‘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
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.
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