It’s been a while since we had a good old mooch about someone else’s home and you’re in for a treat with property renovator and interior stylist Claire Botha’s family home today. It’s definitely been a wait worthwhile, as it’s a home that’s been created through following her passion of interiors and it’s huge!! You might want to grab a cuppa and a packet of your favourite biscuits before you sit down to appreciate this amazingly renovated Edwardian home.
An Edwardian Home With A Dose Of Cool – Real Home Tour of Claire Botha
Full of character and personality Claire’s Edwardian home has been sympathetically renovated with a huge dose of cool to boot. You might even be encouraged to look at your own home differently when redesigning it. Or if you’re house hunting, the huge potential that can be achieved by seeing past unsightly outdated decor. And, if there’s anything that you take away with you from today’s home it’s that finding what works for you as a family and choosing what you love rather than what you think you should do when updating/renovating a home. Ready to take a look?
I came across Claires home on Instagram Geek Vintique and was instantly struck with her approach to not only decorating her home but styling it too!
Home renovations have been part of her whole life. From the tender age of six when her dad had literally taken the front off their family cottage through to her latest renovation that has become home to her own family. It’s no wonder Claire ended up with her very own Home Improvements and Styling agency Geek Vintique for the past seven years. Her absolute adoration of all things interior has meant that she now pretty much lives and breathes interiors.
This Edwardian three-storey home was Claire’s second house renovation and considering it had been untouched since the 1950’s and had been divided into two flats, it was to be a challenging one at that!
Claire became full-time project manager with her youngest daughter just six months old at the time. Managing every aspect of the build itself and with no budget for an interior designer, or to throw at fancy furnishings, she set about learning everything she could about interiors & home-styling and, most importantly, about developing her own personal style.
Getting the build integrity right is a vital part of any home renovation project, restoring, replacing or reproducing original features or creating focal points where there are none, but it is only half the story. With the right decor, furnishings, accessories and styling, even the blandest of modern houses can be transformed into intriguing spaces that are a joy to come home to. (Claire Botha)
There’s a predominant feature throughout Claire’s home and that happens to be her love of dark decor that has been carefully balanced with an array of textures. There’s also an eclectic mix of old and new that provides interest and character to every aspect of her home. Taking into consideration the era of the property, Claire has sympathetically restored fireplaces and added elements that are befitting of an Edwardian abode whilst retaining a modern look and feel.
An Edwardian Home With A Dose Of Cool – Real Home Tour of Claire Botha
Claire’s move over to the darker side of decorating all started with her hall when a colour consultant Niamh McGowan recommended Claire try painting her entrance hall in Little Greene’s Knightsbridge.
Claire was instantly taken with her newly painted dark grey walls and from there started to develop her own personal style.
I absolutely loved the impact of the rich dark walls against the original 1906 black & white tiled floor and couldn’t believe how the previously bland space – formerly painted Wimborne White – had become literally stunning overnight. It sort of freed me up from trying to create a particular look and to experiment more and not to take it so seriously but to enjoy it! (Claire Botha)
I started buying things that I loved rather than because they had a particular look or style and that shift was incredibly liberating. (Claire)
The beautifully styled walls and decor abound as soon as you enter Claire’s home. Unique furniture pieces together with an array of modern artwork provide a wealth of character and interest that compliment the original tiled floor that has been retained.
I wrote a post on radiators a short while ago and I’m thrilled to see that Claire has chosen wisely in terms of the radiator colour and its style. It blends in beautifully whilst being true to the Edwardian period of her home. It’s details like this that make all the difference when renovating a period property.
Kitchen Of Dreams
Next up we have the most amazing kitchen. It’s one that I’d quite happily live in and never leave. Claire’s ability to pull together traditional with contemporary pieces to add character and interest to what is more often than not a bland sea of cabinets and surfaces in a kitchen is absolutely brilliant!
The traditional Aga and cabinetry may set the tone and style of the overall look of the kitchen but by adding the ghost and tulip chairs Claire has provided this area with a wonderful modern twist.
