By tack­ling much of the work them­selves, this cou­ple were able to re­vamp their once-out­dated house in Whit­ley Bay

25 Beautiful Homes - - CONTENTS - Fea­ture KAREN WIL­SON | Pho­tog­ra­phy KATIE LEE

The im­pe­tus for Jen and Greg Lam­bert’s prop­erty search be­gan when their land­lord de­cided to sell up. ‘ We were tired of rent­ing and ready to get our own place,’ says Jen. ‘We wanted some­thing near our chil­dren’s schools that needed some work. This house was a bit fur­ther out than we had hoped, but we were able to get a lot more for our money here.’

With a tight bud­get and an­other baby on the way to join sib­lings Joel, now 10, and Brody, six, the cou­ple knew this house had the po­ten­tial to be a spring­board to big­ger and bet­ter things. ‘It hadn’t been touched in years but I ne­go­ti­ated a re­ally good price so it made fi­nan­cial sense,’ says Jen.

The cou­ple were able to save money by tack­ling lots of the work them­selves, too, in­clud­ing lay­ing floor­ing and tiling. Their car­pen­ter friend, who runs Ely Rus­tic Fur­ni­ture, also helped out, mak­ing the shelv­ing and a new man­tel­piece for the faux log­burner. ‘I was six months preg­nant and strip­ping wall­pa­per,’ says Jen, who com­pleted a de­gree in in­te­rior de­sign af­ter Lake, now two, was born. ‘A lower bud­get can work if you’re pre­pared to put in the hours your­self.’ Once the es­sen­tials were in place, such as new electrics and cen­tral heat­ing, Jen painted all the rooms in neu­tral shades to freshen up the space.

Open­ing up the kitchen has had the big­gest im­pact of all. ‘There was

a tiny en­trance hall, which led to an awk­ward L-shaped kitchen so we re­moved the di­vid­ing wall,’ says Jen. ‘ We then re­painted the units, added new work­tops and tiles, re­placed the sink and tap, and swapped some of the wall cup­boards for shelves.’ Jen is par­tic­u­larly proud of the kitchen is­land cre­ated from the base of a Welsh dresser and fin­ished with an oak work­top and cas­tors. ‘We use it as a gi­ant butcher’s block,’ she says.

Re­vamp­ing rather than re­plac­ing is a mantra that served the pair well in the bath­room, too. ‘It looked hor­ri­ble be­fore, but we just changed the bath panel, fit­ted new taps and floor­ing and added a cabi­net be­low the basin,’ says Jen. ‘Grout pens were life­savers!’

With a pen­chant for raw ma­te­ri­als and botan­i­cals, Jen de­scribes her style as a blend of boho, beach and Scandi. How­ever, since start­ing work at Cathy Dean In­te­rior De­sign, she has been lured over to the dark side, which is ev­i­dent through­out the prop­erty. ‘It be­gan with the kitchen,’ she ex­plains. ‘I had orig­i­nally painted the units duck egg blue but the room seemed too washed out. Now the dark blue makes a state­ment and gives the room a real el­e­ment of drama.’

As Jen’s style keeps evolv­ing, so does the in­te­rior of the Lam­bert home. ‘We’ve been chang­ing the decor as we go but now I’m much more ad­ven­tur­ous,’ she says. ‘And our house can only ben­e­fit from that.’

1KITCHEN- DINER Paint­ing the units blue and the stools white has trans­formed this room. Kitchen cab­i­nets painted in Blue Shale eggshell, £21.98 for 2.5L, Valspar. Fea­ture wall painted in Pi­geon es­tate emul­sion, £ 45 for 2.5L, Far­row & Ball. Sim­ple Value solid wood kitchen stools, £29.99 for two, Ar­gos. Asi­atic Onix zig zag mono rug is a match, from £69, Rugs Di­rect2DIN­ING AREA A mono­chrome scheme with touches of green­ery and nat­u­ral wood is a fail-safe com­bi­na­tion. ‘The din­ing chairs were in­her­ited from my grandma so I can’t bear to part with them,’ says Jen. Oakham din­ing ta­ble, from £859, Barker & Stone­house, is com­pa­ra­ble. Safavieh in­door/out­door rug, £ 47.99m, Way­fair, is a close match. Skogsta bench (re­painted by Jen), £ 40, Ikea. Al­lispretty print, from £5 un­framed, Chelsea Prints

2LAKE’S BED­ROOM Pat­terned tex­tiles bring per­son­al­ity to the neu­trally dec­o­rated room. For­est camp du­vet cover, £17.40; tis­sar wall hang­ing, £9.60, both La red­oute

1SIT­TING ROOM Us­ing a mix of paint and wall­pa­per helps zone the mul­ti­pur­pose space. walls painted in black heron emul­sion, £21.98 for 2.5L, Valspar. her­ring­bone wall­pa­per, £63.90 a roll, Cloud­berry Liv­ing3MAIN BED­ROOM Per­sonal touches add char­ac­ter. blackout cur­tains, from £50, Next home. Cush­ion, £13.99, Ideal home range at Very

4JOEL & BRODY’S BED­ROOM This so­phis­ti­cated scheme suits all ages. Cather­ine Lans­field skulls double du­vet cover, £19; cur­tains £32, both Very

5BATH­ROOM A wooden van­ity warms the space. west­bay un­der-basin unit, £99.99, Very

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