Since finishing Section 2.1 of my Interior Design Degree [KLC School of Design], I’ve been fascinated to see how professional interior designers turn their concepts into the finished scheme.

As soon as I came across the new Sonoma Bakery by Blainey North I just had to share it with you. The new store, a Bakery-by-Day / Wine bar by night, is truly stunning. Briefed to make something of a sensory statement, Blainey North’s team worked hard to reflect the artisan’s brand ethos. I think North’s creative process is clear, deliberate and translates well into the finished renovation.

Sonoma-Bakery-by-Blainey-North-Concept-Image[Concept/Mood Board for Sonoma Bakery]



Mood boards are a fantastic way to depict the ‘look and feel’ of an upcoming renovation. Across all disciplines of design you will find designers working from scrapbooks, mood boards and concepts. It’s a great way to avoid ‘copying’ a tried-and-tested look, and discover an original/unique palette of colour, texture, shape and style for your client.

Not only this, but a concept board helps to relieve the pressure and should be the creative impetus of the project. It’s the backbone for the entire decision-making process.





North is known for taking inspiration from a surprising array of sources. The heart of many of her mood boards aren’t traditionally architectural or interior-inspired: Usually it’s fashion-related…Perhaps, a cerulean blue and green dress to inform a new resort in the Maldives… Or geometric prints from Gucci to inspire her latest hotel refit…Fashion can be a great source of inspiration, not only for the designer, but for the client to understand how certain combinations of colours can work together and why it’s going to work in the space.

For the Sonoma design concept, the whole interior was inspired by the origins of bread and the bread-making process. How the raw components converge and the role of heat as a natural, elemental force in the process.

Through their discovery phase they were drawn to crackled textures, hammered metals and honed finishes, mixed with sandblasted and chalky, matt paint finishes.

The crackled paint and fractured floor and counter all came out of that feeling of rising and becoming extremely hot.

Sonoma-Bakery-by-Blainey-North-Place-OrdersSonoma-Bakery-by-Blainey-North-SeatingSonoma-Bakery-by-Blainey-North-Work-surfaceSonoma-Bakery-by-Blainey-North-Bread-Display-ElevationConceptual Elevation



So, what makes this design such a success?

  • The designers have stuck to the “heart” of the brief and used the conceptual inspiration throughout the entire decision-making process.
  • As striking as the design is, North has served both the aesthetics AND the practicalities of the space. Not an easy feet for a bakery come wine-bar!
  • The breadth of original sources have been used to ensure the design is exciting.
  • To ensure the design stands the test of time: Materials such as marble, leather and “design classics” like the Thonet chairs have been mixed together.
  • The team have provided added-value with custom furniture – note the bespoke, leather banquettes, worktops and powder-coated lights bring a unique atmosphere.





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