‘christ­mas at ours is a time for fam­ily’

Sea­sonal green­ery sets the scene in Am­ber Lil­ley’s chic home

Style at Home (UK) - - Contents -

We’d set our hearts on buy­ing a home here in Har­ro­gate as it is close to my fam­ily, and it’s also a very friendly town,’ says Am­ber. ‘Un­for­tu­nately, the houses in this area are very ex­pen­sive, so my hus­band Michael and I needed to save hard to get a de­posit to­gether. We moved out of our rented ac­com­mo­da­tion in Leeds and back in with my par­ents so that we could save all our money. Un­ex­pect­edly, within weeks of mov­ing in with Mum and Dad, I found out I was preg­nant, so the pres­sure was on to find our first fam­ily home – and soon! Michael worked all the over­time he could while I made a bit of ex­tra money up­cy­cling vin­tage fur­ni­ture, as well as work­ing full time right up un­til my due date.

We looked at sev­eral prop­er­ties, but what I loved about this one in par­tic­u­lar was that it re­quired very lit­tle struc­tural work. It just needed us to put our own dec­o­ra­tive stamp on the place. The price was way over our bud­get, but I put in an of­fer any­way. It meant we had to work even harder to save up the ex­tra

‘ for an in­stant room refresh, in­clude some green­ery — i love adding plants to my in­te­ri­ors as they make the place feel alive’

money we needed, but I had no in­ten­tion of let­ting this house pass us by.

Mov­ing day

We moved in two days be­fore our son Milo was born and we had more than eight fam­ily mem­bers helping – build­ing flat-pack fur­ni­ture, putting up shelves and un­pack­ing boxes. I’d bought the bed­room fur­ni­ture be­fore we moved in, but that was about it. My mum also gave me a few bits and pieces to keep us go­ing.

When Milo was just a few weeks old, Mum and Dad helped me freshen up the place. We’d paint while he was nap­ping and then stop when he awoke. We took turns paint­ing over the mush­room colour in the liv­ing room and cov­er­ing over the pur­ple in the bed­room with a bright white. We then dec­o­rated Milo’s nurs­ery so that he had his very own room to move into. I wanted the house, es­pe­cially the open­plan ar­eas, to be painted in calm colours, es­pe­cially as I love whites and greys.

Ex­tra in­come

We had to buy things for our home as we went, even rent­ing the place out on Airbnb to earn a lit­tle ex­tra money. I fur­nished our house with a few key in­vest­ment items, like my su­per-com­fort­able retro-styled sofa, and then I dressed the rest with painted fur­ni­ture left over from my up­cy­cling days. And we were given a few items,

‘try a ra­di­a­tor cover — the one in our dining area is per­fect for dis­play­ing can­dles and fo­liage’

such as the wooden branch ta­ble in the liv­ing room that has our ini­tials carved into it, which was one of our wed­ding gifts.

Fes­tive fin­ish

By last De­cem­ber, we had fin­ished the house and I was ex­cited to spend my first Christ­mas here. I love dec­o­rat­ing very sim­ply for the big day, and each year I treat my­self to a few more new dec­o­ra­tions. We love the mar­ket in Har­ro­gate, where I can pick up lovely food, hand-crafted gifts and mulled wine.

A few days be­fore Christ­mas, Michael and I will have our fam­ily over for din­ner and cook a tra­di­tional roast. My mum and sis­ter love to cook to­gether, and we all help to make it. It’s lovely to be able to host them as our way to say thank you for all their hard work in helping us set up our very first fam­ily home.’

white & light. ‘The open-plan dining and kitchen space re­ally at­tracted me to this house. The white units re­flect lots of light, even in win­ter’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.