‘I fur­nished our house ON A SHOE­STRING’

Stylist at Home Katie, 39, has cre­ated a unique and beau­ti­ful in­te­rior full of vin­tage charm

Style at Home (UK) - - Love It Stylist’s Home -

y first house was a Vic­to­rian end-of-ter­race with orig­i­nal features and I dec­o­rated it tra­di­tion­ally, with a red liv­ing room and wall­pa­per,’ says Katie. ‘My hus­band Martin and I wanted a more ru­ral lo­ca­tion for our chil­dren, Olivia, 15, and Kian, 9, and we must have viewed 20 houses be­fore set­tling on this cot­tage, which is very light and open, and re­tains its pe­riod features.

When we first moved in, we painted the walls white and that was the start of a new style for me. White is a blank can­vas, so you can keep chang­ing what’s in the room. If I want to bring in an­other colour, I do it by adding cush­ions and dec­o­ra­tive bits.

MCreat­ing the look

My pas­sion for in­te­ri­ors goes back to my child­hood, when I’d rear­range my bed­room weekly – I also painted blue spots on the ceil­ing! I adore vin­tage style, as I like things that have a story. My look is eclec­tic and isn’t all from one place – and that’s all part of the at­trac­tion. I buy from an­tiques fairs, vin­tage shops, ebay and car-boot sales, and I even for­age in skips!

I’ve al­ways loved hunt­ing for un­usual ob­jects and I never spend too much on any­thing. It’s not par­tic­u­larly about the money – be­cause I do it this way, I can change things later with­out feel­ing guilty. I fol­low a lot of peo­ple on Instagram who have shops and they sell items on there, too. It’s bril­liant be­cause you don’t have to pay any sell­ing fees as you do on ebay.

If I do buy things new from shops, it’s usu­ally from H&M, Cath Kidston or Wilko. With vin­tage style, I think it’s im­por­tant to keep a room from look­ing too tra­di­tional, so bring­ing the odd mod­ern el­e­ment

such as cop­per or geo­met­ric pat­terns into the scheme keeps it fresh.

Home im­prove­ments

Weõve been re­ally lucky with this house, be­cause we havenõt had to do any build­ing work or ma­jor im­prove­ments, as it had been taken care of so well. We also had to re­place some rot­ted wooden sash win­dows with the same de­sign in UPVC, but you re­ally canõt tell they arenõt made of wood, and weõre so pleased with them.

The hand­made kitchen was al­ready here, but it was bot­tle green, and chang­ing the doors from dark to white and pale blue was quite a mam­moth task that in­volved hours of sand­ing and lay­ers of paint. The kitchen is def­i­nitely the room I like the best be­cause it has so many of my favourite ob­jects in it, and I love how all of the colours and pat­terns have come to­gether.

Not long be­fore we moved in, the bath­room had been re­fur­bished, so it

‘I made my own run­ner for the din­ing ta­ble us­ing a length of deck chair can­vas – It’s cheap and has the vin­tage look I love’

al­ready had the bath, toi­let and pan­elling in place. The old shower had been made from a tiled stud wall, but it had de­vel­oped a leak, so we knocked the wall out and fit­ted a new shower en­clo­sure. We also had the bath re-enam­elled for £375 and painted the ex­te­rior in duck-egg blue, and now it looks like a brand-new tub.

Floor­boards are quite key to the vin­tage look, but we lived with car­pets in the bed­rooms for about four years, be­cause we lived in fear of dis­cov­er­ing the boards un­der­neath were in poor con­di­tion. It took a lot of gen­tle per­sua­sion for me to con­vince Martin that we needed to look un­der the car­pets and find out. Luck­ily, the floor­boards turned out to be in a de­cent state, and we painted them with Ron­seal Di­a­mond Hard White satin floor paint, which has lasted bril­liantly.

Most of the down­stairs floor is con­crete, so we had to save up for an en­gi­neered wood floor to re­place the old car­pet. I was

‘I’ve filled our home with many sal­vaged Items – It’s a good thing I like pieces to look slightly bat­tered and worn!’

af­ter a dark one to con­trast with the white walls, but now I want it white!

Fur­nish­ing on a bud­get

The din­ing room still has the orig­i­nal floor­boards and is one of my favourite rooms be­cause it has a lovely light and is a great space for show­ing off my retro treasures. It cost less than £150 to put this look to­gether, as lots of my fur­ni­ture – here and through­out – is from an­tiques fairs or vin­tage shops. They are all well-made items and will last a lot longer than mod­ern pieces. One of my best fur­ni­ture-buy­ing tips is to go to fairs and car-boot sales and wait un­til the end of the day. Traders of­ten don’t want to load things back into their vans, so I have done some great deals by mak­ing last-minute of­fers.

I of­ten paint the fur­ni­ture I’ve bought to make it fit some­where. You don’t need to use the ex­pen­sive chalk paints be­cause nor­mal matt emul­sion is just as good. I use

what­ever paint I have ly­ing around the house, or I buy tester pots and mix my own colours, some­times adding acrylic paint.

Look­ing ahead

I never feel as if the house is fin­ished be­cause it’s con­stantly evolv­ing and that’s the way I like it. I’m al­ways adding new things, mov­ing pieces around and paint­ing fur­ni­ture and I think if I didn’t, I’d be­come bored with the place. The only prob­lem is that I’m start­ing to run out of space, par­tic­u­larly in the din­ing room, which dou­bles as my stu­dio and is of­ten full of my event props. maybe it’s time to build a work­shop in the gar­den!’ get click­ing and go to house­to­home.co.uk/ styleath­ome for more in­spir­ing house tours.

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