Deadline Design With Shaynna Blaze

Shaynna's Design Notes: Scandinavian Theme

Shaynna reveals her design notes from the Box Hill makeover in Episode 3 - the Scandi look. 

Embracing simplicity is the key to Scandinavian design. Bare timbers and plenty of whites and neutrals create a relaxing, minimalist vibe with plenty of space and natural light. Think clean lines and minimal fuss, and bold white walls offset by pops of natural colour evoke the wide-open spaces of the glacial European north.

Jen and Adam were already well past the planning stage of renovating their weatherboard family home to accommodate their family’s needs. Their wishlist was a new kitchen/dining/living area, a rumpus room, and an overhaul of the master bedroom and ensuite. A large build meant a small budget for doing up the interiors, so minimal Scandi style was the way to go.

Bedroom and ensuite

With their busy family life, Jen and Adam didn’t have a space to call their own. Shaynna turned the frontroom, formally a play area, into a much needed master bedroom. Soft blues and timber floors generate a relaxed, inviting feel for this adult oasis, centred around a gorgeous period fireplace.

Choosing a bed and bedside furniture to maximize the space meant ultimately giving the room an airy, open feeling, which is central to achieving a Scandinavian style. The clean white tiling in the ensuite bathroom continues that theme, evoking a calming sense of purity.

Living area and kitchen

For the centre of the family home, Jen and Adam’s design tastes had to be tempered with the practical needs of raising three kids. The huge island bench gives plenty of space for the family to work and play at, and Shaynna opted for a lovely grey colour for the fit-out, turning the kitchen into a focal piece against the white walls.

To evoke the concrete kitchen look the couple love, they instead opted for engineered stone in a concrete look, which is both more cost-effective, easier to look after and more durable. It’s useful to always consider artificial alternatives to the look your heart longs for, as it can often be the better option in more than just cost.

Timber floors and blush tones bring warmth to the open area, a perfect counterpoint to the bold white walls and sliding doors. The living room design incorporates round furnishings to offset the square features of the kitchen.

Finally, the banquet in the dining area relaxes the space, creating an inviting nook not just for meals but for relaxing in and enjoying the view. The mixed pastel colours can be added to over time, there’s storage inside the seats, and the material of the seats is an outdoor stain-resistant fabric – all features just perfect for a house full of kids!


Yas combined hanging plants, a wall mural and a patterned hanging to create an indoor forest for the kids to play in. While the clean lines and white walls of the house continue into this room, the bright colours and textures of the fabrics makes this a whimsical space for young minds. Light and easily moveable furniture with built-in storage makes for a simple clean-up at the end of a long day.

Design Option

Jen was convinced her kitchen should have all white cabinetry, and a white island bench, with a concrete top. But in such an enormous space, and with those white walls, it just wouldn’t have worked. The white cabinets would disappear against the room. In Shaynna’s chosen warm grey tones, the cabinets instead jump out, a beautiful focal feature. And giving the island bench a timber base in natural tones connects it to the floor, creating an integrated feeling it just wouldn’t have if it were white.

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