Explore this beautiful home, which is a great lesson in adding character to a property

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  • Adding character to a home is easier said than done, so take a look at this house, with its gorgeously mixed-up modern style, and be inspired...

    The owner of this four-bedroom Victorian semi in Cheltenham has always loved interiors. ‘As a child, I remember filling my bedroom wall with a collage of images snipped from magazines,’ she says. In her twenties, the obsession continued when she bought her first house, renovating it with the help of her father. However, when she moved into this family home 16 years ago with her husband, the arrival of two children left her with far less spare time to decorate her space how she wanted.

    Exterior IH May 17 p66 Campling

    To start with, the couple lived in the house as it was for a while. This gave them the chance to see how the space worked both visually and practically before committing to any changes. As the property was generally in good condition, it was a question of making the house work for them in the best way they could, rather than the need for urgent fixes.

    Dining area

    Dining room IH May 17 p66 Campling

    The biggest change the couple made was a kitchen-diner extension, which has entirely opened up the back of the ground floor. ‘The kitchen used to be a dingy and narrow space, but now it’s an open-plan hub of the home and in keeping with the large proportions of the rest of the house,’ says the owner.

    Get the look
    Buy now: Bjursta table, £290, and benches, £80 each, all Ikea
    Buy now: Stendig callendar, £45, Violet and Percy


    Kitchen IH May 17 p66 Campling

    The peninsula was added as an afterthought, and was made from a few extra units and a leftover piece of worktop. Not only does it provide more counter space, but it’s also a great spot for extra seating.

    Get the look
    Buy now: Rubberwood worktops, from £95 each, Worktop Express
    Buy now: similar bar stools, Ikea

    Kitchen from other side

    View to living room from kitchen IH May 17 p66 Campling

    The dark-painted wall in the kitchen was inspired by a shop in Brighton – the owner loves the way other colours pop against it.

    Get the look
    Buy now:
    Downpipe Estate Emulsion, £43.50 for 2.5ltr, Farrow & Ball


    Living room 2 IH May 17 p66 Campling

    Throughout the house, the owner has mixed clean modern furnishings with imperfect vintage pieces that have a story to tell, which gives each space lots of character. ‘Seeing other people’s homes on social media has inspired me to become more adventurous with my own decorating,’ she explains. ‘I like to put together my own look from many different sources or make things where I can.’

    Get the look
    Buy now: for a similar sofa, try Soderhamn, £895, Ikea
    Buy now: ‘Welcome To The City Of Champions’ poster, around £44, The Poster Club

    Living room

    Living room IH May 17 p66 Campling

    The owner’s signature finishing touches are cushions, natural rugs, cosy sheepskins and plants in woven baskets, which add texture and warmth to her house. ‘Being surrounded by things I find beautiful is very important to me,’ she says. ‘Even when we go camping, I like to take rugs, cushions, throws and fairy lights with me!’

    Get the look
    Buy now: Vintage Life Flapper Butterfly magazine cover, £8.15, Zazzle
    Buy now: similar cushions, Etsy

    Main bedroom

    Main bedroom IH May 17 p66 Campling

    This room has the same wall colour as the living room – the owner has deliberately stuck to a small selection of paints throughout the house. ‘This creates a cohesive backdrop I can add colour to with pictures, furniture, textiles and accessories,’ she explains.

    Get the look
    Buy now: Bumble side tables, £70 each, Habitat
    Buy now: Hello pillowcase, £12, Hello Apparel

    Main bedroom fireplace

    Fireplace IH May 17 p66 Campling

    Unusual photos, art, posters and typographical prints are dotted all over the house, and the owner often moves them around when she feels like updating her scheme with a different look.

    Get the look
    Buy now: Kate Moss ‘Life’s A Joke’ poster, around £60, The Poster Club

    Attic bedroom

    Bedroom IH May 17 p66 Campling

    Playful touches such as the swing chair (found on eBay) and strings of lights make the attic a great teen den for the owner’s daughter and her friends to hang out in.

    Get the look
    Buy now:
    tassel pom-pom blanket, £75, and pom-pom cushions, from £75 each, all Bohemia Design


    Bathroom IH May 17 p66 Campling

    The owner’s love of house plants continues into the bathroom. Hanging baskets provide a clever way to display them at height and add an injection of colour to the walls.

    Get the look
    Buy now: Millbrook double-ended cast-iron bath, £875, The Cast Iron Bath Company
    Buy now: similar tiles, Topps Tiles

    This house tour originally appeared in Ideal Home, May 2017.

    Image credits: Lizzie Orme

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