The intermittent use of exposed brickwork and natural wood table adds wonderful textural contrast to the cabinetry as well as visual warmth which ultimately creates a cosy inviting kitchen to hang out in.
The TV has been cleverly disguised by painting the built-in units black so that it’s less than obvious.
Mixing styles up creates a unique look that provides a wealth of character and personality to our homes. Creating a more relaxed and less contrived look and feel to our homes. Claire has stopped thinking about what she should do and go with what she loves. It’s something that we should all consider with our homes. Afterall they are an extension of not only how we live but should reflect who we are.
TIP: If you’re fortunate to have a period home, consider mixing up styles from different eras like Claire has by choosing what you love rather than what you think you should use. Retaining character to a period home is important but it shouldn’t restrict your choice of decor or styling decisions. There should ultimately be a balance between the two and if you opt for pieces that are a display of you as a person you’ll not only be creating a home you love but one that is a true reflection of who lives there.
Another amazing transformation is the family room where Claire has really worked her magic especially when it comes to spatial planning of furniture and how the room was going to be used. Spatial planning in any room is essential and Claire has created an area perfect for relaxing in with her family.
If you’re wondering about the brick wall Claire has used brick slips to create this rustic relaxed feel to the family room.
I’m particularly smitten with this 1960’s Belgian reclining chair that Claire spotted lurking in the back of a thrift shop. She has had it lovingly reupholstered transforming its exterior from a filthy grey chenille to a chair with a hug with actual teddy bear fur fabric that Claire sourced from the Midlands. It took a lot of research to find a company that made and sold teddy bear fur fabric by the metre and I think you’ll agree her determination paid off! I also love the contrasting faux nubuck sides and vinyl arms. I’d quite happily sit in that chair stroking it all day if it were mine. Again, it’s a wonderful way to introduce texture and interest to your home and to take a leaf out of Claire’s book and look at the potential on offer even when it comes to furniture pieces for your home.
You’d be wrong in thinking that the bar trolley is well errr a bar trolley. It is, in fact, one of Claire’s vintage finds from Kempton and is actually a 1920’s dessert trolley. Claire painted the outer ring black but left the rather gorgeous rose gold mirrored trays alone. It just goes to show how trends come and go especially metallic choices!!
Rugs help zone the different seating areas within Claire’s family room whilst allowing her to play with pattern and colour.
It’s important to feel relaxed in your home and Claire’s family room is just that. The perfect space for her family to sit back and enjoy.
Front Living Room
If a before and after of Claire’s living room doesn’t inspire you to think and look past outdated decor, I don’t know what will. A labour of love the original fireplace was stripped of years of paint, polished and put back. It sets the tone beautifully, providing a focal point with built-in alcoves that Claire has designed either side.
You may recall my post Decorating In One Colour where I talked about painting your walls, doors and trim all one colour. Claire has implemented this way of decorating with her home. The walls, doors and trim (woodwork) allow your eye to be drawn instantly to areas that have been purposefully adorned with accessories such as art and key furniture pieces. And, in case you were wondering the colour is Railings by Farrow & Ball.
In Claire’s case, it’s almost theatrical allowing you to delight in the lead star pieces of her home. I adore this way of decorating and I’ve been trying to convince the hubs to try it in ours. And you don’t necessarily have to go dark either.
Painting out your rooms this way ensures that you visually take in a room as a whole as there are no defining areas for your eye to rest upon so you see more of the room.
Claire’s ability to match old with new also holds no boundaries with a more intimate dining setting in their front living room. Midcentury modern tulip chairs contrast beautifully with the incredibly kitsch (and orange!!) eBay find, Danish 1960s extending table. The cowhide rug adds pattern, textural contrast and anchors the dining area in this multifunctional space.
Claire has used rugs throughout her home to great effect. Darker styled spaces need more texture due to lack of shadows being formed. Using a rug is an instant way to create essential texture to prevent them from appearing flat and boring. It also helps to visually lift a darker design scheme.
Heading upstairs and straight to the master bedroom where you might want to take a moment to appreciate its transformation.
