GOING FOR BOLD Vibrant splashes turned a Yorkshire semi from dull to delightful
Nick and Lisa Hayes have given their home an affordable makeover using strong shades and a few simple tricks
Nick Hayes had never liked pine cladding, so he had very mixed feelings when he first saw his future home, which was covered in tongue-and-groove panelling that had turned orange.
‘It was everywhere,’ he says. ‘On the walls, on the ceilings – all the main rooms were clad in pine. And there were huge football-sized spotlights in the ceiling, which burned your head if you stood under them. It was hard to imagine the house without all that wood.’ Luckily, his wife Lisa could see the house’s potential.
At first, the property was extended to create a new kitchen, cloakroom and utility room, and fitted with new bathrooms. The cladding was removed and the interior was decorated in ‘a safe and slightly boring beige’ to freshen it up and make it lighter. But as time went on, the couple were keen to give their home a fresh new look.
‘We wanted to introduce much more colour,’ says Lisa. ‘The house gets lots of sun, but it looked flat and dull, and we couldn’t decide on what tones we wanted to use or where. Nick was also influenced by the hotels he stays in through work, and wanted to bring some of that modern, clean-line style into the home.’
The pair asked Lisa’s friend, Ann Marie Cousins of AMC Design, to help
them out. ‘We got together over many cups of coffee to talk about what we were trying to achieve,’ says Lisa. ‘Our children, George, now 9, Tom, 7, and Alex, 5, were through the early years and we wanted something more grown-up. It needed a total refresh.’
They agreed to work around a number of key pieces that they did not want to part with, including a striking artwork made out of takeaway cartons on the landing wall. ‘ We all lead busy lives, so it was important to have a place to unwind at the end of a long day,’ says Lisa. ‘That’s why I love grey – it’s such a calm colour, yet it works with bold shots of yellow, red and green. We wanted to bring personality into the house and to make better use of the ground floor rooms by making them more comfortable and welcoming.’
Nick and Lisa were also keen to add modern touches with large patterns and vibrant hues. ‘ We weren’t scared of colour, but didn’t know how to apply it, so we asked for advice on how to introduce lots of bright tones into the house,’ says Lisa.
As the whole house needed a freshen up, the couple had to spend their budget wisely. Instead of ditching old furniture, they simply revamped it with paint or changed the fabrics, then updated the wall colours and accessories to create instant and effective changes.
‘A family house has to be relaxed and easy to maintain, so I wanted loose covers on the sofas for easy washing, lots of vivid colour to make it cheerful all year round, and a mix of quality and budget pieces,’ says Lisa. ‘ We’ve linked each room using bright hues – and it’s worked a treat. The house used to feel bland and boring, but this vibrant new look has done the trick and livened it up. Best of all, we can easily update in the future if we want a colour change. We love this new look.’
‘ If you’re unsure about a paint colour, apply a sample pot to a large strip of lining paper and move it around the room to see how it reacts to the light at different times of the day’