Check out this one-bedroom Chelmsford flat filled with handmade pieces

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  • The owner packed her renovated flat with handcrafted touches and vintage finds to create a feminine sanctuary that's full of personality

    When the owner bought her one-bedroom flat in Chelmsford, it had just been newly renovated. ‘As I wasn’t in a position to take on a project, the fact that it was in turn-key condition really appealed to me,’ she says. ‘It had fresh white walls, ready for me to unleash my passion for colour, plus fitted white goods so I didn’t have to fork out to buy my own. The bathroom was brand new too, with a Jacuzzi bath (a big selling point for me!).’

    With its position on the ground floor and its own front door off the street, the property feels more like a house than a flat. ‘It even has a quiet south-facing shared garden and I have my own patio to put a table and chairs and pot plants,’ says the owner. ‘The garden is scarcely used so it often feels like it’s just mine.’

    Exterior SAH June 17 p22 Durrant handmade pieces

    When the owner moved in, the first thing she had to do was pick flooring. ‘I knew a little independent shop that had fitted the flooring in my previous house,’ she says. ‘I chose a cream carpet for the bedroom and the same laminate flooring that was in my old property for the rest of the flat, as I liked its rustic look and it was great value. The service was so much more helpful than in bigger chain stores.’

    With regards to style, the owner has always had a strong idea of what she wanted her home to look like. ‘I used to have an inspiration folder where I stuck magazine clippings of decor I loved and made notes of shops I liked. Nowadays, I like using Pinterest to gather ideas.’

    Living room

    Living room SAH June 17 p22 Durrant handmade pieces

    ‘The open-plan living-kitchen space is ideal for when I have friends over,’ says the owner, ‘and the big patio doors are a treat to have open in summer. It’s such a light space and a cheerful place to be.’

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    Colourful storage

    Storage SAH June 17 p22 Durrant handmade pieces

    ‘My first house was styled a little like this one,’ says the owner. ‘But now that I live alone, I have ramped up the girliness. It’s a little quirky, with plenty of handmade pieces and my friends say there’s always something new to see each time they come over.’

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    Handmade pieces

    Cushions SAH June 17 p22 Durrant handmade pieces

    Most of the owner’s accessories are from boot sales or vintage fairs. And there is something handmade everywhere you look, from oven gloves to bunting to decoupage picture frames. ”Of all my handmade pieces, I’m particularly proud of my quilts stitched in Liberty fabric and the rather jazzy lampshade,’ says the owner. ‘I made it using the original shade to carefully make the pattern pieces,’ she says. ‘Then I used remnants of quilt fabric to create the patchwork.’

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    View from living room to kitchen

    Kitchen 2 SAH June 17 p22 Durrant handmade pieces

    ‘As the kitchen and living room are open plan, it’s a perfect space for entertaining,’ says the owner. A curvy chest of drawers lends a freestanding look to the linear units and marks the spot where the two spaces meet.

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    Kitchen SAH June 17 p22 Durrant handmade pieces

    ‘The kitchen is the standard design put into all the flats in this development,’ says the owner, ‘so I used some colourful canisters and crockery to put my own stamp on it.’

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    Kitchen corner

    Kitchen counter SAH June 17 p22 Durrant handmade pieces

    A white painted shelf provides extra space for colourful bits and bobs. ‘I’m a big fan of bright kitchenalia,’ says the owner. ‘Especially from Rice DK, Pip Studio and Cath Kidston.’

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    Bedroom SAH June 17 p22 Durrant handmade pieces

    Pretty pastel shades and ornate French furniture make this the ultimate girlie boudoir. ‘My mum also loves crafting and she made the dream catcher here in the bedroom and also the one in the living room,’ says the owner.

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    Dressing area

    Dressing table SAH June 17 p22 Durrant handmade pieces

    The gorgeous 1950s dressing table is a piece that the owner inherited. It fits in perfectly with her style and pretty decorative touches adorn both the table and the walls above.

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    Bathroom SAH June 17 p22 Durrant handmade pieces

    The grey tiled panel adds texture to the neutral scheme, and the green bottles are part of the vintage theme.

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    ‘I think my main decorating advice is not to be afraid to express yourself,’ says the owner. ‘You don’t have to follow a trend to the letter. If you bring together the things you love, they will all work somehow. I think your home should be an exhibition that celebrates you and your story.’

    This house tour originally appeared in Style at Home, June 2017.

    Image credits: Lizzie Orme

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