bland ‘We house brought to life’ a
When Lucy and Robert Merrell moved into this Victorian terrace, it had been renovated by a property developer, but it took vision on their part to give it colour and character
THE PROPERTY A four-bed Victorian terrace in Lichfield, Staffordshire.
VALUE Bought in March 2016 for £330,000; now worth about £375,000.
“I don’t have one particular style
– it was fun to experiment and bring different looks together”
Welcome to my home
With both of them working in demanding full-time jobs, Lucy and Robert wanted a house that didn’t need lots of structural work doing to it. The flow of the rooms appealed to them, as the downstairs has the balance of a sociable open-plan kitchen-diner, ideal for entertaining, and a cosy front living room. Having recently been renovated by a local developer, this place ticked all the boxes. The kitchen had been extended, newly fitted cabinets and skylights flooding it with natural light. Upstairs, the loft had been converted and an en suite installed, creating a self-contained guest suite in the eaves. New carpets had even been laid throughout. The house was finished to a high standard… but it looked boring.
Lucy gathered ideas online, using Pinterest and Instagram, as well as homes magazines, before getting started. She wanted a modern interior, but was anxious not to lose the character of the house by making it too contemporary and minimalist. After all, the property developer had carefully preserved its period features – fireplaces, picture rails and deep cornicing. She settled for a blend of Scandinavian and industrial influences, with a touch of glamour on top.
‘Moving into a blank canvas had its advantages and its drawbacks,’ she says. ‘Luckily, we loved the style of the kitchen and the bathroom is fairly neutral, so our big decisions were choosing furniture, lighting and paint colours, with accessories and finishing touches at the end. We didn’t have to dive into any of those decisions straight away. We took time to plan each room and experiment with colours before committing, so the process didn’t feel rushed or haphazard.’
Lucy Merrell lives here with her husband Robert. Lucy is a branch manager for a truck and trailer parts supplier and Robert is an operations director in the motor trade.