For Your Home in Their Hands, we were given an interior design brief which comprised of a small cover note about the family and their situation, a series of (not-so-great-quality) pictures of the rooms in question, floorplan drawings and wall plan drawings with all of the measurements on.
Here is the ‘covering letter’ for the brief:
Please remember when planning your rooms, that you have been chosen for this series because of your bold and unique sense of design style. Please be ambitious, confident and creative in your approach and most of all, have fun!
This couple bought their home from her parents in 2008 with the view to modernising the dated interior decor to reflect them as ‘a young modern couple’. It has not been plain-sailing though… the combo of Yvonne’s interfering parents struggling to let go of their old home and Yvonne being unable to relinquish control to Dan has brought any home improvements to a complete standstill. Help is needed…
Yvonne describes herself as the main driving force in the relationship and when it comes to the home decor, she admits to having waited until Dan is out of the house to start trying a new paint colour or reconfiguring the furniture. She once painted a solitary wall in the kitchen with green paint left over from Ryan’s room, but to Dan’s annoyance, the finish wasn’t as he would like.
Yvonne likes things her way and this came to light initially in the kitchen and then during the ongoing planning for their wedding day in March 2014. Constant disagreements about their colour scheme, wedding favours and general wedding plans have been a major part of their relationship over the past 18 months.
This house needs to be redesigned for a young modern couple.
Yvonne and Dan decorated this room when they inherited the house from her Mum and Dad as Yvonne felt strange sleeping in her parent’s bedroom. They would like this room to feel more like a room designed for them.
Yvonne wants a space in which to be a family. She would like the dining room to function as a space for herself, Dan and Ryan to have a sit-down meal, as opposed to being used as a trophy display area and dumping ground.
So, these were some of the pictures we were provided with:
The boiler was hidden behind this folding cupboard door and seemed to waste space that could be used for proper storage. We boxed in the unsightly boiler with cupboards so access was still available if needed and we utilised more of the space with a funky shoe storage wall, perfect for Yvonne’s heels, using specially made architrave made at Raskl, local joiners in Ouseburn.
The fireplace was being used as a shelving system for toiletries and dressing table bits and bobs.
The television was the first thing that was seen when you came in through the door, we wanted the bed to be the main feature of the bedroom, and so we used a large mirror that reflected the whole room and the bed took centre stage. The television was put into a bespoke ‘cupboard’ so it did not distract from the romance of the room.
Because there was a free standing wardrobe, some essential storage was being lost. We wanted Dan and Yvonne to make the most of their space, floor to ceiling, so we developed the idea of creating a fitted wardrobe space with shelving. We used a soft green raw silk to create a bespoke curtain to hide away clothes etc, without having an imposing door to make the room seem smaller.
The bedroom is south facing so gets a lot of sunshine throughout the day, the window is such a nice size, we thought it would be perfect to fit plantation shutters.
As you can see from the pictures, the room was a little uninviting and characterless and Yvonne and Dan wanted something designed for them, something that was unique to them as a couple. As vintage chic is something that we know (as a hotel) works in bedrooms, it was quite straight forward as to what to do in this room. Colour schemes were kept soft and the overall look of the room was quite romantic and perfect for a young couple.
One of the things that were mentioned in the brief is that Yvonne wanted to make the dining room into a usable family room, so it was no longer a trophy display room or dumping ground.
With the dining room connecting to the decking in the garden, we thought it would be a waste not to put French doors in, not only to open up the room to the garden but to bring more light in too!
Judging from the pictures, the dining room’s main function was a bit of a storage area. We really wanted to fulfil the Lavery’s wish, to have a fully functioning dining room where the whole family could enjoy sitting together.
With such an expanse of wall space, we really wanted to make something of that, so we put a grand, feature mirror to increase the light in the room, and make it seem more spacious. We absolutely love mirrors in our Jesmond Hotel!!!
The pipe work on of the radiator was a little unsightly and so we wanted to do something to creative to cover them.
Because there is no door leading from the kitchen, we thought it would be good to give Ryan a little play area so that if Yvonne or Dan were in the kitchen, they could keep an eye on him.
The dining room is a really good size, perfect to make a fabulous functioning family room! We successfully turned this cluttered, unorganised room into a beautiful, vintage chic, light and airy, dining room. See our before and after pictures to see more of our marvellous transformations!