I love my house, but not how it looks.
We bought this place because it was in the right place at the right time and was a sound investment. I love what we’re doing to the inside, but it’s hard to renovate in the way that we’re always told we should: by being true to the building.
You see, I pretty much hate the building. Built in the 1970s, it is made of sand-coloured brick and has the most awful faux-Georgian front door surround. It’s the kind of house millions of British families live in and while, like I said, I do love it despite its faults it’s not the Victorian or art deco property of my dreams.
When I saw this 1960s Leeds house on House to Home I was struck by the architectural similarities with mine and intrigued to see how the owners had decorated inside.
I must say, I wasn’t expecting to like what they’d done.
But I loved it.
It’s thoroughly modern, as a house of this era should be, but there are some traditional touches and several references to its period in wallpaper and textiles.
Some of its rooms – in particular the kitchen diner and living room – are decorated just to my taste and the internal refurbishment seems to have struck a perfect balance with the building. The 1960s are there with their print, pattern and colour but they live happily under the same roof with features from other decades.
And so it solved my dilemma. Yes, that old rule of renovating – to be true to the era in which the property was built – is sensible but that doesn’t have to mean everything from top to toe. A few touches here and there work well and can easily co-habit with design from other times.
The living room has a feature wall painted dark grey (Fired Earth ‘mercury’) and a tall fire surround found at a salvage yard and painted off-white. The insect and butterfly prints are from Rockett St George.
A wall was removed between the kitchen and old sun room to create a new kitchen diner. The white kitchen units are from Arnold Laver. The room was given an injection of personality with a blackboard panel (Johnstone’s blackboard paint) and teal subway tiles (from Fired Earth’s metropolitan range). The geometric, monochrome wallpaper is Osborne & Little ‘Triffid’ and the blind is made in Sanderson dandelion clocks fabric.
The main bedroom has a feature wall in bold floral wallpaper (Designers Guild darly indigo) and a sunburst mirror from Laura Ashley. The owners moved the stairs to make space for an en-suite bathroom, and painted the walls navy (Fired Earth ‘carbon blue’) to complement the bedroom wallpaper.
The guest bedroom has colourful, geometric bedding from John Lewis.
What do you think? Did the interior surprise you too?
PS I found out via Twitter on the day I posted that this house belongs to the lovely lady behind Cats Print Shop – do take a look at her unique silhouette prints!