Diamond In The Bush; a Modern Contemporary Renovation

Interior Designer: @studio.mchugh

Style Sourcebook Profile: Studio McHugh

Photography: Jessica Harris

We love all our mood board projects equally here at Style Sourcebook, but this one is a little closer to home. Welcome to Diamond Creek, where we're exploring a modern contemporary renovation from our very own Marketing Manager, Emilee McHugh. Founder of Studio McHugh, Emilee has been curating interior projects for years before bringing her experience and incredible design aesthetics to Style Sourcebook. You may think us biased but wait till you see this swoon-worthy renovation and learn the details behind its transformation. We’ve even included before shots to really paint the picture. So, come with us as we chat with Emilee and explore this inspiring project.

Hi Emilee, thanks so much for sitting down with us. Can you tell us about the brief behind this project?

The project brief was simple - create a home functional to the lifestyle of the family while also achieving a modern contemporary facelift. 

We really took inspiration from this modern lifestyle cue and began to create a space that perfectly reflects the family. Apart from the bedrooms, every room in the home was completely transformed. 

For this project, we modified the existing space by removing the wall between the living room and kitchen, creating an inviting open floor plan. We completely renovated the kitchen, adjusting the layout to enhance functionality and suit the daily routines of the family. As wine and beer enthusiasts, it was only essential that we also included a custom-designed bar that integrates seamlessly with the new kitchen aesthetic, of course. Additionally, we installed bi-fold doors leading to a spacious deck, enhancing the connection between indoor and outdoor spaces. We also painted the walls in Dulux Natural White to offer more of a modern, clean, and timeless look throughout.

Even the existing wall that separated the water closet and bathroom was removed to create a large family bathroom with modern additions that only further enhanced this combination of functionality and aesthetics.

Mood board created by Studio McHugh on Style Sourcebook. View mood board here.

We love that focus! Can you tell us more about the style and aesthetics of the project? 

For this project, we embraced a modern contemporary style, infused with our Studio McHugh touch. The client, a long-time follower of our Instagram, reached out to us specifically for our unique approach to design. They appreciated the way we created spaces that were both unique and perfectly tailored to each home. Not following a cookie-cutter approach, the client wanted a space that was open and airy, yet simultaneously moody and homely.

Your mood boards for this project are so chic! How did mood boarding help bring this project to life?

Creating mood boards in the initial stages of the project was essential for defining the overall look and feel we envisioned for each space. The mood boards not only helped establish a clear theme and concept but also served as the foundational elements from which to build. Additionally, they ensured that there was a seamless flow and continuity throughout each space within the home.

Mood board created by Studio McHugh on Style Sourcebook. View mood board here.

Mood board created by Studio McHugh on Style Sourcebook. View mood board here.

What are your top tips for mood boarding?

My top tips for mood boarding would be to start with selecting a couple of key pieces for the room—these will be your hero elements. For instance, in the kitchen project, I chose the bench and splashback stone as the central features and built the rest of the mood board around them, adding and specifying other finishes and elements that complemented the stone.

I also believe that mood boarding should be enjoyable and not taken too seriously. It's perfectly fine to initially overload your mood board canvas with various products and images. This allows you to start with a broad vision, which you can then refine gradually until you achieve a concept that both you and your client truly adore.

We love the use of texture and cool tones used in the project, what was the inspiration behind this?

A core value of Studio McHugh is designing homes that stand the test of time. While I love the latest trends in interior design, my priority is crafting spaces that our clients will adore for years, minimising the need for future renovations. To achieve this, I often incorporate a variety of textures and tones that harmonise well with other elements in the home. Additionally, I work closely with my clients throughout the design process, as they are the ones who will live in the space. For this particular project, the client was fond of cooler tones, so we decided to focus on this colour palette when selecting materials.

And one last question we always ask our designers, as you know! What’s your favourite feature of this project:

My standout feature in this project would have to be the gorgeous stone in the kitchen/bar and also the cabinetry handles from Linear Standard. They just add such a unique, yet luxurious feel to the space. 


We hope you loved touring the Diamond Creek project and getting to know our Marketing Manager, Emilee, a little better. If you’re feeling inspired by this gorgeous modern contemporary renovation, then why make your visions a reality using our mood board tool?

Go-To Suppliers Used on Diamond Creek:

Ensuite & Bathroom:


ABI Interiors

National Tiles


Laundry & Kitchen: 


Quantum Quartz



Before Shots: