Home makeover: 'My dopamine decor celebrates the power of colour'
Take a look inside Charlotte's colourful home...
Seeing past the work that was needed, Charlotte Coleman had a vision for her countryside home. Six years later, her clever use of colour has transformed the space. Here, she tells us all about her home makeover...
‘After the birth of our first child, I wanted to move back to the countryside after many years in London. I grew up in Dorset and was keen for my children to have a similar upbringing.
‘We set our sights on rural Wiltshire. Finding our dream property took around three months, but I knew as soon as I came down the driveway that this house was for us.
Welcome to our home...
A bit about me I’m Charlotte Coleman, an interior stylist and content creator. I live with my husband, Chris, and our children, William, seven, and Cecelia, four, plus our chickens and cat, Boris.
Where I live My home is a five-bedroom house in Wiltshire, part of which dates back to the late 1800s. We’ve lived here for six years and you can see more of my home on Instagram @wiltshirewonderland.
‘It was clear from the get-go that it would need a lot of work – it was in a bit of a state. Despite this, it was easy to see past all the faults. I knew I could make it a wonderful home. The previous owners had cut a lot of corners, so we had lots to fix, like dodgy plumbing, leaks, cracks and wiring issues.
‘We started with the kitchen and bathrooms to make it liveable, which took about a year while tackling the rest of the rooms was an ongoing project. When we moved, we didn’t have any furniture, so we had to fill it quickly. I found lots of bargains in local charity shops and upcycled them to suit our style.
A bit more about my home...
What I wanted to change The entire house needed work to make it liveable. The kitchen wasn’t fit for purpose and the bathroom was from the 1970s – basically everything needed an update.
How I made it my own I put in a new kitchen and bathroom plus a new roof! I love pastels so I decorated throughout with soft, sugary shades. Colourful upcycled furniture features in most rooms, too.
My favourite part I love the built-in arched shelves – we made them ourselves, so they give us a sense of achievement every day. I also love being surrounded by my favourite colours when I’m cooking in the kitchen.
‘I also made cushions and bedding, inspired by makers and creators I discovered on Instagram. A turning point for me was painting the front door yellow – it felt like we had put our stamp on the house for all the world to see and it set the tone for the rest of our home. There’s no doubt that waking up to a room full of colour puts you in a good mood. We love our house; it’s a very happy home.’
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‘The walls in here needed lots of patching up before painting, as the old plaster was crumbling. We decided it was better costwise to treat and mend the existing walls, rather than getting it all replastered. I wanted a soft pink colour to make it feel bright during the day and cosy in the evening and this shade, Alhambra Stone by Craig & Rose, is really pretty.
‘I love pink and green together, so I painted the door in Sung Blue by Craig & Rose. Next, we tiled the fireplace surround and hearth – it was the first time we had tried tiling, so it took longer than expected but I love the finished look. To tie in with the rest of the house, we replaced the carpet with wood-effect flooring, something we had never done before. Cutting the boards to fit along our wonky walls took a lot of planning and head scratching, but we got there in the end. The daisy rug is from George Home.’
‘There was a DIY makeshift kitchen when we moved in, so that was the first thing that had to go. To keep costs down, we designed it all ourselves and bought the cabinets from DIY Kitchens, while we sourced the worktops separately. I really wanted colours that would complement the warm tones of the wood, so I painted the cupboards in pastel shades from Little Greene.
‘For a seamless look, I painted the fridge using Rust-Oleum all-surface pink paint. Believe it or not, painting a fridge is quite easy to do! Just make sure you prep it properly first and use the right roller. I painted it over two-and-a-half years ago, and it still looks as good as the day I did it. To keep the worktops looking their best, we lightly sand and oil them once a year.’
Living and dining room
‘This space is the heart of the house and where we eat, play games and do homework. We added some built-in arched shelves to cover up an old door that led into the old part of the house. It had been filled with breeze blocks and looked really ugly. Just off the dining area is the living space – we tried to make the large room feel cosy by zoning the area.
‘We have different rugs and lighting in each section. I don’t like anything to match, so I picked different styles and colours for the sofas. It makes it more interesting if everything is unique. When we moved in, the floorboards were very dark, so we hired a heavy-duty sander to sand the floor and then stained it in a warmer, lighter colour to brighten the whole space up.’
The bedroom is a riot of dreamy hues and pretty prints that complement the heirloom four-poster bed. ‘The bed frame is one of the most precious items in our home – it’s been in my family for years,’ says Charlotte. Using paint from YesColours, Charlotte added peachy-pink walls and lilac-striped floorboards after tearing up the old carpet.
Originally intended to be blue stripes, Charlotte says that the lilac was a game changer. ‘Painting the floorboards was a huge project, it took ages to prep and paint the stripes. Now it’s finished, I can say all the hard work was worth it. I love them! I painted the walls and ceiling the same colour to make the floor stand out as the main feature.’
‘The bathroom had carpet when we first moved in, so the first step was to get rid of that. We found a beautiful old cast-iron bath at a reclamation yard and, with a bit of TLC, it now looks amazing.
‘I found the vintage vanity unit in a charity shop for £5 and thought it would be perfect for the bathroom, while the marble counter-top sink was a £30 bargain on eBay and the vintage mirror finished the look.
‘We put in underfloor heating as our house is freezing in the winter and it’s a luxury that was definitely worth the splurge. To finish the scheme, I chose Nudie Rudie wallpaper from Ohme Decor for some playful pattern.'
‘My children had a lot of input in their room, and I think it shows. They asked for plenty of colour and all their favourite things to feature.
I saved this wardrobe from going in a skip – it was part of a larger set, but the other pieces weren’t salvageable. I painted the outside blue with scalloped detail and the inside bright yellow.
‘For a bit of fun, I painted an arch over the door, but the kids decided that wasn’t enough yellow, so I added stripes to the ceiling. The yellow took three coats! The children chose some prints from around the house, and I added a few new ones. They love showing this space to their friends!’
Feeling inspired? Don't forget to check out the rest of our real home makeovers!
Feature Colette Earley. Photos Kasia Fiszer.