At Home With Sophie @oldhouseintheshires
This week we are at home with the lovely Sophie, the lady behind the beautiful and colourful home instagram account @oldhouseintheshires which featuresher stunning listed Georgian house renovation and lots and lots of colourful flowers. We love it...
Tell us a bit about you
My name is Sophie and I live in the beautiful county of Wiltshire in the U.K. I am a trained primary school teacher and until March 2020, I was working, teaching 7 year olds and children with moderate learning difficulties such as dyslexia. I am now recovering from what has been called Long Haul Covid after catching Covid in March. It’s been a long and difficult recovery but I’m getting there slowly! I am a very positive person and I know that I will find a new job which I will love as much as teaching as at the moment, I don’t think I could teach again. We live in a small market town surrounded by beautiful countryside and I feel very lucky to live here.
Tell us about your home
We bought our house in 2016 on a whim really! We were living in a new build when I kept seeing this beautiful house and couldn’t keep it out of my mind! Luckily my husband also loved it as it was definitely an ugly duckling! It was built in 1820 and is know as a Georgian house as it was built during the reign of the last King George. It is listed which means that it is protected from too much change. It needed everything doing to it but we have enjoyed the challenge so far! We were lucky to be granted planning permission for an oak frame wrap around extension to house a new kitchen and this was completed in 2019. We have additional planning to take down a lean-to side extension and replace it with a two storey extension which will house two new bathrooms. We hope to compete this in the next 3 years.
How would you describe your home?
I like a traditional country style with a colourful twist! I use quite traditional colours or wallpapers but I do love colour in cushions or bedding etc. For example, I have used a William Morris print called Strawberry Thief in my kitchen as I chose denim blue kitchen units with an oak island unit. I do try and choose vintage furniture from flea or antique fairs as I think they add a unique look to your home. I tend to only buy things I really love and then I know they’ll find a place in my home.
Which is your favourite room in the house?
I have many rooms I love and every time we finish decorating a room, I love it! I suppose my favourite room for Autumn and Winter is my sitting room as it’s so cosy! It has the original coving and a beautiful old stone fireplace with log wood burner fire. I just dressed it for Autumn with gorgeous mustard coloured cushions and a yellow throw.
How does your home reflect any passions or interests?
I love flowers and florals and try to include fresh flowers from the garden in my home as much as possible. I am a passionate gardener and grow my own cut flowers for the house as it’s cheaper! I have a floral print wallpaper in my bedroom which is bright and bold and makes me smile every time I wake up in the morning!
What are your favourite items in the home?
We have some gorgeous antique mirrors which the original smoked glass which I adore. I also love an antique desk we have that we found from a flea fair. It almost didn’t fit in the car and we had to take the legs off and squish it in! I wasn’t going to leave it there so we found a way! My garden is really important to me as I’ve added every plant and grown many from seed or cuttings.
When you moved into your house was it the finished article or was it a project?
It was very much a project but we were ready....or so we thought! I don’t think in hindsight we realised how much needed doing but as they say, ignorance is bliss! Or it was at the time!
Have you done any renovation?
It’s more what haven’t we done! We have decorated every room, had Georgian sash windows repaired, had the roof done, had a large kitchen extension, a new boiler, redone the entire garden front and back and replastered walls. We are in the process of refurbishing an old fireplace but we had to call in a specialist to do that. We have learnt so much by doing as much of the work as we could ourselves. However, we did have builders in to do the oak frame kitchen extension and tradesmen to do jobs we couldn’t.
Have you had any DIY or styling disasters?
Not really although I would tell people to always double the time and budget on building projects! That is so true! Oh and accept that you’ll be living with mud and dust for months to come which is not fun with teenagers and pets! Always have one room where you can go to too retreat from builders and chaos.
What is your top home styling tip?
Only buy what you really love. Then you know that all the things in your home are a real reflection of you. Don’t follow trends as they will come and go although if in doubt, buy new cushions and throws as they update a room quickly and cheaply.
Is there anything in your home that you couldn’t live without?
Apart from my family and pets, there is nothing in my home I couldn’t live without. I think during 2020 I’ve learnt that health comes before anything else. At a push I would say I couldn’t live without my garden but then I could always create a new garden.
They say that a every home tells visitors a story about who lives there. What do you think your home says about you?
I would like to think my home is homely; cosy and welcoming. Nothing is too precious so we can truly relax here. It’s a ‘friendly’ house and I hope that is a reflection of my warm and friendly family.
The Home Edit
Lived-in look or showhome?
Can I have both? I suppose I like a tidy house where people live happily?
If you could only paint your walls one colour, which one would it be?
Blue. My ‘red’ thread (Ie what ties everything together in this house) are shades of blue.
What is your pet hate when it comes to your own or other’s homes?
An Unclean house especially a sofa covered in dog/cat hair. I have pets and they are part of my family but I hoover and try to not allow my house to smell of dogs.
Favourite front door colour
Carpet or Floorboards
Carpet upstairs, floorboards downstairs.
Kitchen table dining or formal dining room?
High gloss or rustic?
Wallpaper or Brick Walls?
Wallpaper. Brick walls means dust!
If you enjoyed being at home with Sophie, 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" interviews here