Rock My Wedding Account Manager, Lottie lives in a fabulous three bed house with husband Edd and two gorgeous girlies Molly and Alice. Their home is a beautiful Victorian property which successfully fuses together the light and airy features of the period with a bold, mid-century palette to create a relaxed yet stylish family home with oodles of personality. We’re splitting Lottie’s home in to two parts as there are so many fabulous details so hop back tomorrow to take a peek at the upstairs.
Its safe to say our house turned out to be slightly more of a project than we anticipated. I had a dream of a lovely Victorian house in a village and so when this one came on the market we snapped it up. I knew it would need a bit of doing up to make it how we wanted and a good survey didn’t show up anything untoward. The guy we bought it from quickly became known as Mr Bodge it in our household! My dreams of pretty paint colours and days ambling round the shops choosing lampshades quickly became a distant dream. The first winter we spent in the house was so cold that our pipes froze, boiler broke and we slept in hats and scarves! We quickly realised we needed to get saving and replaced the sash windows with double glazed versions, had thermal lining added in the coldest rooms and basically insulted every area we could. Now it is lovely and toasty in the winter, especially in front of the wood burner we had fitted. The work didn’t stop there and we have had to spend money re plumbing, fitting new heating systems, retanking the cellar as it flooded and rewiring the whole house. The rewiring was a chance discovery when I called our electrician out about a buzzing light switch and was still being finished when I was in hospital having our first baby. Great fun to come home to!
I wouldn’t say I have a particular style. I just tend to pick things I like and hope they come together. Its often an evolution as we have bought pieces when we could afford to and then added to them. Sometimes its not quite as I envisaged but it has a nice homely feel which is ultimately what this house is. With the world’s messiest husband and two toddlers tearing about I don’t stand much chance of having an immaculate home so my decorating decisions had to fit around that. It was also key that we had a lot of storage so that I can hide everything away when I want to! If we could fit a cupboard or some clever hiding place then we have.
We’ve been hear about four and half years now and we finally got round to the fun projects and the house is finally taking shape. I love the house for its high ceilings and sense of space that you don’t get in a new build. It may be a bit higgledy-piggledy and not a single wall or floor is straight but that is the beauty of it. I’ve loved creating our family home and finally feel I am at the point where I can spend my money on those frivolous cushions. Or maybe its time to redecorate, or move!
The kitchen was probably the most important room for me. As a baking fan I wanted a space where I could spend hours crafting cakes but equally that withstood having children bashing in to the cupboards on their scooters! When we moved in the kitchen was fine but just not ideal. It had white gloss doors but just felt unfinished and the layout wasn’t great. It never felt cosy or somewhere that I enjoyed spending time. When we could afford to we decided it was time for a change. The main requirement was that I could fit in a lovely 110cm Rangemaster and so we started looking at new layouts that would accommodate this. The current cooker was housed in a chimney breast which wouldn’t fit the new range. Our fantastic kitchen designer came up with a new layout that involved turning one of the two doors out to the garden in to a window and allowed us to move everything around without loosing space. He also created the most fabulous bank of cupboards and drawers in the old chimney breast so that we could maximise cupboard space. We chose a shaker style real wood kitchen in a sage green and finished it with white composite worktops. They have the benefits of granite but are much more durable and also a lot cheaper. Our designer was amazing as he suggested so many things we wouldn’t even have thought of and it cost the same, if not less, than if we had got it from a high street store. For the flooring we went with Karndean which I have to say is amazing. My husband took some convincing as he had an aversion to vinyl but it really doesn’t look at all like vinyl. We then added in our fabulous red Smeg fridge in to a special cubby hole. I will add here that we made the classic mistake of buying the fridge before moving in and so it spent the first two years half covering the one doorway as there was no where for it to go! I then bought a vintage pine table and added bright reproduction chairs from Blue Sun Tree. We pushed this up against a fabulous butchers block from Ikea which is ridiculously sturdy and well made. (Unfortunately they don’t make it anymore but this is similar ) I’ve then added little touches like the blackboard wall which took about five minutes and cost the grand total of £9!
