Home Improvement

In NI Homes & Lifestyle, Real Homes by BayviewAdmin

Home Improvement


The home: A chalet bungalow in Ballymena
Who lives here? Anna, Colin and their two children

When Anna and Colin first viewed their house five years ago it was very run down and in dire need of some TLC.
That said they loved that it was near to both their families and they could see the potential it held.
“We actually spotted the house one day when we were out walking the dog,” explained Anna. “We’d just finished university and weren’t really planning to buy straight away but something drew us to it. It was really on a whim that we made an offer and then the next day it was accepted. I think our families thought we were crazy but it was obviously meant to be.”
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Fast forward a few years and the property is now remarkably different. Green wallpaper has been replaced with a neutral backdrop, the ceilings have all been redone and the kitchen which once boasted back worktops is now a stunning shaker style handpainted in warm tones.
Although a huge amount of work has been done Anna is quick to point out it’s far from finished.
“We’re still working our way through our to-do list. We put all our savings into buying the house so we had to do most of the work ourselves as a temporary fix. It’s only now we’re in a position to be able to start going round it again and doing it properly.

“Furniture wise the home is a mix of antique pieces, upcycled furniture, local finds and Ikea. Anna loves the chic simplicity of Scandi style but is also drawn to more traditional furniture pieces.”

“We’ve learnt from the house though and this time around we know what we want.”
When little Bella and Anna were born the way the couple used the house changed and the home had to adjust to family life.
Anna explained: “The house used to seem so big but since the children came along storage is a big priority and we’re trying to make small spaces work for us. We want it to be a family home without being cluttered.”
Furniture wise the home is a mix of antique pieces, upcycled furniture, local finds and Ikea. Anna loves the chic simplicity of Scandi style but is also drawn to more traditional furniture pieces. Mixing these two styles together has created a unique look that is calm and welcoming.
“A few years ago we had the whole house painted white, I remember at the time the painters thought I was mad but I wanted to turn it into a blank canvas onto which we could then add colour. I love that it feels very serene – which is perfect with the madness of the kids! It feels like my sanctuary.
“We’ve invested in some quality furniture and inherited a few 1960’s pieces which I’d originally intended to paint but I love their character and how it looks against the white walls.”
“A few years ago we had the whole house painted white, I remember at the time the painters thought I was mad but I wanted to turn it into a blank canvas onto which we could then add colour. I love that it feels very serene – which is perfect with the madness of the kids! It feels like my sanctuary.”

Collings & HealThe beautiful kitchen is very much the hub of this home and is Anna’s favourite room in the house.
“The kitchen was always the heart of my family home so I suppose I wanted to recreate that in our house.
“We always have the music on in there and the girls are always dancing about in the mornings. We’ve a massive table that can fit 14 and we love having people round.”
The front door to the house is a beautiful pale aqua shade and Anna loved it so much she decided to have the inside of it painted the same shade.
“I thought we should be able to enjoy it as well and I love how it adds a focus to the hall. We’re so drawn to white and greys that we have to make an effort to add in colour.”

“The house used to seem so big but since the children came along storage is a big priority and we’re trying to make small spaces work for us. We want it to be a family home without being cluttered.”

The couple recently had their garden landscaped as they wanted to turn it into a multi-functional space that would work as a play area for the girls, an area suitable for entertaining and somewhere Anna could work on her gardening skills.
“The garden is a good size but all we had before was just a patch of grass. It’s now much more reflective our style and we’re really looking forward to getting the use out of it this summer,” commented Anna.
“It’s finally starting to feel like we’ve got the house we wanted. Of course there are still things that need done and we’ll have to update as we go but this is the happiest we’ve been with our home since we moved in and we love that it feels like a real family space.”

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