Anyone who has undertaken a building, renovation or styling project will understand the dilemma you can experience when you just don’t know what to do anymore. Option anxiety is a real thing and sometimes it can be so difficult, and often stressful, to make decisions that will impact the space you’ll be living in for years to come.

Alison Lewis is our guest today and she not only has a keen eye for detail and amazing sense of style, but also understands the roadblocks that designers and DIYers alike can face while undergoing building and renovation projects. Alison is an interior designer and we are thrilled to have her as part of our BuildHer8 group. In addition to offering full design packages, she also provides design consultations and coaching calls to help her clients through the decision making process. Alison is also the owner of a coffee table to die for, but we won’t talk about how jealous we are of that! We’ve put a gorgeous carousel of photos (taken by Dylan James – see link below) of Alison’s Cecil Street project – including the coffee table!!!

In this episode, you’ll hear about Alison’s approach to forming her mood boards and how they can be a helpful resource to refer back to when things start going haywire. She shares her journey with renovating her own home and how she navigated the budget and site constraints and council regulations to eventually establish a clear plan for a beautiful finished project.

Styling a home is harder than it looks but it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Alison shares some hot tips for designing and styling and how she has adopted the slogan, “a little bit posh and a little bit pov” to help her pair items together without breaking the bank.  Alison also talks about how it’s important to choose items that tell a story and mean something to you.  It’s your home after all so you may as well love it!

So if you’re in the middle of a project and feeling a bit stuck, just know you’re not alone.  It’s a normal part of the process and we are here to help!  Book a free 20 minute consultation with BuildHer Collective or contact Alison for a not-to-disappoint design consultation.

If you have a topic or question you’d like us to cover, contact us here.


  • [3:10]: Alison’s inspirations for her Rathmines project mood board and how she went with what she was naturally drawn to
  • [5:26]: Deciding what is best for the overall outcome for the project, which might mean having to let some things go
  • [6:50]: Things look different on a large scale as opposed to small samples on a moodboard.
  • [8:15]: Do what you need to do to make sure you’re happy with each decision. Take the time to choose things carefully and go back to your moodboard as your reference point
  • [8:43]: Alison’s own home renovation and her process of deciding on the floor plan and her industrial modern theme
  • [10:45]: The benefits of staying in a home for a period of time before making any changes
  • [12:20]: How Alison accepted the fact that her home was smaller and started working with what she had, which helped her finalise her plan
  • [14:05]: How Alison came about a gorgeous coffee table that she had been lusting after
  • [15:50]: Alison’s upcoming exciting move to Byron Bay
  • [17:05]: The services that Alison provides via her design consultations and coaching calls
  • [18:30]: How Alison’s design services complement the DIY nature of a lot of her clients
  • [19:49]: Alison’s hot tip for making a cohesive pallet
  • [20:25]: Styling is harder than it may appear.  Play around with scale, colour, texture and adding greenery
  • [22:09]: Alison’s love for collecting pieces and how she has adopted the saying “a little bit posh and a little bit pov” to pair items together


We have several Facebook Groups at BuildHer Collective.


BHC DevelopHers Circle and BuildHer Collective Members Only – these are closed groups for women who are doing our Build Like a BuildHer course or who have joined our DevelopHers Inner Circle.


Anyone is more than welcome to join our Women who Design, Decorate, Renovate & Build group. You will note that it’s a closed group but ask to join and if you’re into building and renovating, this is such an amazing and supportive FREE community, so come on and join in the building goodness!