An RAF officer and interior designer live in this 1930s property in Oxfordshire with their young son. They moved in 2012 and were keen to put their own stamp on it. However, living in a rented military property can make decorating quite tricky.
‘You have to return the house to exactly how it was when you moved in so any alterations must be reversible,’ they say. ‘Because of this, most people steer clear of things like changing flooring, removing fireplaces or even wallpapering as these jobs are simply too much of a big task and expense when you eventually have to move out.’
Not to be put off, the couple were determined to give the house a modern update and create a home that they could enjoy with their young baby. The priority was to give the rooms a fresh feel. They painted all the walls white and replaced light switches and sockets with modern finishes.
They bought new furniture, accessories and soft furnishings in a variety of styles. The couple were keen to inject colour into their home so went for a bold turquoise feature wall in the living room to frame the fireplace. ‘We’ve made the house light and airy,’ they say. ‘Now people can’t believe it’s military accommodation!’
This couple are keen on mixing up different interior styles in their house. The white tulip dining table and chairs add a bright retro touch, especially with the contrasting coloured seat pads. ‘As we couldn’t change the beige carpets in our rented house, we needed to choose colour schemes that would go with them,’ say the couple. So neutral walls with zingy acccessories was the ideal solution. Wallpaper wasn’t a practical option for this house, so butterfly wall stickers liven up the plain white walls, and a copper light pendant makes a great style statement.
In this pretty, pastel blue bedroom, the couple went for a cosy country look. Pale blue walls are teamed with floral bed,linen for a relaxed style. They have added mix-and-match cushions and layered up the bed with pillowcases together with a contrasting blue bedcover to enhance the country look. Natural-looking wicker hearts tied with pretty ribbons complement the country look.
The wooden fitted kitchen was in good condition when the couple moved into the house. The stainless-steel appliances added a contemporary touch and pastel-themed accessories, such as the canisters for tea and biscuits, heart-patterned mugs and the graphic wall art all help to create a warm, welcoming family kitchen.
A more masculine colour palettte has been used in this bedroom. Deep blue curtains, side lamps and velvet cushions create an eye-catching effect. The plush upholstered headboard adds a luxurous touch. To pep up the walls, the couple have added a personal touch, applying wall stickers with a romantic slogan above the bed.
A tall, narrow storage unit makes great use of space in this compact bathroom and is perfect for displaying trinkets. As the couple couldn’t change the colour scheme, they have added colourful towels to bring a softer touch and tie in with the rest of the house. This carved wooden candlestick adds lots of character.
Fitting a desk in a quiet area of a bedroom or living room can make a huge difference to your organisation. Here, this area is the perfect place for paperwork and crafts. A compact white desk takes up very little space and is jazzed up with storage and stationery in bright shades. A metallic noticeboard helps keep track of the week’s events and a clever wire shelf unit provides valuable storage as well as being a stylish accessory.
Wire bird display shelf
This couple enjoyed the chance to use different styles in their home and opted for a shabby-chic look in the hallway. The vintage-style mirror helps to bring more light into the area and gives the illlusion of more space. The half-moon console table makes an elegant addition.
The couple were delighted to be living in their rented Oxfordshire home among other military families. ‘We love the sense of community that comes with living here and we feel lucky to have such a great property surrounded by open fields and to be near some wonderful towns.’ While they can’t alter the structure of the house, this couple has become very experienced at working with what they can’t change and adding character and individuality wherever they can.