At Home With Lily @homebeyondthewood
This week I'm at home with Lily, the creative DIY project lady behind the popular instagram account @homebeyondthewood where she shares images of her village home in Cheshire. Read on to learn more about Lily, her home, lifestyle, and top tips for home styling.
Tell us about you
Hi I’m Lily. I’m married, with two sons 19 and 23 who both still live at home.
We have been in this house for 3 years now and as we are a busy family with lots of coming and going it was very important for us to find a larger property but still within the local area of our village on the edge of East Cheshire.
Tell us about your home
The house was built in 1929 has 3 floors and was renovated by the previous owner in 2010.
As we are situated in a conservation area, the front of the house had to remain the same with its big bay window and its period features, which I love.
The back of the house has had a big modern extension with two sets of bifolding doors which when open, feel like an extension into the garden, this is where we do all our entertaining.
The third floor has its own style. The two big loft rooms are the boys bedrooms and are modern with their interesting angles and gorgeous gable shape windows.
The most exciting find was a concrete WW2 bunker at the bottom of the garden covered by overgrown bushes and trees.
How would you describe your home?
I would describe my style as classic with a contemporary modern slant.
I love elegant furniture, I tend to be drawn to anything with a curve and period charm.
Being the original part of the house I have tried to keep the lounge and the hallway more of a traditional style by keeping the lovely picture rails, beams and the stair spindles which have a little flower shaped cut out that match the stained glass windows on the landing.
The back of the house has a more modern contemporary feel with an open plan sitting area, a cylinder log burner and our shaker style kitchen.
I had the whole room painted white to maintain a light an airy feel and to add contrast to the dark kitchen cabinets and furniture.
Which is your favourite room in the house?
At the moment and because it’s brand new, I’d have to say it’s the main lounge after it being empty for 3 years its now definitely our go to relax room.
It has a beautiful bay window to which we have added a big cushioned window seat and had the whole room carpeted for a cosy feel.
My intention was to create a formal sitting room but it most often ends up with all of us in there including both cats and our dog.
How does your home reflect any passions or interests?
We love to do our own DIY projects. I’m constantly redecorating and adding features.
Although it has not appeared on my Instagram grid yet, we have built an amazing 2 tiered cinema room in what was the old dining room and ln a spare bedroom we have added a home gym, having 3 active men in the house both rooms were very handy throughout the pandemic.
What are your favourite items in the home?
For the lounge, I was delighted to have found a beautiful white Carrara marble fire-surround from a reclaimed period fireplace specialist, sadly the original one had been taken out leaving just a square opening and a gas stove.
Another thing I couldn’t live without is the boiling hot water tap for those much needed cups of tea.
When you moved into your house was it the finished article or was it a project?
It was definitely a project the previous owner had bought it as a buy to let and it was then a rented to The Consulate General of a European country for a number of years. Although it was renovated to a high spec it was very dated with lots and lots of wood.
We have a big project in the garden this year which is due to start in a few weeks with the addition of an outdoor kitchen and the detached garage being converted into an independent annexe/garden room.
What renovation and decorating have you done?
In the first 12 months before covid hit, we concentrated on putting right anything that had been neglected while it was rented and decorating every room so it felt like home.
We had a log burner installed which was a game changer. So was the remodelling of the kitchen to add an island and having the oak cabinets professionally sprayed to a blue/black colour.
Yes, we have learned how to do panelling and we have added this to a couple of walls in the house, all of which I’ve shared on my Instagram home account page.
Have you had any DIY or styling disasters?
Not really a disaster but definitely a costly mistake.
The solid oak flooring was in a bad state when we moved in so we had them sanded and oiled, very soon they became quite orange and worn and not at all the look we wanted.
So last summer we had the company back to re-sand all the floors once again, but this time we had them whitewashed and varnished, a modern look but still have the beauty of real wood floors.
What is your top home styling tip?
I have a few -
Firstly Don’t rush! It’s best to live in the space first and then you know how each room will be used.
Plan and do your research, don’t leave it to the last minute as most things now are unavailable or out of stock so you might end up compromising on your desired finished look.
Remember what you love. It’s very easy to be influenced by trends on Instagram or Pinterest and before you know it you’re a few hours in and confused, believe me I’ve done it many times.
And lastly, classic key pieces never go out of style.
Is there anything in your home that you couldn’t live without?
We are extremely lucky to have an en-suite bathroom in all the lived in bedrooms. Apart from its location, this is what sold us the house in the first place.
They say that every home tells visitors a story about who lives there. What do you think your home says about you?
Welcome, relax and enjoy.
The Home Edit
Lived-in or showhome?
I’d like to say showhome, in reality lived in
If you could only paint your walls one colour, which one would it be?
Definitely white or very light
What is your pet hate when it comes to your own or other’s homes?
Removal of period features
Favourite front door colour?
Carpet or Floorboards?
Kitchen table dining or formal dining room?
Depends on the occasion
High gloss or rustic?
Rustic if there was no other choice
Wallpaper or Brick Walls?
If you enjoyed being at home with Lily, 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 Lily's instagram account here. It's well worth a look!