Houzz Tour: A Calm, Elegant Home Created on a Budget
Updating a tired house while keeping costs down led to some creative decisions in this designer’s Manchester home
Who lives here? Interior designer Alice Hawkins, her boyfriend, and their cockapoo puppy, Bertie
Location Altrincham, Greater Manchester
Property A 1930s semi-detached house
Size Three bedrooms and one bathroom
Designer Alice Hawkins of Alterior Living
Photos by Alice Hawkins
The key look for the couple’s new interior is ‘timeless’. “I love neutral but warm shades and different textures,” Alice says, “so although there are some colours, such as the green in the bathroom, the rest of the house is all quite muted.”
Black pendant light, Dar Lighting.
“We originally lived in London and wanted a big space so all our friends could come up and stay,” Alice says.
The open shelves add interest. “I didn’t want to carry the blue units all the way across, because that might have been a bit imposing,” she says. “I have plenty of storage – there’s a lot in the island, too – so I didn’t need more. The shelves mean I can bring in some plants and different textures.”
Kitchen, DIY Kitchens. Brass handles, eBay.
The brass handles, traditional light fittings, Belfast sink and wooden shelves soften the modern scheme. “I wanted a more homely feel; it can be a bit cold when it’s super-contemporary,” Alice explains.
If you’d like expert help with your renovation, read reviews of pros in your area in the Houzz Professionals Directory.
The walls are painted in an off-white. “It has a warmth to it, but also a slight grey that works really well with the quartz worktops and dark units,” Alice says.
The flooring is laminate. “It’s great for Bertie,” she says.
Wood slats, B&Q; painted in Railings, Farrow & Ball. Walls painted in Romney Wool, Heritage range at Dulux. Laminate flooring, Pergo.
For this reason, she didn’t put a pendant light over the dining table and instead went for a floorstanding lamp.
A small, L-shaped sofa allows people to gather around the fire. “It’s nice to have an L, so that when you sit in the corner, you can look at the fire, and people chatting are looking at each other; it’s more sociable,” she says.
The sofa converts into a bed when guests are staying over.
Walnut shelf, La Redoute.
Besta unit, Ikea; painted in Treron, Farrow & Ball.
Carpet has been laid in here. “What I really wanted was that the house had good original floorboards, but it just didn’t,” Alice says.
Wall light, Maisons du Monde. Chair, Ikea. Walls painted in Skimming Stone, Farrow & Ball.
Alice fitted the panelling herself. “Another lockdown project,” she says. There are built-in wardrobes in the alcoves opposite the bed painted in the same colour as the walls.
Walls painted in Chiltern White, Heritage range at Dulux. Headboard, Made. Bedside tables, Rockett St George. Wall lights, H&M Home.
“This spot had a chest of drawers in it, but it had ended up as a bit of a dumping ground, so I decided to use it as a little design corner,” she continues. “The desk is great for the space, because it’s wall-mounted, so visually not too heavy.”
All the bedrooms have the same, 100% wool carpet in flecks of beige and grey. “I always suggest not going for a solid colour in a tight pile, so it doesn’t mark or show dirt. This still looks new,” she says.
Wardrobe painted in Railings; walls painted in Skimming Stone, both Farrow & Ball.
Alice knocked down the wall between the two rooms and planned the space to accommodate a separate shower (just seen here on the left). “We managed to squeeze it in by having a corner design – which we got in a closing down sale – fitted where the old loo used to be,” she says.
“The boiler was originally in here, taking up way too much space, so we had that moved down into the kitchen,” she adds.
Walls painted in Green Smoke, Farrow & Ball.
The floor tiles add a little pattern. “I didn’t want it to be really busy in here, but I thought having a bit of interest on the floor and keeping everything else simple really worked,” Alice says.
Bath, eBay. Floor tiles; wall tiles, all Mandarin Stone.
The couple are really happy with the house, but the bathroom remains Alice’s favourite space. “It was one of the first rooms we finished and I’m still not fed up with it,” she says. “Even being an interior designer, where you’re always wanting to change things, I just love it the way it is.”
Vanity unit, Ikea; painted in Studio Green, Farrow & Ball. Wall lights, Made.
What do you like about Alice’s design and her ideas? Share your thoughts in the Comments.