Here we go, Episode 2! This episode is so special because I got to go home to Wales!! Staying with my parents the night before, I headed to Swansea to meet the fantastic Mwanza family, ready to transform their 3 bedroom rented home.
Greg, Lombe, Mambwe and Muyembe are just the most deserving family and it was a privilege to help transform their home.
I needed to create a space to give the Mwanza family a fresh start. After a very difficult year for frontline worker Mum, Lombe, we need to focus on designing a home that increases a feeling of well-being and a place of relaxation and rejuvenation. Providing a space that the whole family can gather together but also enjoy activities individually with increased privacy.
Now rental properties can be tricky as there are restrictions over what you can change and of course worry about investing in a property that you don’t own. My advice is to speak to your Landlord regarding making changes, most will be agreeable, especially if you are improving the space and if you are long term renters like the Mwanza’s, I say look at any work in an investment in yourselves, your home needs to work for you, not against you and if that investment improves your sense of wellbeing or solves a problem then it is well worth it.
As a rented property we focussed on how you can inject good design principle, personality and feeling with freestanding furniture and items that can be taken away if and when the tenants move on.
This was the design brief and how we worked our magic.
Addressing some key functional issues we have transformed the living room from the drab, dark space into a bright, light and functional space with a beautiful layered neutral palette of coral, rust, blue and wood.
Adding storage, furniture that is functional and sized correctly for the space, doors to separate the living and dining space to create much needed privacy improves the flow and use of these adjoined spaces.
The aesthetic is welcoming, homely, relaxed and elegant. It speaks to Lombe and Greg and is more sophisticated and traditional in style with hints of contemporary elements mixed in. The calming tones and additional storage creates a tranquil and organised space, perfect for a busy multigenerational family.
This home has an open plan configuration between the living room and dining room. Unfortunately that layout does not work for the family due to a lack of privacy and the space needing to perform several functions. I created a “broken plan” layout by adding a room divider with hinged doors that can be closed when required but opened up to create one large room.
The dining room is a multipurpose space used as an Office for Greg and also a space for craft and recreation by the whole family. Greg’s previous desk was too small so we added a larger desk with drawers, shelving, and a sideboard for additional storage and a space to house his records. A round white washed Oak table with upcycled upholstered chairs is the perfect place for the family to gather, dine, chat and reconnect.
The walls are painted in the cheerful Oval Room Blue (Farrow and Ball) which provides the perfect backdrop to artwork, a mirror and the layered brass metal accents.
Greg and Lombe needed a space to retreat, relax and reconnect. I wanted to design a space that gave them a bit of luxury and sophistication. The room is elegant, relaxing, mature and sophisticated. The palette of grey, blue, rust, wood and brass is timeless and classic.
I have created a statement with the patterned wallpaper (Zoffany) and dark grey velvet Avaldsnes king size bed from Ikea. The alcoves become a space for beautiful textured wooden (atkinandthyme) side tables and bedside lamps from Poky Lights.
All of Lombe’s beauty products now have a designated home in the vintage mid century dressing table, keeping the space ordered and clutter free and giving her a dedicated space for her beauty regime.
A 3m section of floor to ceiling Pax wardrobes from Ikea with Grey Grimond fronts provide ample storage for clothes and their huge shoe collection. A large area rug from Ruggable covers most of the carpet and I have introduced a handy upholstered bench at the end of the bed and Roman blinds to keep the window treatments sleek and tidy.
Which space is your favourite?
Have you read my catch up on Episode One? If not, read it here.
Watch all episodes of The Great Home Transformation on Channel 4. Find out more here.
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