stylist Sarah Ellison’s dreamy aesthetic then definitely scroll on over to her Instagram, because it’s interiors goodness a plenty. Not only that, Sarah’s eye for creating innovative pieces that can really make a room, will have you wanting to do a room makeover faster than you can say ‘refresh’.

I worked with Sarah on a project in my own home (reveal here!) and saw her process up close and personal and know first hand how skilled she is at elevating a space and giving it an entirely new look and feel. So, if you’ve got your sights set in on room refresh in the new year (or maybe want to embark on something even more ambitious) read on for her sage advice and her tips for renovating.

What’s the first thing you do when embarking on a renovation project?

“Get excited about what’s possible!”

What are the major considerations to remember when renovating a space?

“Budget, it’s all in the planning. Make sure you have a good plan and budget in place before you get started. 

Also take in to consideration, where the home is located and make sure that is reflected within the design.”

What are the big mistakes to avoid when it comes to renovating a room?

“Not refining the style of the space and trying to add too many trends that aren’t related to the space or the people that live there.”

How can people ensure that their room is cohesive and works together?

“For me there should always be three key pieces within a space that all work harmoniously together. If you get those three pieces right then the rest should fall in to place. For Kate’s space it was the artwork, the sofas and the coffee table. They are all complementary but interesting in their own right.”


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A post shared by SARAH ELLISON (@sarahellisonstudio)

What are your tips for determining where pieces should go and the overall layout used

“For example, if we are talking about a living room— 

There are a few considerations and questions you need to ask yourself about a space when planning. There are the obvious considerations, such as the actual measurements and the practicalities of the space. But also, what kind of experience do you want to create?”

Are you creating a media zone where all the focus is on the television?

In which case you would choose an L or U-shaped sectional sofa. 

Or are you creating a family space to accommodate different sized members of the family? You could choose a 3-seater and 2 comfy lounge chairs. 

Is it an entertaining space for conversation? Something like two 3-seaters facing one another and 2 lounge chairs would suit. 

Or is it a room with an amazing view that needs to be celebrated? Something [such as a sofa] with a low back profile perhaps? 

By asking these questions you can narrow down the style of the furniture that you need to purchase but you are also answering questions on the layout of the living room furniture at the same time.”

Where do you get your interiors inspiration from?

“Mostly my inspiration is international and then I like to add my own flavour. I take inspiration from history, fashion and nature.”

What’s your favourite part of doing a room renovation?

“The end result. I love a before and after!” 

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