Describe your house and its style?
I fell in love with it the minute I saw it. It’s an Edwardian house, my favourite style of home. It’s a big, family-friendly, light and airy home. In Edwardian houses you can mix and match modern and old – I think they lend themselves to that really well. They’re light, with great ceiling heights, doors and big gardens – I love them!
How have you put your stamp on it?
The previous occupant didn’t rip out any of the original features but had left it bright orange with patterned carpets, so we stripped everything out and knocked a few walls down to make it open-plan. I’ve got lots of dreams for it and there is more I’d like to do, but it is a happy home and a good size for a family. My kids are like Velcro kids; they don’t go off and do their own thing, we’re always together.
Describe your house’s personality?
If it was a person, it would be me, it’s a mish-mash of lots of different styles. I love this house because it is grand, but it doesn’t feel posh, and I think it looks good with my mixture of furniture and accessories.
Do you and your family share the same tastes?
My husband, Bruce, has got completely different tastes to me. We’ve been together for 20 years but are like chalk and cheese. He just bobbles along and is so easy going. My children have got very different tastes too. My daughter,Florence, has got a much more minimalistic taste than me. She would love to de-clutter and just live in a white pod. My other daughter, Cissie, is more like me; a bit chaotic and not too tidy. And the little one, Albie, I don’t know what he is going to be like – probably more like me!
How is your personality reflected in your home?
I still think I am 20, but my tastes have changed because as I’ve grown I appreciate more comfort and luxury. I also hate rules and being told what to do – I always have done! I’d struggle with the conventional rules that say you have to have matching chairs around the table – it just wouldn’t feel comfortable.
Do you ever fancy a bit of a ‘de-clutter’?
I can’t do matchy or co-ordination. I love it in other people’s houses but I couldn’t live like that. This is normal to me, a collection of lots of different things. Sometimes it gets on top of me and I have to have a clear out to get some space in my head. I’m not naturally tidy. I wouldn’t part with anything sentimental. We have a clear out and I just go to another sale and buy it all again – my husband goes mad!
How have your personal tastes influenced your home?
Musically, I have very eclectic tastes and I think that is why I like a mixture of things in the home. My dad was a saxophone player so I was brought up around jazz music and now my husband plays the electric guitar so he is a rock fiend! There are a number of different musical tastes in this house and it is the same with the interiors. Other people describe my home as eclectic and that is exactly what it is.
Are you a spur-of-the-moment shopper?
Yes, absolutely. I never go out shopping specifically for items for the house. When I am out and about, if something jumps out at me, I’ll buy it. If I actually need it, that’s a bonus!
Describe your love of furniture and accessories?
I have had a group of friends since childhood and we would spend hours talking about cushions, chairs, textures and pouring over magazines, dreaming that one day we might have the things we saw. One particular friend and I would always attend car boot sales and then come home to show and tell. We still share pure delight when we have found something brilliant – I have an emotional involvement. I like particular shapes, textures and colours and could never have too many plastic woven vases, green cushions and chairs.
Does the price of pieces matter to you?
Yes, price does matter. I think it is important in key things such as a sofa, table or kitchen. I don’t think you should compromise, it never works. It will just end up costing you twice as much because you can’t live with it. When I have compromised on price I have ended up hating it and buying another one, so just buy the best you can afford at the time. Sit on tea chests until you can get the sofa you love! If something I really adore is on offer and I feel like I’m getting a bargain, it makes it even more special.
Do you think good taste stems from wealth?
No, I don’t think having more money gives you better taste at all. You could fill a house with really expensive things but that doesn’t mean you would love it anymore. I don’t like something just because it is expensive, I like quality. I don’t like to be the same as everyone else, but I don’t make a conscious effort to be different. I just usually like something that is different from the norm.