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.
‘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.’
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.
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.’
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.
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.
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.
‘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.’
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.
‘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!’
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!
‘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!’
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.’
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.
‘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.’
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.
‘I truly believe you don’t need to spend a lot of money to make a home beautiful.’
Feature Laurie Davidson. Photos Simon Whitmore.