This UK Home Has Been Personalized with Paint, DIYs, and Treasured Family Heirlooms
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Name: Lydia Ruth and partner, Mike
Location: Oxfordshire, United Kingdom
Type of home: 3 Bedroom Semi-Detached House
Size: 964 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year and three months, owned
Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: This is our first home and as such is hugely special to us. We moved in just over a year ago as we fell in love with the potential of the space. However, because of the high house prices in this part of the UK, we have had to be extremely creative in putting our stamp on the place while we save for further renovations. I have actually really enjoyed this challenge of decorating on a budget, and I believe it has brought out the best in our tastes and style. We have had to really think about every purchase down to each pot of paint, for example buying only tester pots where a small amount is needed!
We both really love music, so it has also been a fun challenge to incorporate our various musical instruments into the decor. My grandfather is also an artist, so being able to have his paintings and drawings on display in our home is a dream come true. There is huge potential to renovate the garden and kitchen, which is our next project, but in the meantime we are loving sitting on our now only secondhand sofa. I sold our other secondhand one to make way for a secondhand piano (!) surrounded by our plant babies.
Both myself and my partner are passionate about music and creativity, so we wanted to bring this into every aspect of our home. My partner Mike’s favorite project has been creating guitar stands from wood that was leftover in the garden from the previous owners. I really enjoy painting and love to use color pops and blocks to create a sense of joy and inject some brightness into the house. Eventually, we will look to re-plaster the ceilings, but in the meantime, this was my way of creating a happy place at home. I, no doubt, will be carefully painting around these color blocks when further renovations do happen… Whilst I definitely have the creative vision, Mike is the one who will make it happen and turn my dreams into reality!
Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Thrifted, Musical, Living, Arty, Individual
What is your favorite room and why? My favourite room is the living room. My color blocking has not yet made it into this room, but the green colors, natural textures, and plants make it a really calming space to relax. At Christmas time it is also really cozy, which is what I love so much about the space. It changes throughout the year. However, most importantly the living room contains my most treasured possessions. The piano which came from my mum, three of my Grandad’s pastel drawings of my favorite city, Cardiff, and the beautiful wood dresser from my Nan’s old house. All of these pieces have huge sentimental value and just go to show that the heart of a home is in the people, not the “things.”
What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? Mike’s brother was getting rid of some old IKEA bed drawers, which we snapped up and turned into an under the stairs bookshelf on wheels. This so far has been my favorite up-cycle and creative project, not least because it was completely free! The remainder of the shelves were created using left-over pieces of kitchen cabinet, which we dismantled when we arrived to make way for our fridge/freezer, and then painted with leftover paint from a previous project.
Any advice for creating a home you love? Stay true to your style and what you love, and do it for you, not for anyone else or what you think the house may or may not sell for (if you own it) in the future. You are here now in your home, and the present is a gift, so live for it. Also plants, always plants.
This submission’s responses were edited for length and clarity.
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