‘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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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