‘My style has a big im­pact!’

With a bold, can-do ap­proach, Lucci has made her mark on her home, mix­ing vi­brant colours and ad­ven­tur­ous pat­terns with some clever bar­gain buys

Style at Home (UK) - - Inside -

Lucci has filled her Som­er­set Vic­to­rian ter­race with bold pat­terns

This house was in a bit of a sorry state when we first saw it, but my hus­band Gary and I could see that it had the mak­ings of a fab­u­lous home,’ says Lucci Peters. ‘We knew we could do such a lot with it. We were look­ing to down­size a bit, as our sons are now grown up, and our old coun­try cot­tage was feel­ing a bit re­mote.

We wanted our new home to have char­ac­ter, but to be nearer to shops and fa­cil­i­ties, and our fam­ily and friends. This house ticked all the boxes and the lovely long gar­den was an added bonus.

The big build

It took us about a year to plan and get our fi­nances to­gether be­fore we started build­ing a lit­tle ex­ten­sion at the back. The old kitchen was in a nar­row lit­tle dog-leg that jut­ted into the gar­den, so the new ex­ten­sion just filled in the area across the back of the house.

Cre­at­ing a light, bright feel was re­ally im­por­tant, so as well as the doors out to the gar­den, we also put in a roof light di­rectly above the dining ta­ble. Gary came up with the idea and drew up the orig­i­nal de­sign. We knocked through from the snug, too, so now we’ve got one big liv­ing space with dif­fer­ent kitchen, dining and seat­ing zones.

A lo­cal builder car­ried out all the work, and in­stalled the new up­stairs bath­room at the same time. Although things pro­gressed smoothly, it wasn’t much fun! Gary was away a lot with work, and I had to camp in the small study at the front. There was dust ev­ery­where and no heat­ing or hot water for weeks, so I was re­ally grate­ful to my kind neigh­bours, who let me use their shower. If we ever de­cided to do that amount of

build­ing work again, I’d def­i­nitely think about mov­ing out tem­po­rar­ily!

Out of the or­di­nary

Once the struc­tural part was done, and the kitchen and bath­room were fit­ted, Gary and I tack­led the dec­o­rat­ing and fin­ish­ing off. Gary’s handy with join­ery and gen­eral DIY, while I’m happy paint­ing, plus I love wall­pa­per­ing. To­gether, we make a good team and com­bin­ing our skills has saved us a for­tune.

I like my home to be a bit out of the or­di­nary. I love bright, vi­brant colours and fun, in­ter­est­ing pat­terns, and I’m def­i­nitely a give-it-a-go sort of per­son. I knew I had to buy the amaz­ing dog­gie wall­pa­per that’s in the hall as soon as I saw it, even though it wasn’t ac­tu­ally hung un­til about a year later. Peo­ple al­ways com­ment on it, and ev­ery­one loves it. The patch­work-look kitchen tiles were an­other must-have for me. They are the main de­sign fea­ture of the kitchen, so I chose sim­ple, neu­tral units and work­tops to bal­ance them. As the kitchen is quite small, I had to plan the lay­out care­fully to squeeze in the wash­ing ma­chine and a slim­line dish­washer as well as plenty of storage.

A flow­ing space

We spend a lot of time in the open-plan liv­ing area at the back. It’s where we chill out and watch TV in the evenings and with the dining ta­ble and the gar­den doors, it’s great for en­ter­tain­ing fam­ily and friends. Apart from in the kitchen, the floor­ing is oak, which is hard­wear­ing and adds some warmth.

Our old walls aren’t quite straight and even, so it turned out to be eas­ier and more eco­nom­i­cal to lay the boards across the rooms, rather than length­ways. We’ve con­tin­ued it into the hall, too, so the

space flows smoothly from the front door right to the back of the house.

We’ve kept the small front room as a sep­a­rate study, for quiet reading and re­lax­ing. I chose a very strik­ing bookde­sign wall­pa­per to go in there, which is fun and adds per­son­al­ity. Although the pat­tern is bold, I’ve still hung framed photos and prints on top, as I love hav­ing fam­ily pic­tures and per­sonal things around me. Gary and I even made our own art­work for the dining area out of keep­sakes and some sal­vaged scraps of wood. It was a prac­ti­cal so­lu­tion be­cause I wanted to use the space, but the strong sun from the roof-light kept fad­ing any pic­tures or photos I hung there.

Bar­gain buys

Since we moved here, we’ve grad­u­ally re­placed some of our fur­ni­ture. All the so­fas are new, and the sil­very vel­vet one in the study was a real bar­gain. When I spot­ted it in Home­sense, I loved it, but thought it might be too big. I rang my neigh­bour and she popped into the house and mea­sured the space for me, while I waited in the shop. The size was per­fect, but we couldn’t fit it through the door, so it had to come through the win­dow.

Most of our other pieces are ei­ther things we’ve had for years, or sec­ond­hand buys, and al­most ev­ery­thing has been painted, changed or up­dated some­how. We found our dining ta­ble in a lo­cal sec­ond-hand shop. Gary re­stored the top and then fit­ted new, more con­tem­po­rary legs that we’ve painted blue to pick up on the kitchen tiles. We’ve had our pine bed for ab­so­lutely ages, but paint­ing it bright green has given it a com­pletely fresh new look. I used the

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