Nina Kati is an experienced interior designer and feng shui practitioner based in Rathgormack, Co Waterford. We are at a home where Nina helped transform an ordinary outdated bathroom into a fantastic, fabulous haven of peace and tranquility. What exactly do you do Nina? I integrate the principles of feng shui and interior design to create balance and harmony.

There may be a misconception or a fear that interior designers cost a lot and then impose their ideas on their clients, the results of which may suit the designer’s tastes but not that of the client’s who have to live with it afterwards? That’s not the case though is it? Interior designers liaise directly with a client to find out their tastes, needs, preferences and budget. The client and designer then work together to ensure they achieve what it is they are setting out to do. Most clients give a designer a brief, rather than carte blanch, and tell them exactly what they want, so they are very much involved in the whole process. It’s at this point that the more detailed discussions take place such as ideas. Topics covered may include Health and Safety, proportion, shapes, colour schemes that will suit the clients’ tastes.

Tell us about feng shui. Feng shui is about creating a balanced and harmonious environment, respecting nature and using natural products and materials. It also brings another dimension to interior design and involves placement of furniture, such as avoiding positioning furniture in a confrontational arrangement in a room so that a person has their back to the door by setting up the room for good social integration amongst people in an interior. There should be good traffic flow where energy flows more smoothly, creating a much more sensual environment, so that people feel comfortable and more at home.

We are in a perfect example of a relaxed, sensual, homely environment – a magnificent example of what you do. This was a very ordinary bathroom with just the practical elements of a bath and wash basin. Yes, it was a very ordinary, outdated bathroom. The clients wanted to re-do the room and start afresh.

Although anyone can have a Jacuzzi bath installed, it’s the little things that are absolutely magnificent. Tell us about the sunken shell feature in the floor. This feature was included in the design because it’s important, particularly in a room where you are relaxing in a bath for long periods of time, to always have something of interest to look at whichever way you turn. For this reason, some extra features were added and small touches to set the scheme off and help pull the scheme together. The room was precision planned and a lot of detail was put into the scheme so that everyone who uses it would have something of interest to thrill them! Even a mini pond lily adds a touch of imagination and flair.

Also, the clients’ personalities were stamped on this scheme? The daughter is a sculptress so she was commissioned to specially sculpt a piece to display on the glass plinth. The husband is a craftsman and implemented a lot of the specially made pieces for the scheme and the wife is a textiles artist and she made the blind for the window.

With regard to the window, normally a bathroom has a frosted glass window which interferes with the light and the view. Instead, you have brought in the light and the views outside but still managed to maintain the privacy. Yes, the outside has an influence on a scheme, not just the light but also the colour scheme too. Without interfering with the natural views, nature was brought into the scheme by using indoor plants in the room and clear glass in the window. The design of the window was also changed for better proportions and to bring more light into the room, and that’s what transformed the room the most from what it was like previously.

It’s an amazing transformation and it is very balanced and harmonious. You’ve also used a lot of curves in the scheme which is all part of feng shui. Yes, it is. The room is a cube shape – the height, width and depth are all the same measurements. I decided to introduce curves to give the feng shui aspects more definition and to create a softer, gentle look to the room.

Finally, Nina, there will be people watching this programme who would love you to come and design their interior but is it way outside their budget to do so? People have the idea that interior designers are expensive but in fact everything can be done within a very reasonable budget. You can truly make something out of nothing with just a little imagination and creativity and the ability to put it all together.

And indeed get the courage to phone you to book your services! Exactly!

Thank you very much for showing us this scheme. It is absolutely fabulous and I would imagine that whatever it costs, it’s worth it because you’d have it for some time to come. Nina, thank you very much indeed. Well, what a transformation of a very small space. We’ll have to go back to Nina in the future to see what she can do with other rooms...