‘We filled it With happy colours’
Alice turned a dated holiday flat by the sea into a cheerful home full of bright shades and coastal details
Alice turned her rundown seaside flat in East Yorkshire into a cheery family home
Most people wouldn’t have bothered to give this dated seaside flat a second glance,’ says alice. ‘a former holiday home, it had been well used and months of standing empty had taken its toll. however, my husband chris and I could see beyond its dilapidated interior, the damp and dirt.
We’ve renovated properties before, so we knew it could look great, but we had to really visualise how it could be. We’d been looking to buy a home in the seaside town of Hornsea to be closer to my parents. We have a young daughter, Maggie, and we were travelling from our home in Manchester to Hornsea every other week to see my parents. Chris can work from home and we had no real personal attachment to Manchester, so it made sense for us to move.
Properties within our budget were few and far between in Hornsea but this flat, just a few metres from the beach, was in the perfect location and was just the right size. It was pretty much uninhabitable, so we spent many weekends working on it to get it into a state where we could move in.
The only thing that remained unchanged was the front bay window, which had recently been replaced. The rest of
the property was altered beyond recognition. The old kitchen was at the end of a dark corridor and squeezed into a space barely big enough for a cooker and a fridge. A worktop blocked the back door and a cramped bathroom, along with an outdoor toilet, was behind that.
Getting to work
The day we came to start work on the flat, the lock on the front door broke and we had to break in. We decided that, from then on, the only way was up! Chris and one of his friends did all the building work, stripping out the old fittings and taking out non load-bearing walls so we could redesign the layout.
They used some of the old kitchen space to create a bigger bathroom and utility room, then moved the back door and knocked down the outside toilet to
‘don’t be afraid to Use Pink in the Kitchen – it’s Perfect for bringing a light, fresh feel to a room’
turn that area into Maggie’s bedroom. We built the new kitchen out of the old corridor – we raised the ceiling to create a feeling of more space and had the whole area replastered. New plumbing and electrics were fitted throughout.
I helped where I could, but I spent a lot of time looking after Maggie, who at that time was just a baby. Once everything started to take shape, I began to plan how I wanted the interior to look.
I had a very clear idea of the way each room would look, based on a clean, fresh style with traditional elements combined with bursts of modern colour.
I wanted to reflect our coastal location, but I didn’t want it to be too full on. It was more about reflecting the lovely light here and the natural elements of the
seaside rather than creating a very contrived coastal look.
To keep things simple, I chose just one colour to use throughout the whole flat – Dulux Timeless matt emulsion. It ties the rooms together, makes the small spaces look a lot bigger and also makes maintenance really easy, which is important when you have a young family.
My dad, Robin Rose, is a cabinet maker and he made free-standing cabinets, tables, shelves and cupboards for us, then we shopped around to find bargain fittings and fixtures, plus extra furniture, to create a warm, welcoming style.
He also makes things out of driftwood, like our towel rail in the kitchen, and that inspired me to collect shells and small pieces of driftwood from the beach to make my own decorative pictures. Friends kept asking me if they could
‘PUT attractive TOYS OUT ON DISPLAY SO THEY Make an eye-catching Feature AND are easy FOR YOUR CHILD TO reach’
buy the pictures, so i started my own small business, selling them online.
the coastal location has also inspired the sunny accent colours of our flat, including the bold yellows, pinks and blues. i love bright colours. they really cheer us up and can be easily changed if you want a different look, without going to huge expense.
The perfect fit
We brought quite a lot of furniture from our old house with us and luckily it all fitted perfectly. We also brought a piece of stone from our old cellar which we’ve used to create a hearth for a small stove that’s in the sitting room.
it’s so relaxing here, compared to living in Manchester. it’s wonderful to wake up each morning and hear the waves, and when the sunlight is pouring in through the big bay windows, you can be in the sitting room and feel as though you’re on holiday. i’m much more aware of the seasons and the moods of the sea now. Maggie and i spend a lot of time walking along the beach together, looking at shells and pebbles and interesting bits of flotsam and jetsam, some of which find their way into the house or into my homemade pictures. it’s why we love this flat – it reflects everything we love about living close to the sea.’
colour pop ‘this yellow wallpaper lifts the room – it’s Widenor chevron by thibault, from Wallpaper direct’
Favourite.. .room. ‘I love how the bay window floods the sitting room with light, making the window seat a lovely sunny spot to sit in’
beach pictures ‘these Ikea ledges are the ideal depth to show off my artworks’
table talk ‘We chose a small table to save on space, but it can be pulled away from the wall and extended if we have guests over’
handcrafted ‘My dad, Robin, made this unusual towel rail out of driftwood and old nails’
Maximising. .space ‘I only have units along one wall to make it seem more spacious, and I kept the scheme neutral with touches of pink to make the room feel light and bright’
seascapes ‘My handmade artworks reflect our coastal location’
Sea bed ‘This room is quite small so we used every inch of space, fitting in a desk by the window. The shelf above the bed is perfect for displaying our seaside accessories’