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The owners used a clever spectrum of soft colours for a calm-feeling home that subtly changes mood as you move from room to room
When the owners bought their home, it was a race against time to get it ready for Christmas. ‘We wanted to host a big family get-together so we needed to have it ready in a few months,’ says the owner. ‘We loved that the property had period features but it was painted in bright colours, so when we moved in, first on my to-do list was to paint it in neutral shades like grey and white for a more timeless look.’
The owner knew just how she wanted her home to feel. ‘Our aim was to create a cosy family home that we could grow into,’ she says. ‘Making decorating choices at speed really made us focus our ideas.’ The couple moved in with next-to-nothing. ‘We used to rent a furnished flat so we needed sofas, beds and a dining table,’ says the owner. She frantically started shopping online, looking for stores with short lead times. ‘For weeks, we sat on cushions on the living room floor while we waited for our sofas to arrive.’
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The couple also renovated the bathroom, removing an oversized sink to make space for a walk-in shower, restoring the roll-top bath and painting the walls grey. In the living room, they painted the pine fixings white to blend in and laid new carpet in the hallway.
It didn’t take long for the house to feel Christmassy. ‘We put a wreath on each door and put a tree in the kitchen and living room,’ says the owner. To keep things simple, she decorated with lots of fresh foliage from a local florist. ‘After Christmas dinner, we relaxed with the family in front of the fire and opened our presents. It was lovely,’ she says. With their new baby’s arrival, the house will be even busier this year but the owner isn’t phased. ‘We just love family gatherings,’ she says.
This four-bedroom detached house in Leeds was built in 1921. The interior was decorated in a cocktail of garish colours, and the owners quickly went about redecorating every room in the house.
To create an elegant living space, the owner painted over the yellow walls and pine stained woodwork with soft paint shades of grey and white. They invested in a charcoal grey sofa and matching love seat with a button-back for a more formal look. A pretty five-arm light fitting illuminates the room while pink pastel accessories soften scheme, giving it a pretty look that the owner loves.
‘All the walls in the house have been painted in soft neutrals like grey, blue, cream and white as these colours make me feel instantly calm and relaxed,’ says the owner. ‘I love dressing my home with feminine accessories with textured cushions, woolly throws and fresh flowers, and I added a pastel accent in some of the living spaces to soften the overall look of our home, making it look warm and inviting in time for Christmas.’
Get the look
Buy now: Walls painted in ‘Blackened’ matt emulsion, £45, Farrow and Ball
Buy now: Patrick Sofa, from £1,050, Sofa.com
Buy now: Valentin footstool, from £260, Sofa.com
The hand-painted wooden kitchen was made bespoke for this open-plan extension. The owner personalised the space by painting the walls a fresh white, then add her own touches like the ornate mirror, metro tiled splashback, and country-classic furniture.
‘My best buy for my home is my Laura Ashely dining table and chairs, says the owner. ‘The set goes so well in the kitchen. It fits eight people easily so we have room for our families when they come to visit which is handy around Christmas time.’
Every single wall and the ceiling in the bathroom had been painted a deep shade of purple with a matching blind, bath and light fitting. There was a huge double sink unit that took up one side of the bathroom. ‘Of everything we have done, I’m most proud of our bathroom makeover,’ says the owner. ‘We had to project manage the renovation, booking in plasters, plumbers and electricians. And I’m so pleased with the overall design.’
To save money, the couple renovated the cast iron bath, calling in an expert to paint it from a vibrant shade of purple to shades to soft tones of Farrow and Ball dark grey and white. By re-configuring the space they managed to squeeze in a toilet, single sink and a walk-in shower.’ I’ve always wanted a traditional style bathroom so installed with wooden panelling on the walls, telephone taps and wood-effect flooring for that classic style,’ the owner says.
Get the look
Buy now: The Dulwich bath, from £379, Victoria Plum, is similar
Buy now: Walls in ‘Manor House Grey’ matt emulsion, £45 for 2.5L Farrow and Ball
Buy now: Bath painted in Downpipe metal paint, £27 for 750ml, Farrow and Ball
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By choosing pink as her accent colour, the owner was able to bring this warm blush tone throughout her home for simple styling that works. An upholstered bed and wooden furniture bring texture to the scheme. Kooky accessories like the Artichoke lamps add personality to the space.
‘Before, we were living in a two-bed flat, so moving into this large four-bedroom house was a big adjustment for the two of us as there were so many rooms to decorate,’ says the owner. ‘Having to make decorating choices at speed, made us focus our decorating ideas for the house. After experimenting with my home style room-by-room, I now feel more confident in my decorating choices. If we ever move, I’d love to take on a bigger project where I can put all I have learned into practice.’