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Home makeover: ‘Our modern boho home is filled with bargain buys!’

Using plenty of plants, natural materials and vintage treasures has helped Lara Hall transform an empty white shell into a stylish, family-friendly house

When Lara and Shaun Hall were looking for a new home, they had three main requirements: the property needed to be large enough for their growing family, they wanted a south-facing garden, and, lastly, they wanted a house that was close to the countryside.

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‘We chose Coalville as it’s near to one of the highest points in Leicestershire,’ explains Lara, ‘so the surrounding area has great views and it’s ideal for family walks. It ticked all of our boxes.’

Home makeover: 'Our modern boho home is filled with bargain buys!'
Lara has chosen a high-gloss finish for the cabinets. ‘I love all the light that comes in from the bay window and French doors, and it’s nice being able to look out at all the greenery while I cook,’ says Lara

The couple fell in love with their new-build house, with its light interior, spacious rooms and big corner plot in a cul-de-sac, and moved in May 2018.

Home makeover: 'Our modern boho home is filled with bargain buys!'
Always looking for budget-friendly updates, Lara has added a free-standing breakfast bar in the kitchen for extra worktop and storage space. It was an IKEA find that she painted in Setting Plaster by Farrow & Ball to match the dining area

As a new-build, there were no major building works to be done, and the couple asked for the house to be painted in a brilliant white, rather than the almond white or magnolia colour that most new-builds tend to be, to give them a blank canvas.

‘It was a brilliant white, empty shell,’ says Lara, ‘and I couldn’t wait to start adding all the personal touches to it that would turn it into a home.’

Home makeover: 'Our modern boho home is filled with bargain buys!'
Lara has painted an arch to frame the wicker shelving unit for a unique feature. The pinky colour is Setting Plaster by Farrow & Ball, the same shade used on one of the other dining room walls

Downstairs, a playroom and living room sit on one side of the hallway, while an open-plan dining space and kitchen sit on the other.

Home makeover: 'Our modern boho home is filled with bargain buys!'
‘I bought our wooden dining table from Facebook Marketplace, but it’s originally from IKEA,’ reveals Lara. ‘It has a matching bench seat that’s ideal for the kids or guests.’ The dining chairs were another Facebook Marketplace buy and the clock is from Oak Furnitureland

Lara was keen to use colour to separate the two areas, while keeping them cohesive, so painted one wall in the dining room in Setting Plaster by Farrow & Ball, a light pink shade, while in the kitchen the couple opted for a light grey, hi-gloss cabinetry from Symphony Kitchens and kept the walls white.

Home makeover: 'Our modern boho home is filled with bargain buys!'
The area underneath the stairs is a welcoming and practical spot. Lara snapped up the bench at a car-boot sale, and the wall hanging is from @hitchandknot_macrame

Welcome to our home…

We are Lara Hall, a home organiser and owner of Lara’s Maison Amour (@lara.maison.amour), my husband, Shaun, a HGV driver, our three daughters, Ava, nine, Macy, six, and Ivy, three, plus our chihuahuas, Ralph and Rex, and our house rabbit, Boris.

Our home Is a detached new-build in Coalville, Leicester, that was built in 2018 and has four bedrooms and an open-plan kitchen and dining space. 

Home makeover: 'Our modern boho home is filled with bargain buys!'

‘This room is where we spend most of our time,’ says Lara, ‘and it’s very family-friendly. We have a small utility off the kitchen and large patio doors that open out to the garden.’

Home makeover: 'Our modern boho home is filled with bargain buys!'
A mix of pink and green accessories complement the natural materials in the dining room – cushions from Matalan line the bench seat for extra comfort

It is predominantly paint that Lara has used to transform her home and, while many of the walls have been kept white, she has added coloured paint motifs and shapes to some areas for interest, along with upcycled furniture to add a hit of colour.

