We embraced BOLD PATTERN'
Style at Home|August 2021
Julia played the waiting game before transforming her rabbit warren of a house into a colourful, maximalist family home
ELLEN FINCH/GEORGIE RODGERS

COME ON IN!

ABOUT ME I’m Julia Eldon, 48, owner of home decor business Suburban Salon. I live here with my husband James, 50, a head teacher, our children Fred, 18, and Amelia, 14, and our dog Teddy.

OUR HOME A four-bed 1960s detached house in Stockport, Cheshire. We moved here in 2007.

WHEN WE MOVED IN The layout was a mess. There were lots of thoroughfares that didn’t make sense, but it had a big floor space.

AND NOW We’ve extended to create a kitchen we can entertain in, redecorated with colour and pattern, and have even found space for me to have my own dressing room.

STYLE TIP Find your colour palette by assessing patterns you love and picking out a shade to inspire your scheme.

This was one of those houses that had been extended and then extended again, without a thought for design or flow,’ says Julia. ‘There were lots of doors and thoroughfares that didn’t make sense and the layout didn’t really work for us.

The previous owners had made the front room into a study, while the long galley kitchen wasn’t big enough to swing a cat. Then, there was the poorly converted garage with a low ceiling and a separate entrance that they’d used for lodgers. Despite all this, we recognised the house’s potential and were excited to get started on the refurb.

Waiting game

It did all feel a bit unmanageable at the start! The house was at the top end of our budget, so the first priority was to make it liveable and leave it at that until we had saved up enough to tackle a big project. We decided to paint everything white and bought furniture from Ikea. I’m glad we had to wait, as it gave us the time to work out exactly what we needed to do. Six years after we first moved in, we were ready to tackle the build.

Wish list

Living in the house for that long definitely clarified our priorities. I wanted a big, light-filled kitchen with no wall units – a space that had a cool New York loft vibe. We love inviting friends over, so having a flexible space was really important. I designed the kitchen and drew up the floor plans. We had a draftsman do the maths behind it all to present to the builders, and we had to apply for planning permission too. I was definitely hands-on – by then, our plan was set in stone and I made sure we stuck to it!

Party space

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