Home makeover: ‘My home reflects my personality’

Take a look inside Evelyn's impressive 1920s home, full of vintage-inspired finishes and luxe colours

Shopping second-hand and upcycling has helped Evelyn Lindley create her one-of-a-kind house, full of vibrant colours, luxe finishes and bold patterns.

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

My home makeover

When we were looking for a house together, it was important to find a place where I could express my creativity. We’d been living in Lee’s family home and although I’d done some decorating, it didn’t feel like my own. As soon as I saw this house, I knew it was perfect for us.

Spray an unused frame and a leaf-shaped piece of MDF gold to make some unique wall art, like Evelyn’s botanical piece
Spray an unused frame and a leaf-shaped piece of MDF gold to make some unique wall art, like Evelyn’s botanical piece

When we first moved in, parts of the kitchen were painted in a shocking pink, and the bedroom was bright red. Luckily it didn’t need any building work so it was only cosmetic changes we needed to make.

Welcome to my home…

A bit about me I’m Evelyn Lindley, an interior designer. I live with my partner, Lee Bass, a print finishing team leader, and our three cats – Scout, Duke and Brough. I Instagram our renovation journey @evie_polkadot.

Where I live My home is a 1920s three-bedroom end terrace in Sittingbourne, Kent. We bought it in October 2019.

Evie Lindsey

As Lee works really long hours, and I’m at home a lot due to health issues, I began decorating straight away. I started with our bedroom as I wanted to have a space we could relax in.

‘I love a gallery wall. In the kitchen I’ve added plates to the mix, but I’m just as happy leaning prints against a wall or floor for a more theatrical look’
‘I love a gallery wall. In the kitchen I’ve added plates to the mix, but I’m just as happy leaning prints against a wall or floor for a more theatrical look’

Then I worked my way around the house room by room. I would save up for the products I needed, like wallpaper, paint and accessories, and then I’d work on the room while thinking about the next one.

‘Originally, this was an ugly, brown veneer cabinet with a broken glass door, but I hate to throw things away, so I took the doors off, painted it, and gold leafed the inside’
‘Originally, this was an ugly, brown veneer cabinet with a broken glass door, but I hate to throw things away, so I took the doors off, painted it, and gold leafed the inside’

I have a photographic eye so I can visualise the finished look of a room before I even begin, which makes planning the work easier.

A bit more about my home…

What I wanted to change Although it had some splashes of colour, the house was mainly magnolia and had no character, but that was okay as it meant I had a blank canvas to work with. I wanted to go crazy and enjoy the process of making a home of my own.

How I made it my own I brought in loads of colour using a teal and pink colour scheme along with bold patterns. I’ve also included my love of peacocks with motifs dotted around the house. We’ve filled each room with vintage and upcycled furniture for an original style. 

My favourite part I love the drama of our bedroom. It’s exactly how I pictured it before I began, and it’s such a cosy, relaxing space to be in, just how a bedroom should be.

Evie-Lindsey-23

Lee already had a lot of antique furniture that we brought with us, and I’m a real bargain hunter and love to find cheap pieces to upcycle. I think this mix has given our home a beautiful, unique look that really represents us both.

‘I’ve added a few accessories and faux plants in the bathroom, plus a couple of pictures, to try and add character, but really it needs a complete overhaul, so we need to save up a bit first’
‘I’ve added a few accessories and faux plants in the bathroom, plus a couple of pictures, to try and add character, but really it needs a complete overhaul, so we need to save up a bit first’

Kitchen

‘I was close to tears when I originally painted the kitchen because when I finished it, I hated the blue. But it had taken me so long to do that a friend suggested I just live with it for a bit and see how I felt in a few weeks. It was the best piece of advice I’ve been given, as I would have changed it straight away, but now I’ve grown to love it and I’ve actually started to bring in more blues that are similar to this.

‘The layout in the kitchen doesn’t follow any classic design rules, but now I’m used to it and I just see it as adding to my daily steps! Although, if I had the funds, I would completely redo the kitchen, as the design is a bit weird, with the sink being round the corner from the cooker, but for now I’ve given it a new look with some paint and a piece of statement vinyl.’
‘The layout in the kitchen doesn’t follow any classic design rules, but now I’m used to it and I just see it as adding to my daily steps! Although, if I had the funds, I would completely redo the kitchen, as the design is a bit weird, with the sink being round the corner from the cooker, but for now I’ve given it a new look with some paint and a piece of statement vinyl.’

‘The front of the kitchen island has a perspex cover that was shocking pink when we first moved in. I tried to cover it with paint, but it went really patchy. Then I discovered Jes Rose, who encourages people to upcycle with vinyl. I went for the terrazzo pattern from her range because it complemented the pink of the chimney breast, and I think it
adds a bit of fun to the space.’

Dining room

‘This was originally used as a study by the last owner who thought it was too small for a dining room, but I think it’s the perfect size and can’t wait to have people round. I wanted to give the room a Victorian Gothic feel, and ultimately want to get a round table in here.

