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.
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.
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.
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.
Kitchen from other side
The dark-painted wall in the kitchen was inspired by a shop in Brighton – the owner loves the way other colours pop against it.
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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.’
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!’
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.
Main bedroom fireplace
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.
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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.
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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.
This house tour originally appeared in Ideal Home, May 2017.
Image credits: Lizzie Orme