|Photographs: Christopher O'Donnell|
So this is going to be a regular feature on The-Frugality, as I realised you guys are as excited and interested in homewares and interiors as I am. And I love a sneak peek into 'real' homes.
And today is about something a little bit different: a guy's home. But also someone with a different aesthetic to mine (we can't all be scandi minimalists), but also with elements I love: Jonathan Adler, Fornasetti and pineapples. It's so nice to see how different people style their homes and hopefully we will all get a little bit more out of these features.
Simon is someone I met only a year or so ago, despite being in the same industry for years. I'd heard so many good things about him and we had mutual friends, so obviously we got on immediately. When he told me about his house in Shenley (which he shares with his husband and dashchund) which was converted from a parish hall, I knew we had to photograph it.
What do you do for a living?
I am the Social Editor at Very Exclusive, so I manage all the social channels and the influencer/blogger activities. I also have my own fashion blog, www.theverysimong.com, and a new dog lifestyle site, www.lifestyletails.com. I write freelance for publications too, and am occasionally on the radio.
So, he's just a bit busy then...
How long have you lived here?
We moved in the beginning of March, then moved out again for a month to do it all up. It took us a year to finally buy it!
What drew you to this particular house?
We looked at SO many houses and didn't fall in love with any of them. We were looking for something quirky with lots of character, not a new build. When we came out after looking round the first time, we just laughed at each other for a good few minutes - out of joy. The house was built in 1867, and used to be a parish hall. So the ceilings up stairs are really high, and there's lots of wood everywhere. There's tanking (a damp-proof concrete structure that is cladded in wood) all the way round the two reception rooms which is another fun quirk to the house. We use it as a chance to show off all our bits and pieces.
Where is the patchwork sofa from?
It's from Portabello Interiors. We had a nightmare with a Furniture Village one that got replaced twice until we eventually got rid. This was actually our first choice but where unsure about it. Now we love it!
|Dhillon, the dashchund|
|Love the juxtaposition of Fornasetti with Jackie Collins books here|
What renovation work have you done?
We had the whole house painted, from top-to-toe, all the wood sanded down and painted white and grey, a new en-suite bathroom, fitted cupboards ripped out. We also had the day bed and shelves under the stairs made.
Who is the interiors guru, you or your husband?
It's very much a joint thing. Nik is brilliant at the logistics and the measuring out and knowing what will fit where. I'm good at colours and decor and arranging. I think we'd make an brilliant interior designing team!
Is everything finished now or do you have more projects coming up?
We would love to eventually have the kitchen done, we didn't do anything to it but paint the walls. We've had it all measured up and we know exactly what we want (a blue wood farmhouse style). The garden needs some attention too. And we have also discussed taking out the loft floor to make the upstairs ceilings completely vaulted. But not for years.
You seem to have an obsession with tropical quirks - flamingos and pineapples mainly. Where do find your stash?
LOVE flamingos and pineapples. And now I find Nik picking them up in shops too! I find them everywhere, from H&M to TK Maxx. Our flamingo is from Graham and Green and the flamingo print nets are actually from Very!
|Regular readers might recognise this from my home, too - the BHS light!|
Where are your favourite places to shop for interiors?
We love Home Sense (owned by TK Maxx), found some great bargains there, and Achica.com is amazing too. We've also got a thing for Jonathan Adler... in an ideal world my whole house would be filled with Jonathan Adler!
|Copper light from Debenhams|
Where are you ensuite tiles from?
Thank you to Simon for having us round your lovely home! And everyone DO check out Simon's new site Lifestyle Tails about cool people and their dogs - it's so fab and charming.