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At Home With Kyla

This week I'm at home with Kyla, an associate professor in public health medicine and the creative lady behind the popular instagram account where she shares beautiful images of her stunning home, a real life pink dolls house as she calls it. Read on to learn more about Kyla, her home, lifestyle, and top tips for home styling.


Tell us about you

Kyla news story feature image

Hi, I’m Kyla and I am an associate professor in public health medicine and clinical director of a research network. I live in a lovely little market town outside of Bristol with my husband of nearly 15 years and our son Ethan. I love home interiors and gardens and enjoy creating a beautiful home and garden as well as sharing photos on Instagram. It really is my creative outlet and is very different from what I do at work. I am a homebird and enjoy pottering about my home and garden.   


Tell us about your home

pink mock tudor house image

My home is a new build which we bought off plan from the developer. The build started in Summer 2018 and we moved into our new home in Spring 2019. Although it is a new build it has a very traditional look- like a mock Georgian farmhouse. When we first found out the exterior would be in pink render, we were a bit unsure and thought that we should probably choose a more understated colour like ivory. We then had a look around the development at other pink rendered houses in different styles that had already been built and decided that we actually really loved the pink. Now we wouldn’t want the house to be any other colour. Our house is one of a kind, as it is the only traditional, pink rendered house in its style. It stands out and we get lots of lovely compliments on the colour.


How would you describe your home?

 modern rustic glamour home style

I would describe my home style as country, rustic and cosy with a bit of glamour thrown in. I love the modern country farmhouse look as it is not precious and I don’t have to be too anxious about wear and tear in my furniture given that I have a young child who is always bashing and bumping into things. I should admit though that I may have been a teeny bit upset when he excitedly threw one of his metal matchbox cars at my brand new Neptune sideboard and dented it but I’ve got over it now.  Or have I? At least I’m not crying in my sleep!


Which is your favourite room in the house?

bifold kitchen doors open

My favourite room in the house is the kitchen diner, which now has additional living space since we completed a rear extension in June. I love this room as it is where we spend most of our time as a family and the addition of almost 5m of bifold doors means that we can really enjoy inside outside living when the weather is good.

open plan kitchen diner modern country with bifold doors

At the moment of writing this we’ve had a heatwave for two weeks so we have been loving having the bifolds open from early morning until late evening when we go to bed.

glamorous dressing area walk in wardrobes

I also love my dressing room, as it provides space for me to store the sizeable collection of dresses, shoes and bags that I amassed before Ethan arrived. The combination of Ethan and virtual working due to the pandemic means that they don’t get used as often as they did before 2020 but I still like having a space for everything.


How does your home reflect any passions or interests?

modern country glamour bedroom with panelled wall

I have always been house proud and have worked to make my home beautiful wherever I’ve lived (so right through from our first rental when we were newly engaged twenty somethings, to the first home that my husband and I bought together when we got married, to this house, the third home we’ve owned and the one where we welcomed Ethan in 2020). I feel privileged to have a safe space to call home and really appreciate and look after what I have.

cool calm country style modern living room

I grew up in the Caribbean and spent the first 24 years of my life living in a tropical climate. I grew up in a home with a beautiful garden and I have always had an appreciation for beautiful flowers, shrubs and trees. Naturally, I’d want to create the same in my own home and virtual working has allowed me to regain some commuting time which I have put into gardening.

country wreath

Gardening has many benefits and it is wonderful for maintaining good mental health and wellbeing. A session of deadheading roses or watering my plants helps me wind down from the stresses of the working day. I would recommend gardening to everyone, even if you have no garden, a small garden or only have a balcony space or courtyard. You could look after houseplants or do container gardening. Trust me, it will be worth it!


What are your favourite items in the home?

modern country kitchen island

I love the kitchen island as it is such a sociable space to gather around. It also provides extra kitchen storage for pots and pans and additional preparation space.

I also love the new bifold doors as even on a grey, rainy, miserable day (which happens quite often in the UK) the room is light and bright and I can still feel connected to the outdoors and look at my plants.


