Take a look at this paint expert's colourful family home
Bold shades and striking patterns have given this family's four-bed new-build, near Altrincham in Cheshire, plenty of charm and character.
Ruth Mottershead and her husband James found their house – part of a small development built in 2017 on the site of a former farmhouse – via a family friend. After looking at more than 20 properties, the couple knew this was a fantastic opportunity, being something they could move into straight away and decorate to their taste. Manchester is nearby and there are fantastic views of farmland.
Having lived in the city centre for several years, the couple hankered after a space where they could relax. ‘This house is a haven for us,’ says Ruth. ‘It’s always peaceful and feels restorative; a great place to escape from our busy work lives.’
Made from Cheshire brick with solid stone windowsills, the building was immediately a hit with Ruth. She also loves its garden and private location offering stunning views of the surrounding countryside. As the couple bought the house off-plan, they were able to make a few design changes, such as the tiles and flooring, giving them the opportunity to put their stamp on it early on.
'We both work in colour and pattern,' explains Ruth, 'and knew we wanted to introduce both into the space by using a clever mix of wallpaper and paint.' They were keen to create a contemporary yet comfortable place; a home that would work for them both.
'We also made sure to incorporate our many treasured objects and photographs collected over the years,' adds Ruth. The result is a modern home oozing with character.
One of the main challenges for the couple was to create more storage space. 'There's no garage and just a tiny loft, so we had to look for alternative options,' says Ruth. They solved the problem by fitting bespoke cupboards under the stairs and floor-to-ceiling Sharps wardrobes in the bedrooms. For their daughter's room, they chose freestanding units from The White Company.
The other critical requirement was to add character to this new-build, and the couple have done this mainly by incorporating colour and pattern. In the sitting room, for example, Ruth made a feature of the space by painting the wall up to picture rail height in a bold but muted green, with a soft pink above and up to the ceiling.
Over time, the house has evolved and it continues to do so, especially since the birth of Ivy. Recently, an area has been adapted for home working – Ruth has created a space in her bedroom for a desk and the kitchen table doubles up as a work zone where she can spread out her colour charts and paperwork. 'Everything is multipurpose,' she says.
As the kitchen is an L-shape and there were numerous things to take into consideration, it created a design challenge. 'We wanted to include a dining area plus a chill-out zone,' explains Ruth. 'It was particularly important to us to have a space to sit down and eat
as we love to have dinner together in the evenings,' she adds.
Upstairs, all the rooms have beautiful views of the surrounding countryside and Ruth was keen to keep this as the focus. In the main bedroom, they started with soft blue on the ceiling and walls, then introduced darker colours and added pattern to create a warm and comfortable scheme. 'I really enjoyed putting this room together,' says Ruth. 'We chose our favourite wallpaper design, which we'd worked on together, so this has a special place in our hearts.'
However, it's the nursery that is the couple’s favourite room in the house. 'We put so much love into this space,' explains Ruth. Everything, from the wallpaper to the cot was carefully chosen and considered.
The whole process has been a steep learning curve for the couple. Ruth is delighted to have tried wallpapering for the first time – her successful first attempt hangs proudly in the guest bedroom. 'It's been great using the products we sell,' says Ruth. 'We chose safe plain fabrics due to our more adventurous wallpaper choices. One of the biggest challenges was painting the ceilings, which took a long time.
'We love our home as it makes us feel calm and relaxed, and it's lovely to be in the countryside but near Manchester at the same time,' says Ruth. It really is the best of both worlds.
Andrew Martin flock wallpaperBrent Darby/ House Beautiful
Find Ruth on Instagram @_paintgirl.
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