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

25 Beautiful Homes - - CONTENTS - Fea­ture Heather Dixon | Pho­tog­ra­phy Colin Poole

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’

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