The snug has been a few different things since we moved in. It started life as a dining room as it flows off the kitchen but once we had the woodburner fitted it quickly became a second lounge and then when the kids arrived it was a playroom/family room. It is probably the room we spend the most time in as its really cosy and I don’t care if the kids drop toys everywhere or create general chaos. We’ve just had the carpet changed to Karndean in here so that it flows through from the kitchen and it is great. I used an offcut of our stair carpet to make a rug and got it bound at our local rug maker for the bargain price of £12. The focal point of the room is the lovely fireplace which was here when we moved in and we fitted it with a huge wood burner. Unfortunately I have to have a rather unattractive fire guard with the girls but safety first I suppose! I’m a bit of a sucker for fun wallpaper and after seeing this in a London pub we had to have it. I spent a long time googling badger playing instrument wallpaper until I finally found it from mini moderns and a love affair with their papers started. It adds a pop of colour against the walls which I painted in Bleached Lichen from Dulux. The large built in cupboard is an original feature and a godsend for hiding away the toys and clutter. We wanted a big squishy sofa that was comfy enough for us all and this was a complete steal. We had popped to M&S (not for a sofa!) and spotted this ex display model reduced from £1500 to £500 and made probably the only snap decision of my life. I love it. The pictures above the sofa are vintage Guinness adverts with an Alice in Wonderland theme. We first saw one in a pub (spot a theme here!) and I tracked some down for our first wedding anniversary being paper and all. Edd loves Guinness and Alice in Wonderland and I worked in advertising at the time so they were perfect. Plus our little girl is named Alice so they fit in even better now.
I love our hall. Having space when you first walk in is great and it makes the house feel really light and airy. We have a beautiful stained glass window which we fitted a new window over as it was rather drafty. Storage was key for us here and I really struggled to find a unit that worked in the space and gave us everything we wanted. Instead I asked a local carpenter to design us a unit and it is perfect. I honestly can’t recommend having things made enough and we have used him numerous times since. The craftsmanship is beautiful and the cost was comparable to high street stores. One top tip he gave me on the shoe element was to go for open shelves. Apparently with a non house trained husband and kids they are more likely to put their shoes away if they don’t have to open a door! Can’t say it works 100% of the time but its a lot better than it was. My mum kindly gave me this huge mirror from her old house and it is just perfect here. We added cute coat hooks for the kids and more in the inner porch for us. A little unit above from a local shop provides a space for spare change, keys, general clutter (oh and my Mulberrys!). I love having photos up so created a bit of a gallery wall that has grown quite large now with an odd assortment of frames.
This room is really calm and relaxing. The light from the bay window is beautiful and I try to keep this room children free. It doesn’t really stay like that but more built in storage helps us keep everything hidden away. I’ve gone for a mellow mocha shade from Dulux on the walls which is really warm and then added bright accents of colours. There wasn’t really a plan here but over time I have purchased, knitted and sewed various cushions and throws so we just added to it. Some of my latest cushions are the cute hare and squirrel designs from Homebase and then I added a few striped ones from H&M. I love a throw in the winter so always have a few ones I knitted on the sofas. The main sofa is a sofa bed from John Lewis as this acts as our spare room and we added a second from M&S in more recently. We recently had this beautiful window seat built for a lot less than a chair would cost. It has opened the room up, the girls love sitting on it and it provides extra storage so is just perfect. This and the other built in cupboards are painted in Farrow and Ball Bone which looks a nice green colour in this room. We have lots of hidden storage in here. There are cupboards in the alcoves, one original and one new, the window seat, storage under the sofa bed and these great tables from Habitat which have lift up lids for chucking stuff in. The fireplace in here isn’t my favourite but at the moment replacing it isn’t a priority. When we moved in it was a deep mahogany with floral in lay which just wasn’t my thing so I painted it out in Wimborne White. I then painted the marble inner surround in Annie Sloan more recently as I just didn’t like the marble. I’ll be sharing the upstairs tomorrow. See you then!