My Humble Abode
No.1 readers take us on a tour of their home
Who: Jessica Buckley, 36, is an Interior Designer and lives with her partner, James and their Cocker Spaniels, Ruby and Skye. What: 2-bed Georgian flat Where: Edinburgh, The dream: ‘To create somewhere that was beautifully decorated, so that I’d love coming home. I wanted it to be comfortable and welcoming.
‘I bought my home 12 hours after it came on the market’
Once I’d bought the flat I decided to live in it for a year before I made any changes. Previously, it had been used as a corporate property so it was very bland and lacking in any sort of personality.
It took six months in total to renovate it and I was on site every day. It was strange to see my new home smashed to pieces, but you have to strip something back to base level to build it up again. I had planned to do all the renovations in one go, so I had to be really sure of my choices. Everything went to plan – the renovations didn’t go over budget and we stuck to the time-frame we had set out at the start.
We swapped around the kitchen and guest bedroom so the kitchen would be south facing. I also blocked off a doorway, so I could build a huge bookcase that takes up an entire wall for my interior design books. I redesigned the bathroom and got rid of the Edinburgh press (built-in cupboard) in my bedroom.
I wanted to create somewhere that was beautifully decorated, so that I would really love coming home. The aim was to make the flat comfortable and welcoming. Entertaining is very important to us, James and I love to mix cocktails and invite friends over for dinner parties. I adore cooking for friends and family, we jump at the chance to celebrate even the smallest of occasions.
My favourite room is the sitting room, it’s where we spend most of our evenings; reading and watching TV. In winter it’s very cosy with the fire lit and it’s the perfect spot to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon, reading and relaxing. At Christmas time we go all out with the biggest real tree we can find with lots of decorations! In fact, I love every season here, in the summer it gets so much light and you can throw the windows open.
I inherited my patterned sofa from my late grandmother. I had it recovered in an amazingly soft velvet material. It fuses a very traditional shape with a modern pattern and the cushions are down-filled so it’s insanely comfortable.
Most of my home is furnished with a mix of designer items and bargains from ebay and Gumtree! I love the thrill of the hunt going to car-boot sales, junk and antique shops – it’s amazing what you can find if you keep an open mind.
I found my dining chairs on ebay for £50 for the set. I decided to paint them and then I got them reupholstered. I discovered similar ones from the designer, Jonathan Adler that cost £650 each!
My bedside tables are the ends of an old dining table that I inherited but didn’t have enough room for. The small turquoise glass table was another bargain from Gumtree, I paid £40 for it.
I’ve collected my most treasured home accessories over the years and they all mean a lot to me. The ones which particularly stand out are a collection of glass candlesticks, coloured glass vases and match-strikers that I love. I’m also very fond of my bar set up with its cocktail shaker and ice buckets which to me are like art in themselves. They add a lot of colour and personality to the room.
My advice would be to mix high-end pieces with less expensive items for a more stylish result. Try not to buy everything from one place. Don’t be afraid to express yourself, opt for colours and patterns you love.
TOP: The dining chairs were an ebay find. BOTTOM LEFT: The coloured glass vases and match strikers are some of Jessica’s most tresured home accessories. BELOW: The bedside tables are actually the ends of an inherited dining table.
TOP: The kitchen was moved to the front of the flat, now it is south facing to catch the best of the light. RIGHT: Focal points were created by mixing interesting objects. BELOW: Jessica inherited her late grandmothers sofa, which is one of her favourite pieces.