What was your interiors game changer, the moment you found your style?
Our first house was a little cottage and it was tiny. It was the nineties and it had quite a look, very ‘Changing roomsesque’ with lots of bright colours, stencilling and lime washed wood. We had a blue checked sofa, a plump yellow arm chair and lime green towels from Habitat. We worshiped at the alter which was Ikea. We loved that house, we even had our wedding reception in the garden there, but when we had to start putting the pram outside to put the high chair up we knew we’d outgrown it.
We bought our run down wreck of an Edwardian house with no money spare for renovations and a very demanding baby. We had one week to clear the main living room of graffiti, nicotine stains and beer bottles before we were to host our daughters first birthday party. Then we ran out of money.
The kitchen consisted of an old grease encrusted free standing gas oven and a sink unit with a sloping concrete floor which had been painted red. There was a rusty freestanding bath in the bathroom, bare floorboards and woodchip wall paper hanging off the hallway walls. The front room had a hole in the wall where the fireplace used to be and the paint splattered bedroom walls were the things nightmares were made of. We had to bide our time and learn to live with it, we had no other option.
Slowly we moved into rooms and began to renovate them, but the sheer scale of the house terrified us and we lost our nerve. So at first we played it safe. The beautiful green living room you see on my insta was painted pale cream, with curtains the same colour (I can’t bring myself to admit to magnolia) The dinning room was pale blue and BEIGE (yes, I know!). Nothing could be bought off the peg, everything had to be made to measure so we wanted to make sure they’d stand the test of time. It was all a little bit boring to be honest and certainly not us.
The game changing moment, the time the house first began to find its feet and personality was when we went dark in the dinning room. We’d had the paint mixed to match a sofa I’d fallen in love with. Tim hated it the whole time he was decorating but when he’d finished it felt so cosy and dramatic, bright colours just popped against it. We’ve never looked back. The dark grey of the dinning room was quickly followed by the rich green in living room. Then came the pink fridge and turquoise walls in the kitchen then tiled floor in the bathroom and all the stuff, the Pompoms and fairy lights, the cushions and the plants. We’d found our style. A quirky eclectic riot of colour.
So my advice is don’t try to do it all at once. You have to grow into your style. It can’t be bought as a job lot, or off the peg. A house which has evolved over time will have so much more personality and a style which is truly unique.