Take a look around this two-bedroom 1930s semi in Solihull

Small home? Then check out this bright and airy two-bedroom semi-detached home for decorating ideas that will maximise your space

As the owners of this 1930s semi were first-time buyers, they were mindful of the need to not overspend on a property and end up with a hefty mortgage to pay off. Their search, therefore, was for somewhere within a sensible budget that they could put their own stamp on. But the couple didn't quite agree. 'It was my husband who fell in love with this two-bedroom home dating from the 1930s and convinced me it was a great buy,' says the owner. 'But I wasn't so sure due to the lack of bedrooms, and I was worried about storage space, too.'

Drawn to the peaceful location near to family and friends, the couple also loved the wild garden at the back of the house that gazes out over beautiful rolling countryside. 'Looking back now, we realise we may have been a little naive about what work needed doing,' they say. 'We quickly realised that simply buying some new furniture and pretty cushions wouldn't be quite enough to turn it into the home we'd envisaged!'

The structure of the house was good and sturdy, but the couple wanted to rework the layout of most of the rooms. They also replastered and rewired the entire place. It was a a big project, but now - despite some initial reservations - both of the owners are thrilled with their home. 'We don't see ourselves ever getting tired of living here,' they say.

1/11 Exterior

red brick house

(Image credit: Future PLC/Oliver Gordon)

The owners bought their two-bedroom semi-detached home in 2011. Concerned about the lack of space for a family home, they set about transforming the layout and decor to make it work for them.

2/11 Living room

living room with fireplace and sofa with cushions

(Image credit: Future PLC/Oliver Gordon)

As the house can sometimes feel small, the owners have tried to keep the decor bright and airy by using lots of white wherever possible. They then added splashes of various colours through accessories such as cushions, artworks and plants. The fireplace was also carefully painted with heat-resistant paint to fit in with the scheme.

Similar sofa
Similar copper tray

3/11 Living room reading corner

room with bookshelves and armchair

(Image credit: Future PLC/Oliver Gordon)

Next to the fireplace is this pretty reading corner, which is brought to life by the owners' colourful collection of books. White shelving blends into the walls, for a seamless look that lets the books and accessories command attention.

Similar terrarium
Maisons du Monde

4/11 View towards dining area

living area with sofa with flamingo print cushions

(Image credit: Future PLC/Oliver Gordon)

The living room flows into the open-plan kitchen-dining area, creating a wonderful sense of space in this compact home. To break up the all-white decor and add warmth, the owners have introduced colourful textiles, such as the sofa, cushions and dining-area rug.

Similar flamingo cushion
John Lewis
Similar dining chair
The Conran Shop

5/11 Kitchen

kitchen with white cabinets and wooden worktop

(Image credit: Future PLC/Oliver Gordon)

The original kitchen was a very small galley space, with a door that led through to a small dining room, but the owners wanted something that was more of an open-plan design, to suit their growing family. They knocked down the wall between the dining room and kitchen to create an airy kitchen-diner that makes much better use of the space.

Storage canisters
Orla Kiely

6/11 Kitchen corner

kicthen with wooden worktop with blender

(Image credit: Future PLC/Oliver Gordon)

Neutral cream units have been combined with a wooden worksurface for a timeless kitchen look. Indoor plants add a natural touch to the scheme, while mint accents tone with the greenery and create a homely feel.

Similar mixer
Similar pineapple print

7/11 Bedroom

bedroom with white wall and bed with bedside table

(Image credit: Future PLC/Oliver Gordon)

The owners have chosen bedside tables instead of cabinets to give the illusion of space in this small bedroom. Playful cushions match the bedside lamps perfectly, while black and white prints add a fun touch to the walls.

Similar prints

8/11 Study area

study area with yellow chair

(Image credit: Future PLC/Oliver Gordon)

In a small corner of the bedroom is this stylish study area, which is ideal for home working. The white furniture keeps the look bright, while the chair adds a colour hit that fits in with the bedroom scheme. Favourite postcards and photos have been hung above the desk to create a cool gallery wall.

Similar chair
The Conran Shop

9/11 Boy’s bedroom

kids bedroom with bed and guitar

(Image credit: Future PLC/Oliver Gordon)

The owners' four year old has inherited his mother's passion for interiors. 'As he gets older, he now has his own opinion on where things should go,' they say. His bedroom is no exception, and he even helped to choose the bed.


10/11 Bedroom wall stickers

spotty wallpaper on wall

(Image credit: Future PLC/Oliver Gordon)

Wall stickers lend a little excitement to the corner of this bedroom and the monochrome colours go with everything from wooden finishes to bright colours.

Wall stickers

11/11 Bathroom

bathroom with bathtub and white washbasin

(Image credit: Future PLC/Oliver Gordon)

The owners still need to have the bathroom done so it better suits their needs as a family, especially now that they have another child on the way. But for now, it has been given a budget update with colourful accessories and plants, which thrive in the moist conditions.

Similar pink flamingo
Maisons du Monde
Similar 'relax' sign

This house tour originally appeared in Style At Home, February 2017