Claire's Curated, Creative Space
Name: Claire Douglas
Size: 968 square feet
Home type: House
Location: Kent, United Kingdom
What you're looking at:Welcome! This room celebrates textures and pastel colours and features my IKEA hack built-ins, which cost under 350 pounds to make, and lots of upcycle projects, like my reeded coffee table and sofa. Lots of the vases and ornaments have been thrifted and upcycled, as I love a mix of old and new and items with a story. (Image credit: Claire Douglas)
Welcome! This room celebrates textures and pastel colours and features my IKEA hack built-ins, which cost under 350 pounds to make, and lots of upcycle projects, like my reeded coffee table and sofa. Lots of the vases and ornaments have been thrifted and upcycled, as I love a mix of old and new and items with a story.
View into our bedroom with canopy bed, painted floorboards, wall panelling, and panoramic, pink and grey, hand-painted mountain mural. This room was a sanctuary and place to escape to during the pandemic lockdowns, as you could imagine you were on an exotic holiday in a far-flung destination.
Years lived in: 5 years, owned
Household: My husband and two children
Have any design professionals worked on this space? No
Do you currently live in your Small/Cool space full-time? Yes
Describe your space:
Every room in this little house has been personalised to reflect our family. We love nature so I incorporated natural textures, colours, and designs at every opportunity. I'm hugely passionate about DIY and upcycling and strongly believe that you don't need to spend a lot of money to create a home that you truly connect with, so our home is crammed full of projects which have been a labour of love; for example, the hand-painted, pink ombre mountain mural on three walls of our bedroom, which I painted using £24 of tester pots during the first lockdown when we needed a place to escape to.
Did you DIY anything in your space? And, if so, what's your favorite DIY?
There are so many DIY projects in our home, all of which I did on a budget — painting, shelving, wall panelling, coving, tiling, the stair runner using runner rugs, IKEA hacks and upcycled pantry shelves to name a few — but my favourite has to be my IKEA BILLY hack where I created a wall of bespoke-looking built-ins all for under £350. I recently gave this wall a revamp using pastel-coloured paints and postal tubes on the doors to create a funky, tubular texture. I love the storage space and endless possibilities for styling!
How do you make your small space work for you and feel bigger than it really is?
I created features and focal points in each room to counteract the small size and low ceilings. Built-in furniture and colour-blocking paint effects draw your eye around the rooms, making them feel larger. The bifold doors open up the back of the house, increasing natural light and giving that indoor/outdoor feel, which made the back room feel twice the size. The house was lacking in storage so I had to get creative. We have a secret cupboard hidden behind the panelling in the front room, and each kitchen cupboard has been optimised with useful additions, such as a pull-out larder and corner storage.
How does your home reflect you?
Our house is creative, colourful, quirky, and full of sentimental items that we’ve collected over the years. The shelves are filled with precious mementos from friends and family, e.g. the antique books passed down the generations of my husband’s family and the walls which proudly display original artwork created by both myself and my husband. I have upcycled, repurposed, and customised furniture and accessories in every room so the overall vibe is both unique and meaningful to our family. The colour palette of our home incorporates the colours that evoke calm and happiness.