At Home With
This week we are at home with Melanie Lloyd the lady behind the hugely popular Instagram account my_grey_place
We took this opportunity to ask a few questions and learn a few tips and secrets.....
Tell us a bit about you
I'm married with two grown up children. We moved into our home 19 years ago, at the time it was a new build. I live in a Cheshire town where I also work full time. Prior to moving here we'd done two full home renovations, starting with a terrace and then a three-bed semi-detached. This home appealed to us as it had four good sized bedrooms and in a nice location. The garden is also south facing which is a must!
Tell us about your home
It was built in 2001. It’s a 4-bed detached on a small development. I’d always lived in very old properties (mainly Victorian) prior to this one. My ideal property would be an Edwardian period property that has been completely renovated. Maybe one day! I definitely wouldn’t want to live in it while it was getting done though (been there and done that!)
How would you describe your home?
I'd describe it maybe as scandi / modern boho. Compared to a lot of Instagram homes I'd say it was minimalistic. But my family would probably disagree as I do have a lot of 'stuff'! I do agree with the phrase 'Less is more' though and too much clutter drives me mad.
Which is your favourite room in the house?
Difficult question as this changes! Currently my living room as I've recently had a new sofa and rug from a campaign with Next Official and I love them.
How does your home reflect your passions and interests?
My passion and interests are home decor, DIY, and styling. So, my home is basically my hobby ha.
Also, I've always upcycled furniture and love that I've created completely unique pieces of furniture for my home that nobody else has got. And it saves me a fortune!
What are your favourite items in the home?
I bought a wicker cox & cox chair two years ago and it's still my favourite item. When I posted a photograph of it, I was lucky enough to win their monthly competition for best photo and the prize was a voucher. With this I bought my other favourite item, a scandi style bench. I love wicker, rattan, jute...just love it.
When you moved into your house was it the finished article or was it a project?
It was brand new (19 years ago) so a blank canvas.
Have you done any renovation?
As I said we've renovated two homes before moving into the current home. In this home we've not done much major work really. We've converted the garage to a room. Moved a door in the living room so that it's a better layout. Done lots in the garden and a new driveway. As for decorating I'm a serial decorator so every room probably at least five times. I'm always changing things about.
During the renovations we developed some new skills. Mr Grey Place is the heavy DIY'er (not that he's always that keen)! I'm the decorator. I've can panel a wall, oh and I tiled the fireplace.
Have you had any DIY or styling disasters?
In a previous home Mr Grey Place was fixing bedroom floorboards and put a nail through a water pipe. It flooded into the floor and the ceiling below collapsed!
As for styling, when I was choosing the kitchen tiles and utility room floor tiles finally decided on what I thought were the ones. But when they were delivered, I knew I'd made a mistake. I had to pay for freight to get them returned to the warehouse at the other end of the country (of course). I then decided on the ones I've got now so was worth it in the end!
What is your top home styling tip?
Ooh I've got lots!
Don't think that you must spend a fortune to get the wow factor - use accessories such as cushions or wall art to bring character and drama to a space. Up-cycle second hard furniture, or why not paint furniture that you've already got. My favourite (and most popular) furniture cost next to nothing! Spray paint old ornaments. I've got lots of examples on my highlights on my Instagram page, Be creative!
The Home Edit
If you could only paint your walls one colour, which one would it be?
White. Love a fresh white wall! I'd add contrast with wall art and accessories.
What is your pet hate when it comes to your own or other’s homes?
I've never liked my hallway as it's tiny. I'd much prefer a long hallway; however, I've made the most of it and recently revamped it and it's growing on me!
Favourite front door colour?
Mine's been white, grey and is currently blush pink. Erm, can’t go wrong with black? (maybe next time).
Carpet or Floorboards?
Floorboards. I haven't got any carpet in my house.
Kitchen table dining or formal dining room? (Or both).
Both! Well it's a kitchen peninsula with stools.
High gloss or rustic?
Between the two. I don't like too much of either. All about the balance.
Wallpaper or Brick Walls?
Brick walls. Not that I've got any, but I haven't got any wallpaper either! (Nothing against wallpaper, I've usually got some somewhere).