Photo credit: all photos used with permission from Kate of @tweedandtartan
Kate and her boyfriend Jake, bought their first home a year ago. It's fair to say it's something of a stunner - a large modern country kitchen diner, a breathtakingly beautiful bedroom and some gorgeous upholstered furniture make it somewhere that feels very welcoming indeed. Kate's been kind enough to show me around her home - including the rarely-photographed downstairs toilet - (why does no-one want to show that bit? Or the telly?!), as well as answering all my nosy questions.
Read on to see it all for yourself, and see if this modern country home gives you any inspiration for your pad...
First, can you introduce yourself and tell us where you live, who you live with and a little bit about your house, please?
My name is Kate and I'm 25 years old. I live in Cheshire with my boyfriend of 8 years, Jake, and our guinea pig, Chuck - who is the king of the house. We rented for a year before buying this house as our first home a year ago. It's a Victorian Terrace which was built in 1888 and has so much character!
Did you have to do any work to your home when you moved in?
We were very lucky in that we bought the house from a property developer, so most of the work had already been done. One of the biggest items on my checklist when looking at houses was a large kitchen, but it soon became obvious they were few and far between in our budget and also in the terrace style of house. The developer had converted the old dining room into a kitchen diner and turned the old kitchen into a utility and downstairs toilet. It's exactly what I wanted, so we were relieved someone had done all the hard work for us! It was just a blank canvas though, so it's been nice being able to slowly put our own stamp on the place.
How would you define your interior design style?
I have quite a traditional interior style. I love cottages and my dream would to have a beautiful cottage in the countryside with a range and a log burner. But since that's a little ambitious at this point in our lives, the least I can do is bring a little bit of cottage style into this home. I like finding vintage treasures and love when objects have history. The dining room table, for example, is made of reclaimed wood from ships. We also had the armchair reupholstered in Cheshire tweed which has been made locally. We bought it for about £20 in a horrendous peach, floral pattern and have given it a new lease of life. It's definitely my favourite piece of furniture in the house.
Your colour scheme is very calm and soothing - is that deliberate?
Yes, I love calm interiors. The hallway is narrow so I felt like it needed to stay neutral, to keep it as light as possible. The lounge is quite snug so I thought any dark colours in there may just make it too claustrophobic. I do absolutely love the downstairs toilet though, which I painted navy blue. So I suppose that's an example of where dark colours can improve a small space.
Where do you get inspiration for your home from?
I get inspiration from all the 'normal' places: Pinterest, magazines but mostly other people's Instagram pages. Since setting up an interiors account it's really opened my eyes to what's out there. It's a great community which allows people to pinch ideas from each other. That's what it's all about, sharing!
Is there anyone's home you really admire? Any Instagram accounts I should be following?
My favourite homes on Instagram for #HouseGoals are: @thehappyheartcompany @easthorpe_cottage @carrie_thecottage @cowparsley_and_foxgloves @31thesquare
Thanks! What shops/retailers do you love for furniture and homewares right now?
My favourite homeware brands at the moment are:
What do you do if you & your partner find yourself disagreeing on a colour/accessory/something for your home?
To be honest, we have very similar taste. Either that or Jake just goes with it and doesn't tell me...probably thinks it's not worth the battle! I do always ask his opinion though and there are certain things he puts his foot down about like bedding. He likes simple bedding without any florals or 'frilly bits'. He loves cottage style as well as modern/simplistic, so we almost created our own 'modern country' style. The thing we disagree with most is my impatience. Once I have an idea I want to do it and buy it straight away!
Which room are you the most proud of so far?
The room I'm most proud of so far is the bedroom. It's a huge room and I remember sleeping there the night we got the keys, just a little mattress in the middle of the floor and I thought 'how are we going to fill this room?'. We had bespoke fitted wardrobes made by Daval Furniture. I wanted the floor to ceiling to maximise storage and minimise clutter; I like things being hidden away. We can't even fill them they're that big! The sideboard was bought for us as a housewarming present by my parents. We weren't sure where to put it at first and I have to admit I was nervous about it being in the bedroom as traditionally they belong in the living area but I absolutely love it where it is. We bought the dark oak doorknobs to put on the wardrobes to made sure it all tied in and I love how it continues the 'modern country' theme throughout the rest of the house.
Finally, if money were no object, what would you like to do to your home?
If money were no object I would knock down the outhouses behind the house and create a big garden! It's the one thing we had to compromise on when we bought the house. We only have a little yard and no grass. One day I would love lots of land to keep animals.
Isn't Chuck just the cutest? And those custom-built wardrobes are beautiful too! Thank you for sharing your home with us all, Kate - it's been a pleasure.
p.p.s Victorian terrace kitchen inspiration...