Home makeover: 'My colourful décor brings me so much joy'

Take a look inside Lindsey's pastel-perfect home

Lindsey is a colour lover, and feels most at home in bright and cheery, yet minimal, spaces. To achieve her signature look in the kitchen-diner, she went for white, handleless cabinets with plain tiles and lots of fun, colourful accents
Published: August 22, 2022 at 4:02 pm

Lindsey Isla Henderson wasn’t bowled over by her house the first time she saw it, but she could see it becoming her dream kaleidoscope home.

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Julie’s confidence with colour shines through in her bedroom, where she’s decorated with sunset pinks and purples. A curved rattan headboard from Dunelm centres the bed while plenty of pretty cushions and a quilted bedspread add pattern and make it look ultra-cosy

Here, she tells us all about her home makeover experience...

Lindsey's story...

This was the third property in Margate that we put an offer on. We didn’t walk in and fall head over heels for the place, but we were really specific about what we wanted, and this house ticked all the boxes.

‘The little pink stool is a bargain buy from Aldi and I bought the clothing rail on Amazon for less than £20’
‘The little pink stool is a bargain buy from Aldi and I bought the clothing rail on Amazon for less than £20’

Luckily, we were the first people to see this house when it went on the market. We told the estate agents that we’d offer the asking price if they cancelled the rest of the viewings, and it worked!

Welcome to my home...

A bit about me I’m Lindsey Isla Henderson, 31, a fashion and lifestyle influencer @lindsey_isla. I live here with my partner, George Pelham, a singer-songwriter @georgepelham and our dog, Sunday.

Where I live Our home is a two-bedroom terraced house in Margate, Kent. We’ve lived here since December 2020.

What I wanted to change George and I both work from home so we decided to turn the old galley kitchen into a soundproofed music studio for George and the original dining room into a kitchen-diner. The rest of the house mostly just needed decorating to our taste.

Lindsey Isla Henderson

The first thing we did was to rip up the carpets and the flooring to expose the floorboards underneath. We were quite lucky that nothing major needed doing when we moved in. If we had wanted to, we could have chosen not to do anything to the house, but the kitchen and the bathroom were very tired looking.

Lindsey has set the table with cutlery from John Lewis & Partners, napkins from Olive & Betty and colourful coasters from Etsy
Lindsey has set the table with cutlery from John Lewis & Partners, napkins from Olive & Betty and colourful coasters from Etsy

It took us about three months to get everything done – George and I worked so hard painting the walls and sanding floors. We employed my brother, who is a boat-fitter, to do our kitchen and bathroom, and we roped in my parents and grandad to help, too.

A bit more about my home...

How I made it my own We really thought about where and how we would spend our time here, and what brings us joy. I’m obsessed with colour, so adding lots of vibrancy really helped to make this house feel like our home.

My favourite part All the colourful grouting we’ve added.  It’s been a great way to bring fun and character to the place. It’s a small detail that makes something boring, like a white tile, really interesting.

‘When it came to the worktop, we couldn’t find one we liked anywhere, so I decided to tile a piece of birch ply instead. This is a design feature I absolutely love, and I’ve even recreated it on the dining room table and on my office desk’

They were so helpful. There are things that I still want to do, and I love how I can update it so easily. I’m always being inspired by things I’ve seen and I like having a place that grows with me.

Kitchen-diner

‘The kitchen used to be a galley at the back of the house and it was tiny. George and I both needed a studio space for work, so we decided to rip out the old kitchen and turn it into George’s music studio, and the old dining room became our kitchen-diner.

‘The pink tap, from Dowsing & Reynolds, is my favourite feature – I had my eye on it for so long and waited ages for it to come back into stock. It brings me so much joy and looks amazing next to the pink grouting’
‘The pink tap, from Dowsing & Reynolds, is my favourite feature – I had my eye on it for so long and waited ages for it to come back into stock. It brings me so much joy and looks amazing next to the pink grouting’

‘It took us a while to work out the best way to design the kitchen and make it fit in the dining room. We love eating at the table so having a dining set that looks great was important. I like design spaces that are bright and minimal, so I didn’t want to have any cupboards on the wall, which meant we had to sacrifice some storage space.’

Living room

‘We ripped up the floor and sanded the floorboards in here, which were in amazing condition. We had to sand them twice, though, as the first time we oiled them they looked horrible, so we did it again and whitewashed them.

Lindsey has given her living room a fresh, playful feel with a dusky pink and mint ice-cream scheme. The addition of velvet, checkerboard prints and curved furnishings give it a tinge of Sixties-style glam. ‘We don’t have much furniture in here as I love minimalism, but everything we do have is from MADE.com, and the cushions are bargain buys from IKEA’
Lindsey has given her living room a fresh, playful feel with a dusky pink and mint ice-cream scheme. The addition of velvet, checkerboard prints and curved furnishings give it a tinge of Sixties-style glam. ‘We don’t have much furniture in here as I love minimalism, but everything we do have is from MADE.com, and the cushions are bargain buys from IKEA’

‘I wanted to do a picture rail in the living room, but I didn’t feel like I had the time or the skill to install one, so I created this effect with paint instead. It gave the room a dream-like feel, which is why I stuck to strictly pink and green with the cushions and furniture. I wanted the room to look like it had been dipped in green paint.’

More like this

Hallway

‘The hallway was grey, like much of the rest of the house. We ripped up the carpet and I painted the stairs green. I’m obsessed with this colour and it has been so durable.

