INTERIOR SPOTLIGHT: NICOLA’S COLOURFULLY DARK VICTORIAN HOME

dark living room with green velvet sofa

Even though I’ve had an Instagram account for a while now, it’s actually only been the last month or two that I’ve started using it on a regular basis, and to be honest, I wish I’d started sooner! I could waffle on for a while about community and like-minded people, about making contacts for your business, and all the inspirational images you can find. But for the purposes of this post, I’ll stick to the pertinent point that, during my Instagram travels I have discovered loads of amazing decorators out there, with really beautiful homes that are completely swoonworthy, and I’m loving every minute of it! Every evening, I drool all over their lovely images and I’m forever grateful that they can’t actually see me, or they might feel a bit disturbed.

Each day I discover a new person to follow, with a new beautiful home to moon over, but early doors I discovered the darkly colourful and eclectic home of a lovely lady called Nicola, and she has remained one of my firm favourites ever since. I’m completely blown away by her sense of style, her use of colour and pattern, and how she has created a home that looks not only cosy and homely, but edgy and vibrant. It’s the sort of home I’d want to live in, and my stalker-alert admiration for her completely went through the roof when I discovered that she works full-time and has created this stunning home around her job and young family. She’s like a super woman, and luckily this super woman kindly agreed to let me show you her home, and I know you’re going to love it.

Let’s start with Nicola’s favourite room in the house, her bedroom (which is my favourite too, but I love the whole house, so it’s my favourite by only the teensiest bit), and then I’ll tell you a little bit more about the lovely lady herself.

cole and son woods wallpaper bedroom crochet bedspread

I love the clever use of Cole and Son’s monochromatic wallpaper against her dark, nearly black walls. Add in the amazing banana leaf green curtains, colourful crochet blankets, the splashes of pink and yellow dotted around the room, and the eclectic pieces of furniture and art, and I’m a goner! And I haven’t even gotten onto her fabulous talent for creating interesting wall displays and vignettes using her eye for vintage finds and quirky elements, like her cactus vase, poodle lamp and moose heads on the wall. It all pulls together to make a bedroom that you would never want to leave, it’s so inviting, cosy, homely and alive with Nicola’s character.

dark bedroom vintage prints crochet bedspread

 

dark bedroom with tropical curtains

 

dark bedroom with abigail aherne lamp

 

eclectic bedroom with cole and son wallpaper

eclectic dark bedroom

dark eclectic bedroom with tropical curtains

bedroom gallery wall on wallpaper

As you can see from her utterly, perfectly, gorgeous bedroom, this woman knows how to put an interior scheme together, and I was gobsmacked when I discovered that she isn’t an interior designer. In fact, her day-to-day job isn’t a creative one whatsoever (WHAAAT?!), she’s a (very clever) scientist who now spends her days working as an investment director, after spending her earlier years working in cancer research. I know she’s clever because during my stalking, I’ve discovered that she went to Oxford and has a PhD as well. Living proof that people can be both right brain and left brain thinkers. She loves her job as she gets to help people launch their own businesses, but she finds that the harder she works, the more drawn she is to the balance of creativity, and says decorating her home and having somewhere lovely to relax in keeps her sane!

After her bedroom, her next favourite room is her living room, and you’re about to see why.

dark living room with green velvet sofa

Look at that luxuriously green velvet sofa (Nicola’s favourite purchase of all time) against the nearly-black walls! And once again, we see amazing wall displays and vignettes of vintage and high street finds, the sign of a savvy shopper with a good eye. What I love about this room is she warms it all up with wonderful use of colour and pattern, timber effect wallpaper on the fireplace breast, graphic patterned curtains, a beautiful Berber rug, a fluffy sheepskin draped on the chair, warm vintage furniture and that amazing red floor cushion is to die for. It’s the layer over layer of textures she’s used that has created another cosy, intimate space that oozes personality.

And what you’ll see further on, are that the colours flow seamlessly into her hallway. In fact, you will see the same colour palette (red, yellow and green against a backdrop of black and dark blue) repeated throughout the house in various permutations, which cleverly gives flow and a feeling of cohesiveness, despite each room being completely individual and unique. People with a strong sense of their own style often do this without even thinking about it, because they don’t worry about trends, they just go for what they like.

dark living room moroccan rug ethnic red floor cushion

dark living room wallpaper

dark eclectic living room

ethnic red floor cushion

Now, here is where you’ll start to see the flow between each room. Look how the colours are taken through into the hallway. Completely different rooms, with fabulous yellow Neisha Crosland wallpaper used as a backdrop for her hallway, but the red ethnic rug echoes the floor cushion of the living room, the design on the wallpaper echoes the pattern on her living room curtains….it’s these sorts of details that get my motor completely revved up!

And her hallway, stairs and landing have been given the same amount of love that all her other rooms have been given, which I think is lovely. No treating it like just a thoroughfare, this is a room in itself and should be treated accordingly. What a welcome you’d get if you visited Nicola’s house, entering into that scrumptiousness…your eyes would be darting all over the place, and most probably would linger on her stunning shell chandelier for an obscenely rude amount of time, until she did a polite cough!

green velvet sofa

hallway with neisha crosland wallpaper

colourful vignette

colourful hallway neisha crosland wallpaper

creative industrial display

Her house is a 6 bedroom, 2 bathroom Victorian villa which she shares with her husband and two young boys, and it sounds like she fell in love with it at first sight. She told me that when she first viewed her home, she drove into their village, around a beautiful park, and was suddenly hit by the most beautiful row of Victorian properties. As soon as she entered the house, she was sold! Despite it’s decor, it had a lovely feel and she knew she could make it into her perfect home.

And that’s what she’s done over the last 12 years. Two stints of major work (a kitchen knock-through and a third floor remodel) and a lot of hard work later, and Nicola’s created the most gorgeous family home, and would you believe me if I told you that this woman (remember! I called her a super woman) has done all the decorating herself?!! Not only all her own painting, but wallpapering and curtain making too! I just don’t think I have enough exclamation marks this woman. Can you imagine being that talented? PhD-full-time-working-mum-to-two-boys-and-still-finds-time-to-decorate-entire-house sort of talented? Do you see why I have such a decorator-crush on her? I know you do, so join me in my crushing, and let’s check her kitchen-diner out.

dark blue dining area

I love the warm wood of the kitchen against the dark blue of the dining area, with some super cool tile effect wallpaper and some fabulous vintage kitsch paintings and mirror on the wall. And if you scroll down, you’ll see the loveliest yellow sofa where the family can hang out and watch tv and all be together when someone’s doing the cooking.

20. kitchen

She has even made the children’s artwork look super cool. Normally this sort of thing can look a bit messy or out of place, but here, it just looks amazing. It sits perfectly between all her other stunning vignettes, and gives her family home personality. I absolutely adore this room, and if I visited and she managed to drag me away from her hallway shell chandelier and Neisha Crosland wallpaper and take me into here for a cuppa, she’d be forced to do more polite coughing as yet again, my eyes would be doing somersaults trying to take it all in and mid-air they’d get stuck on this particular shell chandelier, and she’d think I’d gone into some sort of coma or something.

dark decor

22. tv area kitchen

Nicola describes her decor style as eclectic, as she loves to mix the old with the new, and loves nothing more than scouting car boot sales and antique shops for bargains that she can either immediately pop into her lovely home, or spend some time renovating. Over the years her style has evolved and although she reads all the interior magazines like the rest of us, she now finds herself ignoring trends and just goes for what she likes, which is one of the reasons I’m drawn to her style. It’s confident and unique and unlike any one else’s, and it’s that artistic expression of personality within a home that I am such an admirer of. As someone who can’t even describe my own decorating style, I’m going to probably struggle to describe Nicola’s, but I think it’s eclectic maximalism, colourful dark boho, cosy nostalgic homeyness with a strong shot of quirk, humour and whimsy, and a dash of bold modernity!! But however you describe it, it’s obviously amazeballs!

23. study

 

24. alfie's bedroom

25. alfie's bed and gallery

26. alfie's storage

27. jack's bedroom

28. jack's bedroom wallpaper

29. jack's storage

Even the kids’ rooms are ace, am I right?! How does a person make kids toys and paraphenalia look cool???! As I said, super woman!!! I hope you’ve enjoyed the tour of Nicola’s colourfully eclectic home, and if you would like to see more, follow her on Instagram @nicolabroughton38, you’d be mental not to! I think you can probably tell that I’m completely in love with her decor style, and if you are too, and you fancy leaving a lovely comment about this woman’s beautiful interior, please do so, and I’ll pass all your obviously fabulous compliments on to her. What do you like the most? Do you love her green sofa as much as I do? How insanely stunning is her entire house?? And stay tuned for more house tours of people I find inspirational. TTFN xx

Start the conversation