Inside Brackenhurst (Image: Jane Collier/visuallyvirtual)
A cursory peek into Brackenhurst, the four-bedroom wing of a late-Victorian mansion in Kenilworth, Warwickshire, reveals all of the hallmarks of a skilful inside designer’s makeover: brightly colored patterned stairs, a dramatic stormy gray panelled wall within the sitting room, an inside archway papered in florals and many edgy paintings.
However moderately than being the work of knowledgeable, it’s really an opus created by one household, who rolled up their sleeves to hone and unite their artful abilities in the course of the lengthy weeks of the spring lockdown and put the ending touches to their house.
‘We moved into the home in 2017, however there have been nonetheless plenty of tweaks we needed to make,’ says stay-at-home mum Anna Sullivan, 44.
‘With 12 to 14-week supply instances on plenty of issues that we had initially needed to order, we determined that with all of us at house, it was the right alternative to do as a lot as potential ourselves, and make the home a household mission.’
Though Anna insists she isn’t creative, her eye for element and lots of hours spent trawling Pinterest, Instagram and design magazines produced a relentless circulate of concepts, along with her interiors icon Equipment Kemp’s witty British scheme on the Ham Yard Resort, in Soho, additionally an inspiration.
The couple outdoors their home (Image: Jane Collier/visuallyvirtual)
Anna and Chris (Image: Jane Collier/visuallyvirtual)
One weekend, Anna’s useful husband Chris, 47, a constructing surveyor, was despatched to the shed along with his electrical noticed and a pile of medium hardwood, out of which he created a framework for the Georgian-style panelling on one front room wall. Daughters Lottie, ten, and Kitty, eight, helped paint it in Farrow & Ball’s dramatic, darkish lead-grey Downpipe – and that wasn’t the women’ solely contribution to the house’s revamp.
‘Lottie acquired a stitching machine for her birthday in Might,’ Anna explains. ‘She is extremely arty, so helped Chris make new pink pelmets, in addition to bunting. She may be very into inside design, and infrequently spends her pocket cash on cushions and ins and outs for her bed room.’
A rest room (Image: Jane Collier/visuallyvirtual)
The eating room (Image: Jane Collier/visuallyvirtual)
As for these eye-catching stairs, Chris scoured Etsy for particular person multi-coloured Portuguese tile-style decals that you just stick on the risers.
‘We had been initially on the lookout for an attention-grabbing runner to interchange the beige carpet, however couldn’t discover something we actually beloved,’ says Anna.
‘Then Chris noticed these. The staircase is a spot the place you may have plenty of enjoyable. Each step up them makes me really feel blissful.’
The doorway hallway (Image: Jane Collier/visuallyvirtual)
The steps with tiles sourced from Etsy (Image: Jane Collier/visuallyvirtual)
The wallpapered archway between the eating room and dwelling area is one thing Anna can, nonetheless, take all of the credit score for.
‘I had been excited about portray it, however then realised that papering the within of the archway would make it an actual standout characteristic,’ she says.
One of many child’s bedrooms (Image: Jane Collier/visuallyvirtual)
One other bed room (Image: Jane Collier/visuallyvirtual)
She picked out the playful animal and bird-themed Wonderland Tropical Wallpaper, from World of Wallpaper (suppose toucans in bow ties), on a deep plum background.
It strikes the right be aware of vibrant exotica amid the lounge’s calming pink and gray color scheme.
The touchdown (Image: Jane Collier/visuallyvirtual)
A second rest room (Image: Jane Collier/visuallyvirtual)
It’s one other instance of how efficient easy ornamental modifications may be. Though Anna and Chris have renovated a number of properties, they’ve been significantly savvy at Brackenhurst: other than carving out an additional rest room from a large upstairs hall and changing the boiler room right into a pantry, they’ve remodeled every area by purely superficial tweaks.
‘This home – a part of a mansion that has been break up into three properties, and possibly initially serving as a nursery or laundry wing – had been fantastically sorted by its final house owners,’ Anna says.
The principle bed room (Image: Jane Collier/visuallyvirtual)
The conservatory (Image: Jane Collier/visuallyvirtual)
‘However most of it hadn’t been correctly up to date for about 30 years. We had been dwelling in a townhouse in close by Leamington Spa with only a small backyard, so we knew how a lot potential this had.
‘Apart from, I fell in love with it earlier than I even noticed it – it overlooks probably the most magical piece of woodland.’
The again backyard (Image: Jane Collier/visuallyvirtual)
The entrance of the home (Image: Jane Collier/visuallyvirtual)
As an alternative of doing something important structurally to the two,405sq ft house, the Sullivans enhanced what was already there.
The broad hallway was laid with engineered wooden floors and painted in Farrow & Ball’s stately Hague Blue – a sedate backdrop to the large-scale, limited-edition Intercourse Pistols paintings by Jamie Reid, Anna’s wedding ceremony reward to Chris.
The kitchen (Image: Jane Collier/visuallyvirtual)
The lounge (Image: Jane Collier/visuallyvirtual)
With wonderful panelling (Image: Jane Collier/visuallyvirtual)
The plain, white kitchen was pretty new, so as a substitute of making extra landfill, they added pale marble-effect work surfaces, changed the tiled flooring with pale gray boards and swapped the plain silver handles with on-trend rose gold variations, immediately updating the area.
The normal conservatory was reworked as an additional dwelling space, with emerald inexperienced paint on one wall juxtaposed with gray leaf-print on one other.
An additional bed room (Image: Jane Collier/visuallyvirtual)
They saved plenty of interval options (Image: Jane Collier/visuallyvirtual)
From right here, Anna can keep watch over the women enjoying or studying within the backyard – throughout lockdown, she and Chris designed a bespoke cushioned examine space the place the women may do their homeschooling al fresco.
Anna is assiduous in her analysis. She says: ‘I have a tendency to take a look in thoughts, then begin an extended web search to seek out the precise product that can make it work. However I’m all the time canny, and all the time attempt to discover one thing of higher worth.’
She may certainly simply be part of the legions of Instagram’s house influencers, however Anna says she prefers merely shopping by different folks’s pages.
Although they love their house – and Kenilworth’s fort, 68-acre Abbey Fields and Michelin-starred pub, The Cross – the couple are promoting up, for £900,000, to maneuver nearer to Leamington Spa and the women’ faculties.
You’ll be able to assure that any renovations will probably be a household affair.
Brackenhurst is on the market with Mr And Mrs Clarke, mrandmrsclarke.com.
Do you’ve got a narrative to share?
Get in contact at [email protected].