‘I’m most proud of the staircase, which I painted in a deep green. I really had a strong vision and I pushed myself with that and I think it paid off’
‘I’m most proud of the staircase, which I painted in a deep green. I really had a strong vision and I pushed myself with that and I think it paid off’

‘George couldn’t quite believe what he was seeing at first but we both love it and it’s so easy to keep clean. I knew I wanted to remove the banister rail to open up the space in the kitchen and make more of a feature of the stairs. I love how this looks and I’m so glad I went with my gut as I was nervous to remove it. So many people told me not to do it!’

How to make your home feel more spacious 

  • Take a leaf out of Lindsey’s book and go for minimal and small furnishings, or those with narrow frames and legs, to increase the amount of space between homewares and free up as much floorspace as possible. 
 
  • Mirrors create an illusion of depth as they bounce light around the room – and the larger, the better. If your bedroom is small go for mirror-fronted wardrobes, and consider investing in other reflective furnishings, too.
 
  • Declutter, and get smart with your storage. Try not to cling onto belongings you can’t pack away – clutter will counteract any other tricks you have used to increase feelings of spaciousness. Consider how you might be able to maximise storage with custom shelving, cupboards and furniture with secret storage compartments.
 
  • Try decorating tricks, such as painting the ceiling and the top ¼ section of the walls in a different shade to the lower ¾ section in order to create an illusion of height; or opt for light-coloured flooring to open up the space.
‘I’m most proud of the staircase, which I painted in a deep green. I really had a strong vision and I pushed myself with that and I think it paid off’

Music studio

‘We put up soundproof curtains in here and even added pink carpet onto the walls to soak up some sound, too.

‘We painted the stripes on the walls, though everyone always thinks it’s wallpaper. We didn’t invest in a laser level, so we used an old floorboard as a template and used that to measure out all the lines equally’
‘We painted the stripes on the walls, though everyone always thinks it’s wallpaper. We didn’t invest in a laser level, so we used an old floorboard as a template and used that to measure out all the lines equally’

‘George wanted this space to feel creative and fun, so we took the painted stripes all the way up the wall and onto the ceiling.’

Bedroom

‘When we first moved in here the carpet was hanging on by a thread – it practically disintegrated when we removed it. When we pulled the wallpaper off it took most of the plaster with it, so we got the whole room redone.

‘We stacked these crates from HAY to make a bedside table. I thought it added some playfulness to the room and it was really budget-friendly, too. I love the striped bolster cushions from IKEA. The colours bring me so much joy and it’s so comfortable. It’s my safe space’
‘We stacked these crates from HAY to make a bedside table. I thought it added some playfulness to the room and it was really budget-friendly, too. I love the striped bolster cushions from IKEA. The colours bring me so much joy and it’s so comfortable. It’s my safe space’

‘To make the space feel bigger, we chose a double bed over anything larger. I didn’t want there to be much else in here to make sure it was as relaxing as possible. With the blue on the walls and the striped Habitat bedding, I was conscious it might look nautical, so I made sure to throw in other colours and contrasting stripes.’

Office

Part of Lindsey’s job as a fashion influencer is to showcase outfits on Instagram, so a clothes rail and full-length mirror are office essentials.

Lindsey has gone for a top-to-toe pink look in her office, where she’s painted the floorboards, radiator and the window frame in her favourite colour. She keeps work essentials on her DIY tile-topped desk, including an IKEA desk lamp, a selection of notebooks and a motivational art print by artist Camille Gressier at Fy! The IKEA chair fits in with the pink theme
Lindsey has gone for a top-to-toe pink look in her office, where she’s painted the floorboards, radiator and the window frame in her favourite colour. She keeps work essentials on her DIY tile-topped desk, including an IKEA desk lamp, a selection of notebooks and a motivational art print by artist Camille Gressier at Fy! The IKEA chair fits in with the pink theme

‘I love the light in this room; it’s at the back of the house so it gets the sun all day. It’s had a few transformations as I’ve done different projects in here for work. I was so excited about painting the floor as I’d never seen it done in pink and it’s my favourite colour. I think with the light, you could do anything in here and it would look great.’

Bathroom

‘The bathroom used to have beige tiles, black vinyl flooring and, as you came down the corridor, you had a view of the toilet. We changed the layout, so now the bath runs along the back wall and that’s what you can see from the corridor.

Lindsey’s sink unit was made from MDF before being tiled and grouted in her trademark playful, minimal style. ‘I upcycled an IKEA mirror with this red metallic frame. I got my dad, who is a picture framer, to send it to me. I love how the pop of red contrasts with the other colours in the room’
Lindsey’s sink unit was made from MDF before being tiled and grouted in her trademark playful, minimal style. ‘I upcycled an IKEA mirror with this red metallic frame. I got my dad, who is a picture framer, to send it to me. I love how the pop of red contrasts with the other colours in the room’

‘We had all the plumbing built into the wall, which meant that we had the walls brought in a little. We also knocked down the ceiling and exposed the beams, making the room feel so much bigger.’

What I learned...

  • Don’t ask for anyone else’s opinion. Nobody can see the vision you have for the space, and until it’s there in front of them they will never know what it’s going to be like. Trust your gut and go for it.
 
  • There’s a YouTube video for everything. 
 
  • If you’re working to a budget or simply enjoy learning skills and getting stuck in, you’ll be able to find tutorials for everything from fitting shelves to tiling.
 
  • I wouldn’t paint a north-facing room in a cold colour. Cool tones tend to make the space feel frosty and uninviting.
A Mustard Made locker provides handy storage, while a dress hung on the door doubles up as pretty décor
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Feature Abbi Henderson. Photos Fiona Murray.

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