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

It was a finished article as it was a new build. However, it has an L shape and so we recently did an extension to square off the L on the ground floor. I don’t think I could handle a full on project unless I could afford to live somewhere else away from the dust and the mess during the renovation.


What renovation and decorating have you done?

We’ve done a rear extension and had the place re-decorated after waiting the recommended eighteen months as advised by the developer to allow the house to settle. I got fed up of looking at Dulux brilliant white walls during the first few lockdowns so I had a virtual Farrow and Ball colour consultation and then got a decorator in when we came out of lockdown. We still need to complete some rooms, for example I want to add some wooden bath panels to the bathtubs and the family bathroom has not been repainted. I also want to add wallpaper to a feature wall in the loft bedroom.


Have you had any DIY or styling disasters?

We don’t believe in DIY! Haha. Anyways we are lucky to know a lovely guy who moonlights as a handyman in his spare time. He has basically sorted out our entire house for us. It’s a nice story as we met him for the first time when we used him to put up curtain poles and hang mirrors when we first moved into our previous home back in 2013. As it happened, we ended up moving to the same place he moved to and as he now lives on the same development that we do, we use him all the time. 

We haven’t had any styling disasters, but we have had a near miss. When we chose the carpets for the house, we didn’t realise how brown the carpet was over large areas. On the sample it looked beige/taupe. Fortunately for us, they ran out of the carpet in the last room that needed carpeting and they had no more carpet in that colour. It was a lucky save as we were able to choose a much nicer lighter greige carpet as there was more choice available from the developer.


What is your top home styling tip?

kitchen table with chairs and wooden bench seat

I would say don’t automatically follow what’s trendy or fashionable at the time. Buy pieces that you love and always try to buy the best quality items that you can afford.

home office

I also love using neutrals as a base and adding in colour with accessories, floral displays, wallpaper or even a feature wall here or there. These are easier to change around if you get bored or fed up and want to try something new.

I’ve also found that my style has evolved with time. When I first moved to the UK I liked injecting bright colours into my space. Now I want my home to be a sanctuary; this is probably not surprising given all that has happened over the last few years with a global pandemic and war in Europe. My interior style is also influenced by the exterior style of my house. So, whereas previously I lived in a red brick house and had no problems with using reds or purples (don’t worry I didn’t use these colours together!) now I would find that colour scheme a bit over the top when I live in a pink house. However, if you love colour then definitely go for it, your house should reflect your personal style and taste and be where you feel comfortable.


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

I couldn’t live without the two main men in my life, my husband and my son. They make this house a home.  I also couldn’t live without a utility room and having lots and lots of storage to hide all the clutter that I don’t want to see! Having a lot of storage including space for a dressing room was a huge selling point and is one of the reasons why we chose this house style off plan.


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

It is important to me that my home is warm and inviting to all visitors and that when people visit it feels like a home from home for them. I’d like them to think that it is beautifully decorated and that I have good taste. Most importantly I’d want them to feel that it was a happy family home and that they’d enjoy coming over to visit because of this and making wonderful memories together with us. 



The Home Edit


Lived-in or showhome?

Definitely show-home. Could I choose lived in show-home? I really can’t stand clutter so I always make sure there are lots of baskets for toys, shoes etc. A cluttered house makes my brain feel cluttered.


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

I get bored easily. Therefore, I like neutrals as I can change things up with accessories. I would choose Farrow and Ball’s Skimming Stone, Ammonite or Cornforth White to use as a neutral base.


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

I really don’t like mess and clutter.


Favourite front door colour?



Carpet or Floorboards?



Kitchen table dining or formal dining room?

Both if I can have it and afford a space I only use once or twice a year which is usually the case with a formal dining room. If I could only have one then definitely kitchen diner.


High gloss or rustic?

Most definitely rustic.


Wallpaper or Brick Walls?



Want More?

If you enjoyed being at home with Kyla, 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 view more of these "at home with" articles here

Catch up with Kyla's instagram account here. It's well worth a look

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