‘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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.