Slip out of neu­tral to gear up for char­ac­ter in a home

Es­cap­ing from bland in­te­ri­ors is a chal­lenge but ex­pert Sally Coulthard has all the ad­vice you will need. Sharon Dale re­ports.

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY -

ALL the best, most mem­o­rable in­te­ri­ors have char­ac­ter and re­veal some­thing of the owner’s per­son­al­ity.

Sadly, the hous­ing boom and a trend for min­i­mal­ism helped strip in­di­vid­u­al­ity out of our homes. Neu­tral was the buzz word and the re­sult was bland in­te­ri­ors de­signed not to scare prospec­tive buy­ers.

Now that we’re in a slower but more sta­ble mar­ket, we’re stay­ing put for longer and think­ing of our houses as homes rather than in­vest­ments, we can af­ford to in­ject some in­di­vid­u­al­ity.

New builds with no ar­chi­tec­tural features and al­most any­thing built from the 1960s on­wards are a chal­lenge, which is why York­shire writer and suc­cess­ful prop­erty ren­o­va­tor Sally Coulthard has come up with her lat­est book. A Home of Your Own – Cre­at­ing In­te­ri­ors with Char­ac­ter.

There are chap­ters on ev­ery­thing from an­tique and vin­tage fur­nish­ings and em­brac­ing crafts­man­ship to cre­ate spa­ces that re­mind us of loved ones.

“When we de­scribe a house as be­ing char­ac­ter­ful, what we mean is that it is in­di­vid­ual, ex­cep­tional in some way; that the space has a spe­cial mix of features that, when put to­gether, cre­ate a won­der­fully idio­syn­cratic, in­ter­est­ing home,” says Sally. “What’s more, we are not re­fer­ring sim­ply to the build­ing it­self. The con­tents, colour scheme, lay­out and per­sonal ef­fects have just as much in­flu­ence as the struc­ture in cre­at­ing a unique home.”

It is all about mark­ing your ter­ri­tory.

“We want our homes to re­flect who we are as well as ful­fil our ba­sic need for shel­ter. Ev­ery time we choose a paint colour, hang a pic­ture or pick out a fab­ric, we are com­mu­ni­cat­ing some­thing to our­selves and to oth­ers. When we dis­play a col­lec­tion of teacups or tro­phies, we are let­ting peo­ple know our in­ter­ests, val­ues, ideals, tastes and pre­oc­cu­pa­tions. A char­ac­ter­ful home should there­fore speak to us about the peo­ple who live in it.”

Here are some of Sally’s tips:

There are a num­ber of rea­sons why a home lacks char­ac­ter. It may be too per­fect and feel as if no-one lives there. Min­i­mal­ist homes some­times suf­fer from this. A home may also feel too bland be­cause it is too uni­form: all the fur­ni­ture and con­tents match but in a way that leaves the space look­ing like a show­room where ev­ery­thing is over-co­or­di­nated. More im­por­tantly a home will lack char­ac­ter

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