By building a separate annexe for a family member on their own land the owners of this five-bedroom house have managed to live in their dream location in Dorset within budget. 'Even though we weren't planning on moving at the time, we jumped at the chance to buy it as we new it could be our ideal family home,' says the owner, Charlotte, who blogs at TheHomeThatMadeMe.com.
When Charlotte moved in the interior decor was serviceable with no major work needed, however, they were keen to totally redecorate to make the house their own. The family got to work straight away and had the basics completed within just a month. The more challenging rooms and a few obstacles, including a leak from the en suite down into their kitchen, took six months to rectify and finish.
The owner did all the painting herself and particularly enjoyed upcycling projects that you can see dotted throughout the house. 'It's amazing what you can achieve by taking something neglected and giving it some love.' she says.
Upon entering the five bedroom house you are greeted with a soft green hallway laid with warm stone tiles, perfect for high-traffic family living. The elegant radiator cover acts as a handy slim console table in the narrow space while also hiding a less than pretty necessity. Under the stairs, a country-style storage cabinet with wicker baskets keeps family shoes hidden neatly away.
As the new owner bought the property from a close family member, the kitchen installed came from her own childhood home, which had previously been demolished. 'The floorboards came from my parents' old house and I love that my kids are now running on the same floor that I used to as a little girl.' The cabinets have been given a refresh in Farrow & Ball's Stony Ground shade by a professional kitchen and interior company. 'It has completely transformed the room without costing too much,' she says.
Leading on from the kitchen through double doors is a bright conservatory with clever country-style built-in benches. 'This dining area is a lovely space to enjoy breakfast on a sunny morning,' says the owner. The cream backdrop is given rustic personality with a large willow heart mounted on the wall and pretty mismatched cushions in shades of blue, aqua and white.
5/10 Dining room
As well as the breakfast conservatory the house also boasts a large dining area adjoining the living room. 'The open-plan downstairs layout is brilliant for entertaining and family living,' says the owner.
6/10 Living room
In the family living room, the large velvet sofa is made super cosy with heather coloured tartan cushions and is complemented by a second-hand footstool the owner re-covered and updated with Laura Ashley fabric. 'Some people find an all-beige theme a bit bland, but it's so easy to bring in new details or cushions whenever I want to mix things up,' says the owner.
7/10 Master bedroom
The warm neutral backdrop of the master bedroom has been given a shabby chic feel with an elegant and feminine French bed. The owner has then injected her own individuality with personalised 'initial design' wall art above.
A four poster bed in the owners' daughter's bedroom adds grown-up fairytale elegance. The calming soft blue walls are made pretty with pink accessories and a patchwork quilt. 'The statement letter above the bed is my favourite thing in this room,' says the owner.
The nursery has been given a modern yet soothing touch with an up-to-date palette of cool grey and white. Simple white furniture maximises the small space while personalised wall art gives the room individuality. The feature wall papered in Opera Linen stripe is smart yet subtle and suits a boy's room.
The country-look bathroom has plenty of personality with a stylish roll-top bath, wood panelling and eclectic patterned floor tiles. To match the master bedroom, a shabby chic twist is added with an ornate wall mirror and decorative wooden 'wings' wall art. 'I couldn't be happier with how this place has turned out,' says the owner. At the moment there is nothing I'd change, but I'm always getting itchy feet once a project is finished. I think I need to take up a hobby to stop me from starting all over again now that the house is complete!'
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Rachel Homer has been in the interiors publishing industry for over 15 years. Starting as a Style Assistant on Inspirations Magazine, she has since worked for some of the UK’s leading interiors magazines and websites. After starting a family, she moved from being a content editor at Idealhome.co.uk to be a digital freelancer and hasn’t looked back.
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