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At Home With Dawn @the_hollies_

This week I'm at home with Dawn, the home renovating and styling mad lady behind the hugely popular instagram account @the_hollies_ where she shares incredible images of her renovated home.  Read on to learn more about Dawn, her home, lifestyle, family and her top tip for home styling. 


Tell us about you

Dawn @the_hollies_ instagram account feature

My name is Dawn Walters and I’m 53 years old.  I live with my husband, Mick and have four grown up children and seven grandchildren.


 Tell us about your home

fabulous home renovation

I live in a village in Derbyshire.  We bought this house on the 27th July 2018 it was a small three bedroom detached home with one bathroom.  The house was built about 100 years ago.

house before renovation


How would you describe your home?

country modern home interior

My homestyle is Country Modern. I do like to mix the two styles in a subtle way that I think works.


Which is your favourite room in the house?

modern white country kitchen

I think the kitchen is my favourite room in the house. It’s the heart of the house, and always looks so pretty, and I enjoy cooking and styling the shelves and island.

kitchen stylish ideas


How does your home reflect any passions or interests?

My house reflects my interests and passions because we completely renovated it and that is what I most enjoy in life. This is our fourth renovation.


What are your favourite items in the home?

My favourite items in the house are, my dining table and chairs and matching bar stools, also my white dresser and all the panelling.

But the main thing I love about our home is the electric gates and pillars, they cost £16,000 and are painted in Farrow and Ball Drop Cloth.

I also love the windows, doors and the vaulted front door section.  The windows are all from Residence9 collection which means that they are flush fitted casement windows, made to look like a timber window but are in fact UPVC.  I had mine sprayed in Farrow and Ball Drop Cloth.


When you moved into your house was it the finished article or was it a project?

Our home was not finished, it was definitely a project.


What renovation have you done?


We have done a lot of renovation. Building a garage, Utillity, Study, 4th bedroom, En-suite, Larger bathroom and landing.


Also new windows doors and vaulting the front windows up. Creating new gardens and driveway.

Removed lots of internal walls and opened the kitchen up to create a kitchen diner and extra living space in there.  We also have a separate lounge!


Have you had any DIY or styling disasters?

When the roof was taken off our kitchen to build above the rain came down for a whole month, we had waited to start the building work in June as we thought the weather would be better. We couldn’t have been more wrong.  We had tarpaulin on the scaffolding but that wasn’t much use.

Our toilets both broke and we had to shower at the top of the stairs with a towel over the glass screen as there were no walls anywhere, just a shower tray on the old landing. Quite stressful. 


What is your top home styling tip?

My top home styling tip is to add a wall of panelling to a room and it completely transforms it. Also a cosy fire and oak beam in a living room makes a beautiful focal point.


I like to keep things quite neutral everywhere, and add little bits of colour usually in flowers, or cushions!


Is there anything in your home that you couldn’t live without?

I wouldn’t want to live without this, my quooker boiling water tap I know it’s not a necessity but it’s fabulous and we have instant boiling water all the time, a cup of tea is so quick and easy.


They say that every home tells visitors a story about who lives there. What do you think your home says about you?

I think my home tells people that I have a real interest in interior design and that I like a home to feel like a home, because I am a family person.  I like my home comforts and love looking after my family.



The Home Edit


Lived-in or showhome?

Lived in.


If you could only paint your walls one colour, which one would it be?

If I could only choose one paint colour it would be White, because I can add other colours into the room by home furnishings cushions etc.


What is your pet hate when it comes to your own or other’s homes?

I don’t like dark wood or the colour red in a room.


Favourite front door colour?

Farrow and Ball, Drop Cloth. Or light green/grey or Oak.


Carpet or Floorboards?

Floorboards with a rug.


Kitchen table dining or formal dining room?

Dining room and kitchen table or island seating.


High gloss or rustic?



Wallpaper or Brick Walls?

Brick Walls


Want More?

If you enjoyed being at home with Dawn, you might like to take a look inside other popular home styling accounts on instagram and find out more about the people behind them. You can see more of these "at home with" articles here

You can catch up with Dawn's instagram account here. It's well worth a look!

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