colourful and kitsch
Suzanne and Matt Smith have gradually transformed their first home: gutting the ill-planned kitchen and the carpeted bathroom, stripping off the 1990s wallpaper throughout, and beginning the seemingly never-ending task of replastering the walls and ceilings; and Suzanne is doing her utmost to calm the once dated decor with some warm off-whites to show off her kaleidoscopically colourful accessories and the furniture she loves to upcycle with jolly paint shades.
Suzanne say: ‘I want to try to communicate that choosing vintage items for your home isn’t going to make it look like great aunt Beryl’s fusty house, but instead can evoke a sense of nostalgia, become a talking point, and most importantly add fun to your décor so that you smile as soon as you arrive home. I used to work in retail, but now I run my own business from home, The Junk Dolly, sourcing and selling preloved items to likeminded vintage lovers.’
This house was such fun to style, Suzanne had it all waiting for me, ready to show off her creative home and those gorgeously kitsch collections! Photos by the fabulous Robert Sanderson.
‘I am incredibly lucky that Matt is very easy going and trusts me entirely, and that he does actually feel comfortable with the décor. But I did give him a bit of blue on his side of the bedroom!’
‘I wanted to make a mark on our new home after being restricted from doing so when I lived with my parents.’
Retro phone, Tea and Roses. Similar crochet blanket, £35; similar crochet cushion, £15, both The Junk Dolly.
‘Matt and I enjoy mooching around car boot sales and flea markets for interesting finds.’
Eiderdown; £85; vintage mirror, £22, both The Junk Dolly. Birds & Roses wallpaper, Cath Kidston.
‘The salvaged chandelier bought on eBay is probably one of my favourite pieces in the house.’
Similar chandelier, eBay. Summer Palace wallpaper, Laura Ashley. Shelves painted Valspar Whipped Pistachio, B&Q. Orange chair found locally, but try The Jethou in Sunshine pure cotton matt velvet, Sofa.com. Rug from TK Maxx, try Bohochic Mandala rug in Blue, Society 6.
‘We had a new hard-wearing laminate laid as unfortunately we don’t have a hallway and we come directly into this room from the front door.’
For a pink chesterfield like this antique one, try The Oscar in Rose House viscose linen, Sofa.com. Framed vintage embroideries, around £6-20 each, The Junk Dolly.
‘We loved the size of the kitchen, which had already been extended by previous owners.’
‘I had a piece of toughened glass cut for the splashback; behind the glass is a piece of wallpaper.’
Candy Rose 700w Duck-Egg 20l microwave, Dunelm Mill.
‘We had been given a table from Matt’s mum that fitted the dining end of the kitchen/diner perfectly.’
‘The doorway was moved to accommodate the his and hers double sink I’d always dreamed of!’
PVEW483 Heritage Victoria Basin, Victorian Plumbing. Vintage enamel coffee pot (used for flowers), £18; vintage Avon perfume bottles around £5, all The Junk Dolly. Rose sprig wallpaper, Cath Kidston. Panelling painted Valspar Something Borrowed, B&Q.
‘Matt was not convinced about wallpaper in the bathroom but has conceded that it does look better than the plain white walls, and so far it has remained up!’ A paintable bath and wood panelling mean the bathroom’s look can be changed easily and inexpensively.
I’m always looking out for homes that are full of colour and collections to shoot for interiors magazines, so if you’d like to see your home in a magazine to help promote your small business, or for the sheer fun of it, please do get in touch. Email me at email@example.com or visit the About Me page.