Mood Board Projects
My Kind of Bliss Coastal Interior Home Tour
Website: My Kind of Bliss
Style Sourcebook Profile: My Kind of Bliss
Interior Designer Mell from My Kind of Bliss has completely transformed her family home into a coastal paradise. Nothing brings us more joy than seeing Style Sourcebook projects come to life. From the very beginning we've watched Mell and her Husband Kenny from My Kind of Bliss create their dream home. The couple, who moved from Melbourne to Perth in pursue of a more spacious and relaxed lifestyle, have completed transformed their house into the perfect coastal family home and they did basically all of it themselves! This DIY couple took no short cuts when it came to putting in the hard yards and getting down to renovation business. Having both come from a background in performing arts, it’s safe to say that their time spent watching renovation videos on YouTube and hunting around until they found the right quote definitely paid off. They not only completely gutted and renovated most parts of their home themselves, they did this all while being pregnant and welcoming their beautiful baby girl into the world (now that’s an effort)! With a focus on natural elements, soothing colours and palm tree themed decor pieces, this coastal inspired home instantly transports you to a place of relaxation and retreat. We had the chance to have a chat to Mell and talk to her about all things renovation, what she learnt from her DIY renovation and her tips on creating a welcoming and inspiring home.
Tell us a bit of background about yourself (your career, where you are from, likes and dislikes etc.).
My name is Mell Kenny and I’m 33, married and have a beautiful 1 year old baby girl. My husband and I are currently renovating our entire home on a budget and doing the majority of the work ourselves. We aren’t professional renovators. Before renovating this house we were working as performers - my husband is a singer and I was a dancer for Tokyo Disneyland, Universal Studios and cruise ships. I got my Interior Design Diploma online while working abroad on a contract at the Interior Design Institute and I also did the first Three Birds Renovations Reno School. My husband and I learnt everything from YouTube and Bunnings videos and I couldn’t be prouder as my husband had never even used a tool before! I’m originally from Perth and my husband is from Melbourne. After living overseas and in Melbourne for over 8 years we decided to buy a place in Perth as we could get a large block by the beach for an affordable price.
What made you get into interior design?
I have been obsessed with interiors since I was very young and even though I trained as a dance/performer, I knew that later in life I wanted to follow my passion for interiors. I have always been a very creative person and love researching beautiful homes, renovations, furnishings, homewares and I LOVE creating mood boards and concepts. I have recently branched out and started on a slightly different path, creating my own business, and selling my artworks painted on clay wall tiles. You can check it out here.
You have recently renovated your home and it is absolutely beautiful. Tell us a bit of the background behind your renovation. Where did you get the inspiration for your renovation from?
I have always been obsessed with coastal style homes as I love the relaxed and calming atmosphere they create. I love tropical touches and natural elements as well and I wanted to create our own beachside tropical getaway at home. I love Byron style homes and wanted to include a lot of white with touches of colour. Palm trees feature a lot in my home too as they are my absolute favourite! I also love farmhouse style homes and have added a few of these elements in along the way, such as the board and batten details on the walls and the “X” details on the ends of the island bench.
We can imagine that you learnt a lot during renovation process as you did almost everything yourself (we take our hats off to you). For someone who is renovating at the moment, or thinking about renovating, what would be your top five pieces of advice for them?
1. Plan and educate yourself before you start.
Research and understand the process and order of doing things. Watch a million YouTube videos and follow renovators on Instagram. The Three Birds Reno School and my Diploma of Interior Design also came in very handy too.
Chat with a builder or structural engineer about your plans to see if they are possible. Monsta Pro consults helped a lot.
Get multiple quotes before you start.
Use tape to mark out your designs on the floor to see if the new layout works.
Make mood boards using the Style Sourcebook.
Write a timeline to help stay on track.
2. Be flexible and compromise.
Work with what you have. We had a lintel and a few other things we had to work around.
Research how you can get the look for less if you are on a budget. If you are prepared to put in the time you can save a lot of money by researching products that can give you a similar result for a fraction of the price (e.g., laminate vs stone and painting our cabinets ourselves).
3. Save money where you can.
Do your research on appliances, tapware, sinks, handles, tiles, etc and compare a large range of stores. We saved so much money shopping around and buying at the right time. Most stores will give you a better deal if can give them evidence of it being cheaper somewhere else.
Do what you can yourself - don’t be scared to give it a go.
Try to keep your plumbing and electrical where it is if possible.
Spend money in the right places. We invested money in good quality appliances and hybrid floors (which we installed ourselves).
4. Design the home you want.
Take in advice but make sure the layout works for you and your lifestyle.
I wanted a lot of storage so I widened the island bench design and we attached 300mm overhead cabinets to the back of the main base cabinets and now we have storage on both sides. I wanted a large island bench to make use of the space, so that turned out to be one of the best decisions we’ve made.
Even though this was a budget kitchen reno I still wanted to make it feel custom. By adding on the timber details to the side of the island ourselves and creating a bulkhead above the cabinetry, it’s made the whole kitchen feel more luxe and expensive (we used Kaboodle for all of the cabinets).
5. Team work makes the dream work.
Make sure you constantly build each other up and celebrate the little victories along the way. Don’t worry if things go wrong - there’s always a way to fix it!
Break it into small phases rather than being overwhelmed at the giant task ahead.
Be prepared to be uncomfortable for a while. We lived in our front room for a month and had to wash our dishes in the laundry.
It’s hard work and it can take time doing it yourselves but it’s so much more rewarding!
Good motivating music is a must!
Take lots of before pics so that you can remember how far you’ve come - it keeps you really motivated.
What would be your advice to someone who is struggling to find their style for their interior project and is in a bit of a creative rut?
Hop on Pinterest or Instagram and find images that you are naturally drawn to. Find the similarities in them and what it is that you like about them. Create a mood board including the images and other products that inspire you and use that as a guide for the project. There are no rules, follow what you love and mix styles that you love too.
What was the inspiration behind your business name, ‘My Kind of Bliss?’
A long time ago I had to take some time off with an injury and was bound to the couch and watched a lot of TV. I remember at the time “The Secret” was all the rage and thought that I would watch it and see what all of the fuss was about. The one thing that I took from it was the quote to “follow your bliss.” That has always stuck with me and so when I wanted to start an interiors account and website, I knew that I wanted to share my own version of bliss with everyone and what inspires me. That’s why I called it “My Kind of Bliss”.
In your opinion, what makes a house a home?
Creating a home is all about making a space your own and it should be a reflection of everyone who lives there. It should be your own personal retreat to feel safe in and filled with pieces that you love and “spark joy”. Adding textures and layers can make your home feel warm, inviting, and comfortable and a space that you want to relax in. I love adding pieces that I have found on my travels and natural elements and greenery to bring life into the space. Don’t be afraid to mix and match and furnish your home from a variety of places. Make the space work for you and what your family needs and let the space constantly evolve over time as your needs change.
Your interiors always seem so full of life and texture. What is your secret to creating an interesting interior?
Adding details and accents, such as the X detail on our island bench or the timber battens on our walls, are just a few inexpensive ways of creating character to an otherwise ordinary room. Adding different textures creates depth and interest to a space and keeps your eye wandering around the room. Timber elements such as our hybrid flooring, create such a beautiful warmth in every room and adding touches or greenery or colour can bring life and interest to any space. I love adding layers in every room, whether it’s rugs, cushions, throws, ceramics, art, décor, etc and creating little vignettes where I can.