‘I thought measuring this room and using masking tape to create the three-quarter wall was a pain, so I walked an A3 frame around the room marking the bottom of it from the ceiling, and it saved so much time’
‘I thought measuring this room and using masking tape to create the three-quarter wall was a pain, so I walked an A3 frame around the room marking the bottom of it from the ceiling, and it saved so much time’

‘Lee bought the chairs years ago and I upcycled them with cheap leopard-print fabric. I decided to go for the three-quarter painted wall effect, so I painted the ceiling and woodwork a soft white.

‘I upcycled this old shoe cupboard with clear vinyl to make the doors look like glass. I used self-adhesive paper to add our names, and finished it with black paint and new handles’
‘I upcycled this old shoe cupboard with clear vinyl to make the doors look like glass. I used self-adhesive paper to add our names, and finished it with black paint and new handles’

‘Sometimes I wish I’d been a bit bolder and painted the whole room black, but Lee was less keen, and creating a home together is about compromise. I write erotic poetry and love to work in here in the evenings as the dark walls give the room a moody, romantic feel, which inspires me to write.’

Living room

‘Lee has always collected interesting pieces and a lot of our furniture is vintage, second-hand or upcycled, which makes our home really eclectic. These pieces, along with my love of bold colours and pattern, mean we have a home that really reflects both our personalities.

‘A friend’s gran gave me this vintage chair when she was having a clearout. She said she thought it would suit my style, and she was right, it’s perfect in here’
‘A friend’s gran gave me this vintage chair when she was having a clearout. She said she thought it would suit my style, and she was right, it’s perfect in here’

‘I bought the tropical wallpaper from Wallpaper Direct as I thought it would go beautifully with the vintage veneered cocktail cabinet.

‘Lee bought this cabinet when he was 18 and he’s kept it all these years. Now it’s used to display his collection of vintage toy cars’
‘Lee bought this cabinet when he was 18 and he’s kept it all these years. Now it’s used to display his collection of vintage toy cars’

‘I initially painted the ceiling in here turquoise, but it didn’t work for me, so I went over it with Teal of Tunbridge Wells from Mylands and mirrored it on the arch. Then I painted the walls grey, which makes the teal really stand out.’

Hallway

‘I was originally quoted £700 to carpet the stairs, which was way out of my budget. Instead, I went to IKEA and bought four of their long patterned runners, which we attached ourselves.

‘I like to support independent artists and have been collecting these prints for a couple of years, though I’m happy to mix and match with high street brands such as HomeSense that always have interesting one-off pieces’
‘I like to support independent artists and have been collecting these prints for a couple of years, though I’m happy to mix and match with high street brands such as HomeSense that always have interesting one-off pieces’

‘At only £22 each, the whole job cost under £100 and looks amazing. I’ve got over 60 pictures hanging along the staircase, so it took a few months to get them all up. I didn’t plan the whole look in one go like some people do, but just started with one picture and then arranged it all as I went along, doing about three rows at a time.’

Master bedroom

‘I knew this would be a dark room as I had planned to base it around a peacock theme, which I love for its opulent feel. I wanted a luxurious space with lots of sumptuous textures and elegant gold accessories. As I had already covered this headboard in the beautiful teal velvet fabric, I worked the room around that, including the Zambezi duvet cover from Emma J Shipley.

‘I am the Cushion Queen and piling my bed with pillows is an easy way to add a touch of hotel luxe to the room. My sister bought me the peacock and it’s been the inspiration for the colour scheme in here’
‘I am the Cushion Queen and piling my bed with pillows is an easy way to add a touch of hotel luxe to the room. My sister bought me the peacock and it’s been the inspiration for the colour scheme in here’

‘I pretty much painted everything in Blue Spruce by Valspar, as I think painting the walls, woodwork and furniture the same colour creates a bold and really modern look. People often forget about the ceiling and leave it white, but I think it should be treated as an extra surface, so I painted it this lovely rich colour too. My friends weren’t sure it would work but I knew it would look elegant and glamorous, but also cosy and relaxing.’

Spare bedroom

‘I wanted the décor in this room to be quite light and bright as a contrast to our bedroom, and I already had this Amazon Pink wallpaper from Wallpaper Direct as a sample, so I decided to use it in here. I chose this soft Green 01 from Lick for the walls and paired it with coral accessories.

‘The maximalist feel of this room was a gamble, but limiting the colours and sticking to the leafy motif makes it cohesive rather than chaotic’
‘The maximalist feel of this room was a gamble, but limiting the colours and sticking to the leafy motif makes it cohesive rather than chaotic’

‘My mum was getting rid of this large unit, so I took it on as an upcycling project. It was originally a horrible orange pine, so I painted it with chalk paint from Hobbycraft, and then covered the draw fronts with the same design as the curtains and the cushion from Next.’

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Feature and styling Lisa Moses. Photos Caroline Mardon. 

This is a digital version of a feature that originally appeared in Home Style magazine. For more inspirational home ideas, why not subscribe today?