Renovating without a clear vision is like plonking yourself down in the swivel chair of a new hairdresser and saying, ‘Do whatever you want.’ Chances are you’ll spend a fortune, be forced to live with something you don’t want (bangs, anyone?) and it will all end in tears.  

We start every renovation by creating a vision board.  A vision board is just a glorified mood board, right? Wrong! It’s much more than that.

A mood board (despite its name) usually depicts how you want something to LOOK rather than how you want it to FEEL. Our vision boards do both. They capture how you want your reno to look (the aesthetics) and, more importantly, how you want to live and feel in the finished space (the vibe). Quite simply, they’re a visual summary of your goals.

First, let’s get the dream juices flowing with a few BIG questions.

1. How do you currently live, and why do you want to renovate?

2. Who will benefit most from your reno?

3. How do you want to feel in your home?

4. What does your dream home look like?

5. Is there anything that currently gets in the way of you enjoying your home every day?

6. What would be nice to have, would make things easier, make you happier?

7. If there is one thing about your current home that you would like to never ever see again?


Before you fall in love with a vision of your dream home, do a bit of research so you understand the original architectural style of the home you have, as this should guide you on what ‘looks’ may be easiest to achieve. For example, if your house is a 1920s Californian bungalow, you’re probably best renovating to a style that works with some of the original features of that home rather than trying to create something completely different. Work with what you’ve got and improve on it.

Not sure what different architectural styles are out there? Click this link to see what the experts say.

Write down words that describe the overall design aesthetic, look and mood you are drawn to (you can use words like ‘Hamptons’, ‘Scandi’, ‘Coastal’, ‘Modern’, etc.), as well as any thoughts you have about your reno. Reference colours, textures and materials (warm, timber, natural, organic, smooth etc.).

Once you know what style you want or like - research the bejeezus out of it. Pinterest is awesome for this – you could type in “santorini” and “greek islands” and find so much inspo. Finding images is easy, but you need a system to group together the pics you love. The better you are at collating and filing images, the more chance you have of nailing your look. I never thought Bonnie was ‘well-organised’ until I saw her Pinterest board. She has a board for everything!


First, you need to work out if you prefer an old-school vision board (like a corkboard), or a new-school digital one. Whichever medium works best for you is fine. The most important thing is that you can look at it frequently and easily. For what it’s worth, we love using a combo of Pinterest and Instagram to screenshot pics we love. We sometimes use an app called Canva to collect images together on one page.  Once you’ve decided on your medium, it’s time to get going.

1. Write your reno vision in 3-5 words.
For example: ‘modern mediterranean villa’

2. Write how you want to feel using a few words
For example: “i want to feel like i’m on holidays every day”

3. Come up with a hashtag for your reno vision
For example: #santoriniinsydney

4. Identify no more than 10 of your favourite inspo shots and check that the pics match the words in steps 1-3. Do they look like the style you are trying to achieve?

5. Pin the words and pics on your vision board (remember this can be digital or a corkboard or a scrapbook). Whatever floats your boat.


Here’s one we prepared earlier…

Our vision for House Nine was to create #theboldextension to open this little suburban eyesore up to her full potential.

We wanted to create a family home for entertaining and have café style moments. We envisioned some bold features with pops of luxe to totally transform this ugly duckling.

The vision board looked like this:


When we’re picking tiles, paint, wallpaper (anything!) for this reno, we refer back to this vision board to make sure it’s in keeping with the overall look and feel we’re going for. It’s simple when you know how!


Our current Reno School Students have been busy with their own projects too




If you want to learn the step-by-step process to create your own vision board, you’re in the right place! The Reno School is our six-week online course and enrolments are selling fast for the next intake.

Each week we’ll send you new modules that you can download and complete at your own pace. There are no assessments or exams, just a whole lot of invaluable information to teach you how to design, renovate and style like we do.

And you’ll gain exclusive access to our Facebook Group of fellow students who love to share their experiences and help you with your reno project.

You’ll find all the details here: