Yorkshire Interiors - a stylish, eclectic family home in Batley
PUBLISHED: 00:00 04 October 2013
A couple combined influences from around the world to create a stylish, eclectic family home. Heather Dixon finds out more
Laila and Carl Charlesworth’s home looked like a Victorian pub when they bought it – full of dark green walls and dated paint effects. Ten years and many changes later, the house is almost unrecognisable. ‘We have gone through it methodically, room by room, to give it a completely new look,’ says Laila. The result is a house of vivid contrasts. The south facing kitchen, dining room and bedrooms are light and sunny while the north facing rooms – including the sitting room – feature lots of dark wood, moody metallic wallpapers and layers of richly coloured soft furnishings. ‘Each room has an individual style and atmosphere,’ says Laila. ‘There is a huge mix of influences, from Asian to Scandinavian with a bit of colonial thrown in, but they all work together.’
Carl and Laila almost overlooked the Victorian house in Batley, West Yorkshire when they were looking to move into a larger property. ‘We had viewed dozens of places and were beginning to think we would never find the right house,’ says Laila. ‘When we pulled up outside this one I almost couldn’t be bothered to look round, but the large, light hallway sold it to me straight away.
‘We saw beyond the dated décor. It was a beautiful house with loads of original features, lots of space and a lovely light kitchen. I couldn’t wait to get started.’
But it was to be a long project. Carl and Laila, who also renovated their last home, have spent 10 years working on the house from the ground floor upwards, doing most of the work themselves during evenings and weekends.
‘If you try to do every room at once it’s bedlam and you don’t actually seem to finish anything,’ says Laila. ‘I prefer to finish one room before moving onto the next. That way you always have somewhere comfortable to escape to and you can shut the door on the mess.’
The sitting room was first. Carl and Laila took out the old fireplace and sold it, laid a reclaimed wooden floor and then employed a decorator to hang the wallpaper horizontally. The result was so successful that it set the standard for the rest of the house and inspired the look of other rooms. ‘I can usually visualise the finished room and love the whole process of getting there,’ says Laila, who was even laying and dyeing the main bedroom floor when she was half way through her pregnancy. ‘I am a furniture, wallpaper and paint colour fanatic. There is so much to choose from, but the challenge was to create a great look while still being economical. I buy lots of things in the sales and will haggle over prices. Being creative is also a great money-saver.’
Laila has found many bargains on the internet – often old furniture which they have sanded and transformed with paint or wooden floor dye. She also buys roll ends of fabric to make cushions and curtains. ‘I studied fashion design at university so I will often use a fabric for its texture as much as its colour,’ she says. ‘I won’t hesitate to use upholstery fabric to make curtains if I think it will hang better.’ As well as painting, decorating and making soft furnishings, Laila likes to create her own striking table centre pieces which are so successful that she teaches others how to make them through home-based workshops.
‘I believe that the decoration and accessories make the furniture, not the other way round,’ says Laila. ‘We had to buy a lot of furniture for this house because it’s much bigger than our previous home, but we found some great bargains in the process. Now the house is finished and we love everything about it. It’s a fantastic family home. I’m just really glad that we didn’t cancel that first viewing and miss the opportunity of a lifetime.’
Design Angels 01138 160166 designangels.co.uk
W Machell & Sons Ltd 0113 2505043 wmachells.com
Bay Furnishings 0113 279 1444 bayfurnishings.co.uk
Arlington Interiors 0113 2323233 arlington-interiors.co.uk
Tansu 01924 459441 tansugifts.co.uk
Lombok 0207 736 5171 lombok.co.uk
Talaad Zedzz zedzz.co.uk
Now & Then, Selby 01757 708138
Barker and Stonehouse 0844 42042208 barkerandstonehouse.co.uk
TK Maxx 01923 473000 tkmaxx.com