Today we are sharing a great 1970s home with an interior designed to fit the space beautifully. The mix of retro homewares and furniture teamed with patterned wallpaper has created a cool yet cosy space. They have added modern pieces too creating a true modern vintage home!
The home owners are Becky and Jamie Wash, who have lived here for almost 3 years. Based in Romford, Essex, Becky works as a museum curator as well as running Retro From Scratch in her spare time.
Becky describes why they chose their home: “We wanted a 1970s build home for the light airy space, large windows and to suit our furniture. We moved into our house in May 2010. It is an ex council 2 bedroom house, built in 1975. We love the mid-century modern look and despite some impressive original 1970s carpets and decorations, they were not quite to our taste so we have had to completely redecorate.”
Each room is pretty special so let’s start with the lounge.
“The sofa and chair are a modern purchase – from Furniture Village. Fire safe unlike our original sofas, they still add style and colour to the room! The wall around the window is covered in greengrocer’s turf and fabric daisies. I always wanted a bar so when we saw this one, we snapped it up as it doesn’t take up too much room. We had to remove a lot of black paint and it took a whole Easter weekend to restore it. The orange ball stools are very popular with our niece and are great extra seating for when we have friends round.”
We love the way the modern red sofa sits beside the 1970s teak- they work really well together. The bar is too cool and let’s face it, every retro home needs one!
Then there’s the hall and dining room…
“Unfortunately after we decorated the hall with Sanderson’s Dandelion Clocks wallpaper, Emmerdale and Hollyoaks have used it on their sets… honestly we chose it first! However we took the metallic blue and lime green colours and used them to add colour to our staircase and bannister. The dining table and chairs are S Form and were given to me from a house clearance.
The crates in the entrance were £5 each from a car boot sale and really add character to the hall and making storage look interesting.
We found really cute atomic style hooks in Tiger which are perfect for hanging up Bert’s (our dog) harness and lead and they match our coat rack.”
We love the way they have used the archway to create a frame into their dining space. The neutral tone of the arch makes the patterned wallpaper pop out.
And not forgetting the kitchen…
“My nan’s table sits proudly in the kitchen – and has been the theme for blue and…orange! We went for a really simple, cream glossed kitchen from Howdens because although we have no plans to move, a neutral kitchen will always add value to the house. We are gradually adding colour with our accessories, but we haven’t finished yet.”
The blue accessories really stand out against the white cupboards which then tie in with the Formica kitchen table belonging to Becky’s nan.
But that’s not all….
“In the bathroom we again we went for a simple, white tiled bathroom so it was completely neutral. The rubber ducky sits proudly in the corner and inspired our colour scheme of yellow and orange, which we have added with accessories. The cupboard under the sink provides lots of storage. We went for a cork floor inspired by my collection of 1970s DIY books.
In the toilet we have used Matthew Williamson’s wallpapers which just add glamour to any room, but in a house where everything else is fairly minimal, we left the full on colour and pattern to the toilet! I gave the toilet roll dolly a little makeover! The blue sparkle mirror tiles just add more glamour to this tiny room. I love the fact Andrex now do toilet roll that matches the patterns and colours in the wallpaper!”
One of our favourite rooms is the bedroom:
“This is the ‘Wedgewood’ room. The blue is like an extension of the sky (or my sky on a grey day). It is a joy to wake up in this room. The 1920s birds eye maple furniture was purchased from ebay. Some people thought we were crazy for buying old wardrobes but these will outlive any flat pack furniture. I also have a little walk in wardrobe. The mirror over the bed was a bargain – £4 from the car boot. Biggest splurge – white carpet. But it was worth it!”
The colour is beautiful especially against the light wood of the 1930s furniture. They have created a calm space, perfect to sleep in.
Where do you work from?
“The spare room is where I make things. Mostly my notebooks but it’s my creative room. The wallpaper is by Hemmingway, and we really wanted to go for a 1930s theme in this room. We added a picture rail which is so useful and lined one wall with Ikea shelving to store all my books. There is so much storage in this room.. there are two trunks, 4 filing cabinets, 5 suitcases and all are filled to the brim! The sofa bed from Gumtree – originally Ikea – just adds a little vintage tweed and gives friends the opportunity to stay over.”
What is your favourite room and favourite item and why?
“Probably the living room. It’s where we spend most of our time. I love the huge window. My favourite item would be my nan’s formica kitchen table. It holds lots of special memories.”
What are your design influences?
“We normally design each room around one object and then work outwards. We don’t particularly have a favourite designer, we know what we like.”
Where do you shop?
“Most of our furniture has been given to us but we do love a boot sale, charity shops, and Battlesbridge Antiques Centre and you can’t not buy a few small bits from Ikea!”
What inspires you?
“My nan’s house! It brings back happy memories!”
“How long has it taken to decorate?
“It took 2 years to get the majority of work done, then we waited to save up for the kitchen which we had done last year”
Is there anything you want to do next/change?
“Our next step is to take our style into the garden. We’ve made a start but there’s plenty more to do!”
We’re sure you will agree this is a great space, mixing new with old to create personality and style. Thank you for sharing your home with all of us!
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