An Old UK Victorian Is an Explosion of Colorful, Dramatic Maximalism
Can't-Miss House Tours Straight to Your Inbox
Keep up with our latest house tours each weekday with our House Tour of the Day newsletter
Name: Marta Hutt and family
Location: North Somerset, UK
Size: 1600 square feet
Years Lived In: 4 years, owned
Artist Marta Hutt lives by the seaside in North Somerset with her husband and son, in a lovely Victorian house they bought four years ago. “I love mixing up styles from different eras. Victorian is my favorite, and you will see it reflected in my interiors,” Marta tells me. The house they bought was stripped of its period features by the previous owners, “so I have to indulge in my love for bygone era interiors by buying more antiques,” Marta says. “I’m a big fan of old furniture and almost everything here was either thrifted from a charity shop or market place, or I saved it from a dump. I love giving old furniture a second lease on life and dress them with flowers, art, and my little curiosity collections.”
Marta and her husband have been busy renovating in the past four years. From replacing the “ugly ’70s fireplace” to stripping walls and learning how to plaster, to replacing the flooring, the couple have done everything themselves. They are so thrifty they also sourced a lot of furniture from charity shops and Marketplace. “This table, although in perfect condition, was saved from being burnt or chucked into a landfill. I’ve upcycled it and I’ve covered the top with the real 24 carat gold,” Marta explains proudly of the dining room table.
Although very thrifty and good with upcycling herself, Marta is also a big supporter of independent British designers and artists, having invested in lots of art and design pieces while supporting small independent businesses, like the array of beautiful cushions from various designers. “I also like collecting art and quirky pieces from artisans such as my most precious Tiffany/cat lamp, which was a gift from my godmother.”
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Eclectic maximalist.
Inspiration: Period properties, Instagram, and magazines.
Favorite Element: The stairs, as this was the only original feature in the house dating back to 1885. I love the wood carvings and the light in this space.
Biggest Challenge: The construct of a shoestring budget and spare time. We’ve done most of the work ourselves and juggling our jobs and family life can be tricky when renovating the house from top to bottom.
What Friends Say: That it is a warm and cozy expression of my character and my interest. They love coming over as I always feed everyone and they love looking for a new inspiration or to see new art or a upcycle project.
Proudest DIY: The dining room. This was the first big reno project. It had an ugly ’70s fireplace. I’ve stripped the horrid carpet, smashed the fireplace with a sledge hammer, I’ve stripped the walls and learned how to plaster (hence why it’s a bit rustic). My hubby did the flooring and I’ve made a new Victorian fireplace out of three different elements sourced from eBay. I wanted the dining room to look Victorian again. All the furniture you can see here (except for the black IKEA chairs) come from charity shops, are marketplace finds, or I’ve saved them from a landfill. This table, although in perfect condition, was saved from being burnt or chucked into a landfill. I’ve upcycled it and I’ve covered the top with the real 24 carat gold.
Biggest Indulgence: While I’m passionate about being thrifty and upcycling furniture, my indulgence lies in investing in art and design pieces where I can support small independent businesses. For example my living room and bedroom cushions come from independent British designers who like me are passionate about sustainability when creating their products and their designs reflect my love of color, escapism, and my quirky side.
Best Advice: Instead of buying new furniture, have a go at upcycling the old ones. This is not only kinder to your wallet but the quality of the old furniture is often superior to the ones made by big stores. It is environmentally friendly, you can support a charity, or save a beautiful piece from a skip and you will end up with a one-off piece which you’ve made your own. There is more than plenty of inspiration out there of how to do it.
- Furniture — IKEA