Deadline Design With Shaynna Blaze

Shaynna's Design Notes: Modern/Sophisticated Bachelor Pad

Shaynna Blaze shows you how to make over a bachelor pad - as seen on Deadline Design! 

With a deadline of visiting family for his brother Scott’s wedding, Mark’s bachelor pad desperately needed an update. A typically compact Victorian cottage, the clunky spaces and weird angles had left Mark at a loss for how to best use his living areas. As a result, he’d been living in a barely furnished house closer to a uni student’s dorm, than a home fit for the man he hoped to show his family he’d become.

For a small cottage like this, making the most of every square metre was paramount. Modern design places great emphasis on function and order, and inspired the team to turn Mark’s living spaces upside down, maxing out their use and efficiency while maintaining homely appeal. The rooms already had great light, great height, and were in good condition but they needed better use of space and a serious style update. To suit our modern man Mark’s simple taste and sensibilities, bold colours and sleek fittings brought in class and intimacy, letting his spartan home finally come to life.

Front Room

The front room sets the tone for the rest of the house and Mark’s was bare and almost empty. Yas was tasked with turning it into an intimate and welcoming space to spend some downtime in. She decided to create a gentleman’s parlour, inspired by masculine 1920s elegance. Painting the walls a dark navy created a cosy feel, with custom tartan linen drapes a nod to Mark’s Scottish heritage. Installing timber frames on the feature wall imitated a 17th century trend of wall paneling but was far less heavy and costly.

Vintage design elements in the armchair and mantle features continued the old world elegance, with a drinks trolley and framed animal skeletons adding curiosity and charm. Ridged timber screens separated the room from the front door, allowing for a feeling of privacy and intimacy in a room that will be used as a thoroughfare. The eclectic mix of curiosity, 1920s glamour and moody colour is masculine yet welcoming, a modern gentleman’s den.


The bizarre kitchen/dining plan was uncomfortable and barely workable, with the cooking area wedged into the back corner beneath sunroom style windows that cooked the chef more than the food. Meanwhile, the rest of the space sat barely used.

Shaynna flipped the kitchen to the other side of the room, opening up the rest of the space to create three separate areas: kitchen/dining, lounge, and a breakfast nook. The hero of the downstairs redesign was a bright red feature wall running the length of the hallway and out into this main living area, which set the tone and colour scheme for the rest of the space.

In the kitchen area, a custom splash back was created by digitally printing commissioned posters onto toughened glass to create a unique piece reflecting Mark’s love of live music. Pops of orange in the design tied in to the red feature wall and statement orange fridge. To allow those colours to pop, a combination of plain black and grey cabinets were used, letting the bright reds and oranges stand out. A quality bench top of engineered stone provided a durable and low-maintenance finish, perfect for a laid-back lifestyle.

Beyond the kitchen and dining space was Mark’s new lounge area, where an aged leather couch was set up to give a cosy, lived-in feel. A slimline black TV unit tied the kitchen cabinets at one end to the black window frames at the other, creating a sense of continuity through the whole room.

Finally, a café-style breakfast bar at the back of the room was completed with bi-fold windows and benches to truly maximize the living space, flowing into the garden for indoor-outdoor living all set for summer barbeques. Stylish black window frames recede into the background, letting the colours of the garden come into the living space. And to combat heat from the afternoon sun, Shaynna had Mike install a pergola. Jasmine will grow over the frames, filtering the sunlight to prevent diners from roasting.

Downstairs Bathroom

Moving the washing machine and dryer under the stairs gave the downstairs bathroom a bit more space to play with. The highlight of the bathroom redesign was Shaynna’s intriguing tile design, created by mixing white subway tiles of different finishes and sizes to create a random pattern that will reflect different colours depending on the light. A recent trend in tapware finishes is called gunmetal, which Shaynna chose to kit out the bathroom. It’s masculine but stylish and captures a vintage quality that works with the history of the house.


The upstairs bedroom was a great space but looked more like a hostel than a home. Mark hated it and couldn’t wait to see the update. Pale grey paint was used to complement the exposed timbers and work with the natural light to create friendly, relaxing sleeping quarters. Navy linens and cushions brought some much-needed intimacy to the bare space and the queen bed was upgraded to include gas-lift storage space so Mark can keep his room uncluttered and tidy.


A small bedroom ensuite beset by dated fish tiles needed a makeover fit for an adult. Shaynna used the same mixed tiles from the downstairs bathroom but with a simpler pattern to reflect the smaller room. Built in cabinets created more space, and a heated towel rail completed the now much more adult bathroom.

Design option

Shaynna painted the length of Mark’s hallway in a rich red called “Rum Runner” by Taubmans. Mark wasn’t too keen on this idea, but he was brave enough to go along with it. The red wall linked with the colours in the splash back and fridge and gave the space depth and warm. Left to his own devices Mark would have chosen white. This would have worked, but the room would look far less dramatic, the warmth would be lost, as would the visual ties with the fridge and splash back.

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