Homeowner Cynthia Hyams admits the thought of renovating her home was a little overwhelming at first.
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“Being totally honest, I cried and thought ‘where do we start?'” she reveals to EKBB.
She says: “The rooms hadn’t been touched for years.
“It wasn’t just about decorating and styling; I knew there were going to be a lot of unforeseen issues that would surprise us too, causing delays and extra cost along the way.”
Here’s what she was working with.
The project in a nutshell:
Who lives here? The Hyams family – Cynthia, Matthew and Henry
The property: A 1910-built terrace in Twickenham, London
Kitchen designer: Matthew Hyams
Her childhood home inspired Cynthia’s dream of creating a space that was ‘clean and minimalist’. “I wanted each room to have a focal point, whether it be a piece of furniture or a statement ornament,” she explains.
“After growing up in a house in the Seychelles, which was full of furniture and decoration, I knew I wanted a similar look in my own home,” she adds.
For the master boudoir, Cynthia and Matthew wanted their space to have warm walls and designed it so it could be easily updated as-and-when with decorative details and new bedding. A cool blue on the walls provided the perfect match to the pair of clean white windows, with Cynthia using the fittings from Plantation Shutters.
However, in Henry’s bedroom, the desired aesthetic was a little different, with a focus on colour and creativity. “I wanted white walls that could have lots of colour added to them, via books, toys and even a feature wall,” says Cynthia.
She adds: “The space also needed flooring that was practical: it needed to be tough enough to withstand stains and dropped toys, without chipping or showing marks.”
With husband Matthew being a builder, the project was a largely home-born undertaking, with the family using online sources such as Pinterest and Instagram to inspire them and add their own ‘little twists of style’ to the space.
There was no budget per se but the couple still needed to factor in the aforementioned hidden problems that come with older-build properties. “The worst room was Henry’s; the walls began to fall down when we started to strip the wallpaper,” Cynthia recalls. “That aside, we thought it would cost a few hundred pounds for the flooring, paint and shelving, and we’d be able to get it all completed in a weekend,” she says.
That was perhaps a tad optimistic – Henry’s room alone took eight weeks to finish. “It cost £2,000 because Matthew literally had to rebuild the walls,” adds Cynthia.
Her advice for anyone planning their own home makeover? “Create rooms that make your smile every time you walk into them,” she stresses.
She adds: “We’ve really made this house our home.
“The renovation journey still continues as we’re making it our ‘forever home’ – but I no longer feel like I’m living in someone else’s property.”