‘we re­vamped our home on A bud­get’

Some savvy styling and clever bar­gain hunt­ing has helped Stylist at Home Char­lotte, 25, cre­ate an in­te­rior that ex­presses her per­son­al­ity

Style at Home (UK) - - Inside… -

Char­lotte Valen­tine couldn’t wait to put her own stamp on her house

My hus­band Joe and I had al­ways wanted to buy our own place in Christchurch, near bournemouth, but the house prices weren’t in our bud­get,’ says Char­lotte. ‘Luck­ily, my mum pro­vided us with the op­por­tu­nity to ful­fil our dream.

She had a large gar­den, which led to a run­down out­house. Af­ter some thought, she de­cided to con­vert this into a two-bed prop­erty for her­self and sell the main fivebed de­tached. Even though we weren’t plan­ning on mov­ing at the time, we jumped at the chance to buy it as we knew it could be our ideal fam­ily home. It’s such a nice area and the schools are bril­liant, which is ideal for our chil­dren, Elsa and Rory.

Per­sonal touch

When we moved in, I was eight months preg­nant, and although the in­te­rior was lovely and didn’t re­quire any ma­jor building work, we wanted to re­dec­o­rate to make it our own. We started straight away and the ba­sics were com­pleted within a month – but the rest took six months. The big­gest chal­lenge was our en suite as we ended up with var­i­ous prob­lems, not least of which was wa­ter leak­ing through to the kitchen. But all the is­sues were rec­ti­fied even­tu­ally.

I did all the paint­ing and dec­o­rat­ing my­self – I’ve for­ever got a paint­brush in

‘the open-plan down­stairs lay­out is bril­liant for en­ter­tain­ing and fam­ily liv­ing – i can cook while keep­ing an eye on the kids’

my hand and a project on the go. I tend to start things, then half­way through re­alise how much there is to do and wish I’d never be­gun. Then a few months later, I do it all over again – I can’t seem to stop my­self! Up­cy­cling is prob­a­bly my favourite task. It’s amaz­ing what you can achieve by tak­ing some­thing ne­glected and giv­ing it some love. You get such a sense of achieve­ment.

Fresh look

The kitchen was here when we moved in and it came from my child­hood home, which was de­mol­ished. The floor­boards also came from my par­ents’ old house, and I love that my kids are now run­ning on the same floor that I used to as a lit­tle girl.

We gave the cab­i­nets a sim­ple re­fresh by paint­ing them in Far­row & Ball’s Stony Ground. I de­cided to hire Vanessa and Nathan at NV Kitchens & In­te­ri­ors to do this as it was such a big job to take on our­selves, plus I was heav­ily preg­nant at the time. I couldn’t rec­om­mend them enough – it’s com­pletely trans­formed the room with­out cost­ing us too much.

For the rest of the house, I wanted to go for a neu­tral in­te­rior so that I can change the look eas­ily with ac­ces­sories. I love muted colours that take in­spi­ra­tion from na­ture, as well as fresh sub­tle pas­tels – bright colours are a lit­tle bit too hec­tic for my taste. Some peo­ple may find my all-beige scheme a bit bland, but it’s so easy to bring in new de­tails or cush­ions when­ever I want to mix things up a bit.

Keep it calm

My nan, who I was very close to, passed away in 2014 just be­fore we bought this place. We used my in­her­i­tance to fund the work we’ve car­ried out, and also for a lot of the fur­ni­ture, which we’ve ei­ther bought on a bud­get or up­cylced. We got the

ta­ble and chairs sec­ond-hand on Gumtree. i painted them in an­nie Sloan chalk paint and re­uphol­stered the seats. This paint is a go-to for me as it re­quires lit­tle prepa­ra­tion and gives a shabby-chic look. i think my nan would be pleased.

Then in the liv­ing room, the Home­base so­fas were bought dur­ing a sale, and the rug was a bar­gain find on ebay. our foot­stool was also bought on there, but we gave it a new look by up­dat­ing it in laura ash­ley fab­ric to fit in with the new scheme.

Thrifty finds

af­ter dec­o­rat­ing this place, i’ve re­alised you don’t have to spend a for­tune to make some­thing look beau­ti­ful. it’s amaz­ing what home­wares you can pick up from high-street stores such as mata­lan, asda, The range and so on. Plus, hav­ing ac­cess to so many shops on­line makes it easy to hunt around for the best bar­gains.

i also get quite a few of my ideas and in­spi­ra­tion from in­sta­gram – there’s such a cre­ative com­mu­nity on there and you get to know the peo­ple be­hind some fan­tas­tic homes. i ac­tu­ally set up my in­te­ri­ors blog, the­home­that­mademe.com, af­ter re­quests via my in­sta­gram @the­home­that­mademe. it’s great be­ing able to share what i’ve man­aged to com­plete on a bud­get.

Fi­nal touch

i couldn’t be hap­pier with how this place has turned out and i feel very proud of what i’ve achieved at such a young age. at the mo­ment there is noth­ing i’d change, but i’m al­ways get­ting itchy feet once a project is fin­ished. i think i need to take up a hobby to stop me from start­ing all over again now that the house is com­plete!’ Like us on face­book.com/ styleath­omemag and see our lat­est videos, house tours and dec­o­rat­ing tips.

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