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The Block's Josh and Jenna share their 5 best tips for designing the home of your dreams.

You’ll remember Josh and Jenna from The Block 2011 and 2013 for their spectacular style as well as their fiery personalities.

Since appearing on the show, the renovation and design duo have been able to launch careers from their ability to renovate and design beautiful homes.

Jenna – who was a hairdresser by trade prior to The Block – has since studied interior design before the couple started their own Design School, where they take on 70 students at one time.

The couple – who also now have a two-year-old daughter, Freddie, with one more on the way – are speaking to Mamamia two weeks before they move into their “forever home”.

Here, they share their top five design tips, which they don’t just teach their design students, but follow themselves too.

1. Don’t follow style trends.

Josh and Jenna strongly believe a lack of creativity currently exists within the industry, thanks to platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram providing everyone with the same inspiration.

“I can’t stress this enough to my students: being unique and individual is the most important thing,” Jenna tells Mamamia. “I think in the world of a saturated market, people are buying mass-produced products too often.”

As Jenna explains, homeware giants such as Kmart – although great for cheap products – mean “people’s homes are looking exactly the same”.

“I think it’s just really important to not follow trends necessarily but just more design to create a feeling,” Jenna continues.

Josh adds: “Sometimes the trend won’t make sense for the home you’re actually working on. Design for the home rather than a specific style that will go out of date in one year.”

2. Design more conversational homes.

This is one you don’t hear often.

When asked what trend the design duo would like to see return, Jenna didn’t hesitate with her answer: “We need to see more conversational homes.”

“We’re obviously focusing on technology and facing our sofa towards the television and we’re losing that connection to people.

“So if there’s going to be a trend that I’d like to see come back, it would certainly be that technology isn’t the centre of your home.”

3. Spend all your time on planning.

 

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This, they say, is their number one design tip. And although it sounds simple, it’s one they say too many people forget.

Jenna explains the more people spend in the planning stage of designing their home, the more capacity they have to correctly budget. They suggest getting every possible detail right before you spend a cent.

“Say your designing a lounge room – give an estimate on how much your sofa will cost, how much your rug will cost, and know absolutely everything before you spend anything so you have the opportunity to choose where you can compromise,” she suggests.

“People skip the planning step and they go straight into buying furniture and then they have to work backwards. Think about everything first.”

4. Custom-made furniture is best.

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Josh and Jenna are the first to admit they have expensive taste when it comes to furniture. But as Josh explains, they believe bespoke pieces don’t have to be as costly as they’re often made out to be.

“We’re a big believer in getting things custom-made,”Josh explains to Mamamia.

“I think until recently everyone has felt like custom is this really expensive thing that only rich people can afford.

“But you’ll actually find that to get a decent sofa now you’re probably spending $4,000 to 5,000 to get one that is actually a decent size for a family. But you could get one custom-made for your home, with your exact fabric choices and layout, for the same price – probably even cheaper.”

As the north Melbourne couple share, during the designing of their own home they have saved thousands of dollars by having some of their furniture built in by seeking out the service of joiners and furniture makers.

“And then it’s unique and you’ll never see it again,” Jenna adds. “It’s designed for the people and the home.”

5. Save money on lighting.

Their money-saving tip is to not spend your dollars on “excessive lighting”.

“People tend to flood their house with down lights like a spaceship,” Josh says.

“If you can just focus on the areas that you actually want to light up like surfaces, for instance, then use wall lights instead of down lights, like concealed LED strips, just to bring in a softer light.

“You could easily save a few thousand dollars just by limiting the down lights you put in.”

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