At Home With Louise @thewhouse_
This week I'm at home with Louise, the home interior enthusiast and womenswear fashion designer behind the popular instagram account @thewhouse_ where she shares beautiful images of her lovely 100-year-old terraced cottage in Hertfordshire. Read on to learn more about Louise, her home, lifestyle, and top tips for home styling.
Tell us about you
Hello, I am Louise! A Womenswear Fashion Designer, showjumper, newlywed and new mum to Winnie (Guinevere). My husband is a Microsoft Solutions Architect and to add to our family we have a Horse (Duchess) and 2 cats (Cheddar & Waffles).
We live in a small town in Hertfordshire where we both grew up and live on one of the first original roads of the area.
Tell us about your home
We live in a 3 bed, 100-year-old terraced cottage. It is one of the first houses built when the town was designed. It was slightly renovated before we bought it but still had original features – fireplaces, terracotta tiles, original sash windows.
We recently added a single storey extension to the rear to open up the kitchen and to make more of a living space.
How would you describe your home?
My home style is traditional mixed with slight contemporary notes. I enjoy neutral tones, mixing layers of textures and adding natural wood elements.
Which is your favourite room in the house?
My favourite room is our living room, it feels so cosy to me and I just love how it turned out when we decorated. We added some character by adding panelling and keeping the original Georgian bar exterior doors which now open into the new kitchen/living extension space.
I love sitting in there of an evening with Peter with all the candles lit.
How does your home reflect any passions or interests?
I think my home reflects my interest in interior and most things creative. I like changing around the décor and styling and just adding in new bits constantly. Being a Fashion designer, I love fabrics and print and adding in new textures, I think certain fabrications can add such warmth to a home.
What are your favourite items in the home?
I love our artworks. We have a large painting in our living room which I found randomly one day and I adored it, I kept going back to see it and eventually gave in and it was the best decision. I love it.
Then when we were building the new extension, I knew I wanted some more artwork in a similar style, and I remember seeing an artist on my feed one day and I thought her work was so stunning and exactly the style I was after.
Danielle Alexandra Art painted 2 artworks for me, and they were perfect!
When you moved into your house was it the finished article or was it a project?
It was to a standard ‘magnolia’ finish which meant we could move in and not have to change anything urgently as it was liveable.
I had just had spinal surgery the week before we moved in after having an accident on my horse, so it was ideal not having to do anything for a couple months
What renovation and decorating have you done?
I have to admit, I’m the most impatient person, so when I have an idea in my head, I would like it done in a flash and I’m not as quick as a professional!! Most of the house (as in 98%) has been a professional.
I did add panelling in our master bedroom, and I was super impressed with myself but then decided a few months later to have the whole house panelled and I then changed the style of panelling in the master also.
Saying that, I’m really good at putting things up! Like mirrors, pictures, curtain poles… etc.
Have you had any DIY or styling disasters?
I haven’t had any disasters – as yet!
But I do change my mind quickly. For example…
We have recently had 2 patios in the garden finished and I am now questioning
- the slab choice – I think I went for practicality and ease of cleanliness over design and aesthetic and now I’m thinking I should have just gone with my gut (which is something I’m trying to do more in every aspect of decision making).
- The larger patio at the end of the garden I really wanted to be shaped and to have a cottage feel as it will be our dining space and eventually outdoor kitchen area too, but again the builders talked me into an easier design and now I full on regret it and it makes me a little sad to see huge rectangle slab at the end of the garden.
What is your top home styling tip?
Keep true to your own design and aesthetic. It can take time to realise your own taste and what works for you, and it is so easy to get drawn into new trends to then realise a few months later you don’t like it anymore, so I think it is important to just take your time and also to live in a space for a while to figure out what you want and need.
Is there anything in your home that you couldn’t live without?
Peter & Winnie.
Closely followed by the stair basket – I hate clutter on the stairs.
Also, we have wonderful neighbours – our street is beautiful and is the same street Peter grew up on, so we have his parents a few doors down which I love.
They say that every home tells visitors a story about who lives there. What do you think your home says about you?
We have so many people that tell us our home is so ‘grown-up’ or ‘sophisticated’ which is lovely to hear.
I think our home is warm and welcoming and shows a love for interiors, entertaining, animals and just overall clean and neutral.
The Home Edit
Lved-in or showhome?
Somewhere in the middle – Lived in showhome
If you could only paint your walls one colour, which one would it be?
Skimming Stone by Farrow & Ball
What is your pet hate when it comes to your own or other’s homes?
Wires & dirt
Favourite front door colour?
Black (for now, if you ask me again next week it’ll probably be pink)
Carpet or Floorboards?
Kitchen table dining or formal dining room?
High gloss or rustic?
Wallpaper or Brick Walls?
If you enjoyed being at home with Louise, 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 Louise's instagram account here. It's well worth a look