Transformation: New build house to playful, minimal, family home


Neutral, minimal living combined with skillful use of colour, creating clean and playful small spaces.


Having always lived in a character home, moving into a new build house was actually a well needed, breathe of fresh air. Although high ceilings, wooden floors and character features are beautiful and so easy to style, we have had our fair share of problems. Just before we moved, the damp had become so bad in our apartment, that was built in the 1800s, that both of the children were suffering with constant chest infections. We had toyed with the idea for a while as there was always something going wrong, always something to pay out for, but when the children started getting sick we decided enough was enough!

If we didn't have the children, we would have 100% have built a tiny house! we are super fans and its definitely the lifestyle we strive for when the littles have flown the nest. Instead we opted for a small three bedroomed new build. Its a little smaller than what we have had in the past, but we want to reduce our consumption, not buy more rooms to fill with stuff and never use! Our key requirements were a separate lounge and kitchen, three bedrooms and a downstairs toilet! (necessity for potty training) We got all of that, so quite content. As a second sort of aim in life, we try to live below our means, so we always have money to enjoy on a rainy day.


Interior design and architecture has always been a hobby of mine so I was slightly reluctant to go to a new build where every room is a white rectangle, but never the less, the children's health was priority so it was something I would just have to work with.

As our moving day drew closer, I had changed my outlook slightly. I'd spent weeks trawling Pinterest for new build inspiration, but it was all quite similar styles.

I had a little vision in my head of how I wanted it to come together and had started to order a few key styling must haves, to get me started.

In a way it was kind of magical, like a blank artists canvas, we were going to be the first ever family to create memories in this house and one day, our lives would be part of its history!



The house and the layout

When planning the design of the house, we had to take into account the copious amounts of toys that the children have, more so Bowie as he is a two year old with lots of family! I guess it means we never really have to buy any! We have always had them creep out into our living space in previous properties, so to keep in with the Scandinavian inspired minimalism that I love, we created a closed off, under stairs cupboard to house general family clutter like shoes, coats and bags.

We bought deep, natural wood drawers on wheels for toy storage. They keep everything out of sight and are easy for him to get in and out himself. In the house plans for the living space, the builders had designed it open plan, with a space for a dining table and a smaller family area for a sofa and television. We decided to compromise on a dining table and keep the room as a large family space with lots of room for the children to play.

The Kitchen is small, but practical, the addition of a mango wood breakfast bar has opened up the space to create more of a social area and added a little warmth to compliment the cool, modern units.

With deciding to compromise on the dining space to create a larger living area, the kitchen needed to house somewhere to sit with a morning coffee and have a few minutes of peace and quiet to gather my thoughts for the day. A ceiling to floor window accentuates the room and captures the breathtaking afternoon and evening light that floods in and makes it one of my favourite little spots in the house.

The breakfast area also doubles up as a workspace, its bright, warm, quiet and the perfect space for people watching which always inspires me to create.



Playful spaces, designed for sleep

Precise, attention to detail has gone into the children's spaces. As Bowies room doubles up as a playroom by day and bedroom by night, it was important to me to make sure the room can be a calming, wind down space for him without distractions.

To create this, I used a warm white on the walls, natural wood and neutral toned accents that aren't too fussy. I added low lying drawers to make it accessible for small hands and easy for him to learn to tidy up again afterwards. A brown canvas teepee and beautiful, hand painted water colour prints give little pops of life and an open wardrobe brings texture and warmth to the space. When night falls, the room is lit up by fairy lights draping behind a sheer linen curtain, a natural wood, house shaped bed is fitted with whimsical textiles and playful cushions to create a cosy and quiet space for relaxation and sleep.