Home makeover: 'Our modern boho home is filled with bargain buys!'
‘We love a cheeky gin night, which encouraged the purchase of our Art Deco drinks trolley. It was another trusty bargain find on Facebook Marketplace for just £50!’ enthuses Lara

‘I did make the mistake of painting one wall in the living room in a dark green,’ she recalls.

‘I hated it and it only stayed for two days before we painted it back white. Now I’ve gone for a pale green stripe instead, using Earth Green emulsion by Wilko, which is much more subtle and runs across two of the walls.

The light green colour ties in with all my greenery and plants, too. I’ve actually lost count of how many I have – I seem to pick up a plant everywhere I go!’

Home makeover: 'Our modern boho home is filled with bargain buys!'
Lara has contrasted fresh white walls with lots of accessories in natural finishes. ‘I love all the different textures and earthy tones in the living room, as they create a relaxing vibe,’ says Lara. The ceiling lights are from IKEA and small green pouffe is from Kaikoo

Lara’s modern boho style showcases her love for natural materials – you’ll see lots of wicker, hessian and bamboo furniture and accessories around the house, many of which she collects from car-boot sales, Facebook Marketplace and charity shops.

A bit more about our home…

The best bit about living here Is the rural setting and all the lovely countryside.

I’m most proud of my bargain buys. I don’t think you need to spend a lot of money to make a home beautiful. 

Shops I love are HomeSense, Wilko and IKEA – oh, and I love a car-boot sale!

Home makeover: 'Our modern boho home is filled with bargain buys!'

‘Our home is full of little treasures that I’ve found. The latest – and best – are my bamboo chairs that were left out the front of someone’s house with a sign saying they were free!’

Home makeover: 'Our modern boho home is filled with bargain buys!'
To create a cosy corner, Lara painted a light green stripe on two of the living room walls, using Earth Green emulsion by Wilko. She bought her cane shelves from a friend’s parents and the artworks are from IKEA

Upstairs, Lara’s creative streak continues with each of the girls’ bedrooms decorated in fun ways, using soft muted colours, paint effects and wall decals.

‘Macy’s bedroom is the next to get an overhaul,’ says Lara. ‘I’m going to change the mint-green scheme and swap the bunk beds for a double bed, to make it more grown-up for her.’

Home makeover: 'Our modern boho home is filled with bargain buys!'
Lara painted this gifted cabinet in the same dark green that she originally used to paint a feature wall in the living room for an easy, budget-friendly upcycle

In the main bedroom, Lara painted an arch design on the wall behind the bed to frame the headboard. This, as well as the other wall motifs around the house, she painted purely by eye. A shelf sits above the bed and houses more plants, pictures and treasured finds, which change regularly.

Home makeover: 'Our modern boho home is filled with bargain buys!'
‘The main bedroom is a really good size, which was something that was on our list of must-haves when looking for a new home,’ Lara recalls. The bed linen is from OnlineHomeShop.com

‘I love swapping around the accessories in each room on a weekly basis to keep things interesting,’ she says. ‘And moving furniture around is a great way to change the feel of a room without spending money.’

Home makeover: 'Our modern boho home is filled with bargain buys!'
Lara utilised the area in-between the en-suite and window with a dressing table, using a shelf with drawers to prevent the room feeling cluttered. The Ekby Alex shelf with drawers is from IKEA and the mirror is from The Range

Everywhere you look in the Halls’ home there is something to see – small displays, pictures, plants and styled-up areas – yet the overall feel is anything but cluttered. ‘It’s all about preparation and creating stylish rooms that tell a story,’ Lara explains.

Home makeover: 'Our modern boho home is filled with bargain buys!'
Framed photos, prints, plants and decorative objects sit on an open shelf above the bed. The green paint used for the semi-circle behind the bed is Earth Green emulsion by Wilko

‘I truly believe you don’t need to spend a lot of money to make a home beautiful.’

Home makeover: 'Our modern boho home is filled with bargain buys!'
‘We had lots of fun designing this room for our eldest daughter, Ava. It was the start of the colour-blocking obsession,’ Lara laughs
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Feature Laurie Davidson. Photos Simon Whitmore.

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