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An Imaginative, Eclectic, Joyful Small/Cool Space

Name: Maxine Brady

Blog or website: www.maxinebrady.com

Instagram: @maxinebradystyling

Size: 751 sq ft

Home type: Victorian terrace house

Location: Brighton, United Kingdom

Years lived in: 5 years, owned

Household: My white fluffy naughty Maltese dog, Teddy

Have any design professionals worked on this space: No

Describe your space:

This house had been empty for seven years when I moved in and was a total wreck. All the rooms needed attention—from windows to doors to carpet to the roof. There wasn’t a bit of this house I haven’t worked my DIY magic on. And the layout needed reconfiguring so it worked smarter. In the first year, I did a bulk of the messy work, knocking down a wall to open up the living/dining space to allow daylight to pour in. I made sure to add lots of personal touches (like the copper handles) to make the house look bespoke. Considering how small my home is, it packs a punch!

Did you DIY anything in your space? And, if so, what's your favorite DIY?

The whole house is a DIY project! I get a lot of love for my copper plumber's piping handles in my kitchen — and I have tiled the risers on my staircase with Moroccan mosaics, which are a work of art. My garden has to be the biggest change — it was so overgrown I couldn't open the back door. After 6 months of hard work, I've turned an ugly little yard into an urban oasis with planters, colorful fencing, hex paving and spots to sunbathe in. The local wildlife loves it almost as much as me — and in the summer it's filled with little birds, bees and butterflies.

How do you make your small space work for you and feel bigger than it really is?

Would you believe my tiny kitchen houses a fridge freezer, washing machine and dishwasher! It's all about a clever layout. My open shelving made from scaffolding planks and copper houses all my dinnerware but it looks far less bulky than wall cupboards — plus I get to style them too. I put caster wheels on my garden planters so they can be moved out the way when hosting garden parties. I put hairpin legs on my vintage furniture so they take up less floor space. Buy folding everything — washing line, washing up bowl, mop, laundry basket, so they can slot out the way when not in use.

How does your home reflect you?

My home complements my bubbly personality. I've made an effort for the decor to reflect all my loves (from travel, style and music). I've filled with clashing pattern and wild colors! Despite living in such a small home, I didn't want to make any compromises. I've made sure each room flows from one to the next, and the space is packed with vintage finds without feeling cluttered. And —the best bit — it is never finished. I keep making small adjustments and tweaks and swapping things around so my home feels like new all the time. It's the most heartwarming home I've ever lived in.