‘i Started paint­ing as Soon as i moved in’

The very day that Na­dia, 33, got the keys to her first flat, she was ready to in­ject per­son­al­ity into her new home

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First-time buyer Na­dia Ge­or­giou couldn’t wait to un­leash her cre­ativ­ity on her Re­gency sea­side flat

Find­ing this flat was pretty stress­ful,’ says na­dia. ‘it’s my first home and i’d been look­ing for a place for ages and sav­ing my de­posit since i was 18, but the prop­er­ties i found kept fall­ing through.

When I first walked into this beau­ti­ful top-floor flat in a con­verted Re­gency town­house in Brighton, I was in­stantly drawn to the large windows and high ceil­ings. It just felt like I be­longed here, so I snapped it up. It’s in the per­fect lo­ca­tion, too – re­ally close to the train sta­tion and within walk­ing dis­tance of the city cen­tre, but po­si­tioned on a quiet street.

Decor change

This flat is my first home ren­o­va­tion project but over the years I’ve gleaned lots of ideas and in­spi­ra­tion from my mum, who is an in­te­rior designer. Al­though our styles are very dif­fer­ent, she’s taught me how to put a scheme to­gether, which has re­ally helped with my own home.

The liv­ing room and kitchen had both been painted in colours that weren’t to my taste, so within hours of get­ting the keys, I got to work paint­ing over the li­lac walls. As the flat has such high ceil­ings, it took for­ever! Luck­ily, I’ve got a good head for heights, but when I was stand­ing on tip­toe at the top of the lad­der, I was pet­ri­fied!

To get the flat done at speed, I in­vited my friends to help. When­ever they came for din­ner, they knew that part of the deal was to paint a wall! It took three weeks and 10 litres of paint to cover all the li­lac.

Shop­ping spree

Be­fore mov­ing in, I sold all my old fur­ni­ture as it was too big to get up the stair­case. That gave me a fresh start and al­lowed me to buy some new things to slot right in with my new home. I started out with

noth­ing but a cou­ple of suit­cases of clothes and some of my books – I felt like a squat­ter, with a mat­tress on the floor, liv­ing out of card­board boxes!

I be­gan by do­ing most of my shop­ping on­line, slowly build­ing up a col­lec­tion of designer looka­like pieces at cut prices. I’d shop around for the best deals and even ap­proached in­de­pen­dent de­sign­ers, giv­ing my fur­nish­ings a re­ally unique feel.

Ready to re­vamp

Within a month, I started ren­o­vat­ing my kitchen. It was out with the tired wooden units and in with some sleek hi-gloss door fronts with a cream fin­ish.

I hired a builder/car­pen­ter who in­stalled lots of open stor­age above the units on one side for my spices and crock­ery, as I love cook­ing and en­ter­tain­ing. I’ve in­tro­duced metallics through­out my home, too, as I love the lus­trous fin­ish. The gold tiles and the re­flec­tive lamp­shade in the kitchen are re­ally eye-catch­ing in the light.

In my bed­room, I cov­ered the walls with a vi­brant palm leaf wall­pa­per and fur­nished the rest of the room with vin­tage fur­ni­ture and gold silk cur­tains. Be­fore, the walls were painted pale cream and they made the room felt pretty soul­less, so I found the wall­pa­per at Rock­ett St Ge­orge – I nearly chose a crazy an­i­mal-print one, but then spot­ted this and loved its trop­i­cal look.

Above the bed, I had be­spoke floor-to­ceil­ing shelv­ing built to house my huge col­lec­tion of books. I still haven’t un­packed them all from stor­age, but I had a space cre­ated for them in ad­vance, as I love be­ing sur­rounded by my favourite nov­els.

Small touches

The bath­room will even­tu­ally need an over­haul, but in the mean­time, I’ve given it a tiny makeover to add just a bit of

per­son­al­ity. I gave it a lick of blue paint, added some vin­tage light fit­tings and a gilt mir­ror, and then took off the ugly bath panel so you can see the feet of the bath, to make it look like it’s a roll-top. I in­stalled a tra­di­tional shower fit­ting above the bath, as it saved on space and con­tin­ued the her­itage look.

I’ve also added a few vin­tage touches to make the in­te­rior feel a bit more spe­cial – I like to snoop around at lo­cal junk shops for my light fit­tings and ac­ces­sories, and look for things that I can re­pair or up­date. I’m a dab hand at cus­tomis­ing things my­self, too, and have trans­formed some rusty chairs and old lamps with spray paint.

Party time

That first Christ­mas, I’d planned a mas­sive house­warm­ing party. It gave me the per­fect dead­line to get all the fi­nal bits of fur­ni­ture for the house and I spent sev­eral months be­fore it hunt­ing high and low for things that were a bit dif­fer­ent, like the hair­pin cof­fee ta­ble and the cop­per lamp, which I com­mis­sioned di­rect from the mak­ers them­selves.

Within three months of mov­ing in, I ren­o­vated the space from top-to-toe. My friends and fam­ily love how unique my home is, and how cre­atively it has been dec­o­rated. I’ve tried to re­flect the artis­tic, vi­brant and cre­ative na­ture of Brighton in my home with be­spoke fur­ni­ture, up­cy­cling and per­sonal art, and I think I’ve suc­ceeded in get­ting it just right.’

STYLE TIP ‘Com­bine stark, in­dus­trial fur­ni­ture with lighter hues and soft tex­tiles to mix up your scheme’ Buy it shine on with our pick of metal­lic pieces Page 34 light & bright. ‘the liv­ing room is my favourite part of the house, as the large windows let in so much light all year round’

Pipe up. ‘Cop­per pip­ing can be bought cheaply and made into quirky home­wares’

cus­tom made Do it ‘My car­pen­ter in­stalled the slim­line units and made the be­spoke open shelv­ing above. i was away on hol­i­day that week, so i es­caped the mess!’ Make a gal­ley kitchen space work for you page 36

su­per store. ‘i had large units in­stalled to give me lots of room to stash my crock­ery’

‘i wanted to make the most of the tall ceil­ings and have some­where to dis­play all my books – which are all still in stor­age! My siesta bed is from Warren evans’ shelf life great idea ‘Pick a wooden bed frame to add a nat­u­ral el­e­ment to your scheme’

good na­ture. ‘My palm leaf wall­pa­per adds a warm and trop­i­cal feel’ Make it store your slap in a be­spoke cos­metic bag! page 38

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