‘I’ve given it a WARM WELCOME’
Claire loves walking in through her front door, now that the hallway looks so bright and cheerful
Four years ago we moved to a house the same size as our last, in the same area, to release some equity. It was in desperate need of renovation, so we could indulge our shared passion for renovating,’ says claire.
‘The house wasn’t really fit to live in but luckily we found a builder who came highly recommended and was ready to go – in fact he originally told us he could complete the upstairs in just three weeks. It was great timing because it was the Easter holidays, so we went away for a couple of weeks during the renovation, then stayed with friends. However, rather than being able to skim the walls, as first thought, everything had to be stripped back to the bare brickwork and replastered, adding another two weeks to the project.
When we first viewed the house it was so drab and uninviting, and that made me really want to push the boat out and make a big effort with the hall. I chose a soft vanilla called Lead White from Little Greene for the walls, which I felt had a lovely warmth to it, and then actually went on to use it throughout the house to create a continuous look. In the hall it made good sense to go for smart, practical wooden flooring, with all the traffic going in and out, created by the girls, their friends and our dog Tilly.
I knew I wanted to make the stairs the focal point, as they’re the first thing you see when you walk into the house. I researched different runners and carpets online before I finally settled on a carpet with a spot pattern, which I thought was fun, but went for it in a neutral shade so that it wasn’t too overwhelming. With a fresh neutral backdrop in place, I turned my thoughts to how to bring more colour into
the space. I had the idea of painting the banisters sky blue to turn them into a real feature. With space at a premium, I was limited when it came to what furniture I could fit in. I toyed with having a bench with hooks above but in the end we decided to make room for coats, out of sight, under the stairs. I wanted to incorporate as much storage as possible, so I looked for a suitable unit to fit the space. I found this sideboard at Ikea and with the add-on shelving on top it’s perfect for holding all the bits and pieces we need throughout the house, such as the first-aid kit. It was white when we bought it but it didn’t look quite right, so I painted it sky blue to match the banisters and that really pulled the whole look together.
I am thrilled with the finished space – it’s so refreshing to come home to now. I can’t believe it all came together during the last week of the five-week renovation and cost us just £1,500 for the work!’
‘I FOUND A SIDEBOARD AT IKEA AND WITH THE ADD-ON SHELVING, IT’S PERFECT FOR ALL OUR BITS AND PIECES’
MAKE AN ENTRANCE ‘when we first walked into this house it felt so dreary. I gave the hall a fresh, modern look with vanilla walls and fun, sky blue woodwork’
on reflection ‘The large mirror enhances the feeling of space and is handy for checking your hair when the door knocker goes!’
Personal touch ‘I created little cameos on the unit with pictures, accessories and unusual storage’