Wowser. That’s how I began my reply to Charlotte and Miranda when this beauty of a home tour dropped in my inbox from Event Stylist Louise Wilson-Ward. I’ll hand straight over to Louise to tell you all about her compact, chic and feminine pad. It’ll have you swooning folks. Do drop Louise a comment or two to share your appreciation of the space!
The Studio was originally built as a Victorian open barn and served Almonry Barn as an additional covered area for hay and cattle. Around 18 years ago it was converted into an artists studio (hence the name, open plan and airy feel) alongside Almonry Barn which was used as a gallery and restaurant. There’s also a third barn on site, a converted cattle shed where my mum lives. We purchased the barns three years ago, by which point they had all been left and seriously neglected for 12 years. So as soon as we got the barn’s paperwork completed, we got the conversion work started with the help from the same perth experts who had worked on our previous homes as well.
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As well as being an artist’s studio, it’s previous life was also an attempted tea room so by the time we moved in the studio was full of dodgy terracotta tiles, navy blue and mustard walls and ceilings, a hideous kitchen made of breeze blocks and some other seriously out dated wiring and plumbing.
Once we had completed converting the main barn into a wedding venue, we set about pretty much gutting the studio and installing everything from scratch. Luckily we have a fantastic team of builders and everything was completed within six weeks and we’ve now been living here for one and a half years. The only thing we kept was the lovely open plan aspect and exposed stone walls. It was all done on a relatively small budget so I undertook the entire painting myself (four weeks and 80 litres of white paint later!). I did slightly drive the builders mad following them around with my paint brush!
My background is actually interior design so I knew exactly what I wanted. Luckily as well as vision (which was definitely required) and an eye for a bargain, I have a very sympathetic fiancé who trusts me to get on with things. I have made Paul a promise that our next place won’t be so white though!
As the studio is open plan, I felt it really didn’t lend itself to being full to the brim of stuff. Everything is on show here and due to the fact I actually have very few usable walls, and practically no built in storage, I needed to keep this in mind especially throughout the final styling.
Of course not everything in our house can be white (apparently!), so the perfect storage and design solution was chests……lots of chests! Blanket boxes, shoe trunks, fruit boxes, suitcases, storage poufs……..you name it we have one! They’re absolutely perfect for hiding things such as DVDs, books, paperwork etc….the other ultimate plus is they pretty much all double up as tables. A perfect area for displaying more white goodies! They’ve all been sourced relatively cheaply, and if they were a bit grungy it was nothing a lick of white or grey paint didn’t fix!
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I would say that 90% of the furniture in the house is actually up cycled. One of my all time favourite pieces is our coffee table. It was actually an old barn door that we found, and after having a base made, the whole thing cost £40. It’s perfect for filling up the space as well as being totally unique.
The other thing I’m a big fan of is grouping items. I’m currently going through a big bell jar, cut glass and decanter phase. Not the easiest when it comes to cleaning, but they definitely carry more of an impact when sitting together and allow a hint of a theme to continue throughout the house.