There’s a definite sense of connection between the downstairs living spaces and the master bedroom. Repeating elements such as the exposed brick wall that we saw in the kitchen and family living spaces as well as colour choices, in this case shades of grey, provides continuity. This is a great way to create a feeling of natural flow from one space to another.
Claire has painted the walls, doors and trim all in Rolling Fog by Little Greene. The only exception is the cabinets either side of the bed which are Little Greene Knightsbridge. It certainly provides a feeling of space as well as allowing the finer details stand out.
Claire’s en-suite is more of a modern affair with yes you guessed it grey being her choice of decor. What makes a difference to this space are the accessories that she has chosen from the monochrome patterned rug and artwork.
From the en-suite, we might as well check out the main family bathroom where Claire has implemented a more traditional look and feel with its freestanding tub, lighting and curtains. That said the cowhide is a rather wonderful unexpected addition to this bathroom space adding a modern twist which I adore.
I also like the fact that Farrow & Ball’s Lichen green has been used instead of grey as it provides a tranquil calming backdrop to unwind and enjoy a good old soak.
I have to say the transformation from the before and after photo’s of Claire’s youngest daughter’s bedroom has left me speechless and you might want to take a minute or two to appreciate how fabulous it is.
In case of bed envy here, do not show your little ones this amazing bed! These bunk beds were designed by Claire from a sketch on the back of an envelope believe it or not! And it all stemmed from the fact that Claire had issues with bunk bed ladders. It’s a clever design that takes the worry away from you as a parent from slips and falls. I love the storage draw in the base too which is handy for bedding.
It’s such a pretty feminine bedroom that has made good use of the space allowing the freedom to move around and play.
This bedroom was one of the first to be decorated when Claire and her family moved in and before she moved over to darker style decor choices.
The pretty Mulberry Peony wallpaper was actually purchased by Claire two years before they had even bought the house although she only had one roll!
The walls are painted in Farrow and Ball’s Wimborne white for now and I’m wondering whether Claire will be tempted to err on the dark side in the future. I’m guessing we will have to keep a close eye on Insta to see.
It may surprise you that this bedroom is in fact painted Farrow & Ball’s Studio Green. It looks a completely different colour from the dark green and comes across as being errr black. That my friends is because of the amount of natural light this room receives!
TIP: To be sure of your colour choices always test a colour out on as large a surface as possible and see how it looks throughout the day. Colour changes dramatically with the amount of natural light received as well as the type of incandescent lighting you use.
This time Claire has painted the ceiling as well as the walls, doors and trim which blurs the lines making this space feel larger than it is. You might want to check out my post on decorating your ceilings here if you’re unsure as to what to do with yours.
It may be a step too far for those of you thinking of going dark, but I’m sure you’ll agree with me it definitely makes an impact with its black I mean green walls. I love how dramatic it feels and how each carefully chosen piece shines through especially the botanical bedding and the woven wallhanging.
Now you weren’t expecting this after all the grey were you? I know I wasn’t! Although to be fair there is still some grey lurking in here. Dulux’s Teal is the star of the show and I like it. It’s such a cool room, that I wish I could go back in time and have a room just like this instead of the Perriot clowns which were the complete opposite to cool. (yes I’m showing my age here but hey I’m in my middle youth and you kind off stop worrying about these things.)
It’s important to let your kids, especially as they get older have a say in their bedroom decor. Whether it goes against your decorating philosophy or not you have to remember that it is their room and they will spend an inordinate amount of time sleeping and hiding out in there. Oh, and not forgetting it has to be cool enough for their friends to hang out in too.
You might have noticed that bedroom 3 and 4 are less personalised and that is because Claire’s eldest two daughters are post Uni and live elsewhere.
The Home Office
The spare bedroom has recently been through a transformation too. Turning it into a spacious joint home office for herself and her husband to both work and hang out in.
Claire’s home might be 110 years old but it has only seen three sets of owners in all that time. The original family had a servant who would have slept in the eaves of what has become a spacious home office.
And congratulations you’ve made it to the end of today’s most amazing Real Home Tour. Whether you made it here before eating the entire packet of biscuits is another matter. Either way, I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I have!
Have a beautiful day wherever you are and thanks for stopping by!