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  • Writer's pictureHolly Catherall

Liverpool Living: Round-Up of Unique Liverpool Interiors (Part I)

I am delighted to bring you today's post from the comfort of my rented Liverpool home. Liverpool and the North of England in general, I feel, are often sidelined when it comes to showcasing beautiful interiors, renovations, and rented homes. This is a downright shame and I want to change the narrative, even in a small way. In the interiors world, there tends to be a bias in print & digital towards featuring beautiful homes in other parts of England, particularly in the South (*ahem* London). This post isn't about diminishing the spotlight on these homes- they are blooming lovely - the aim instead is to uplift and celebrate Scouse homes that deserve recognition, and shout from the rooftops about the glorious interiors Liverpool (& Merseyside more broadly) doth provide!


With this in mind, I got in touch with some of my favourite Liverpool interior accounts on Instagram, to pick their brains about their home interior style, advice for fellow homeowners & renters, and insight into their design choices. The responses I got from these wonderful creatives were truly above and beyond the call of duty. Each contributor deserves ample space to showcase their insightful & intriguing responses. So, with this in mind, I will be creating a multiple-part series to spread the joy of Liverpool Living!


The first post welcomes contributors Louise of @nellylovesstore, Abby of @numberonevictorianterrace, and Beth of @_bethathome.



Nelly Loves (@nellylovesstore)

First up we have Louise (Lou) of Nelly Loves (nellyloves.com).

woman sitting on sofa in pink dress
Louise and her viral print design!

Louise hails from Liverpool but has jet-setted across the world and experienced life in NYC, Paris, and London, with a few other places in between. She comments that "the places I’ve lived have definitely informed my style and the way that I decorate". Her interest in interiors blossomed when she was younger and stopped sharing a room with her sister at the age of 10. Moving back to Liverpool from London 9 years ago, Louise enthuses about her Liverpudlian neighbourhood being "very cool and bohemian with loads of cool cafes and bars - it's so friendly, close to the city centre, with access to amazing parks. Culturally it’s a real melting pot with people from all over the world."

Of my interviewees, Louise's story of how her Instagram account came to be is a little different: "my account is for my business - which is basically a reluctant and accidental print studio!" You will instantly recognise Louise's viral graphic print with the words " I love you. In French." Whilst Nelly Loves is not directly a home interiors account, Louise loves to share her home on Instagram stories. Her background is in antique dealing and she explains how she is "passionate to the point of obsession about helping people create an amazing vibe using pre-loved vintage and antiques." Head over to @nellylovesstore and marvel at Louise's plentiful brilliant styling and sourcing tips and tricks in her Instagram highlights.

How would you describe your interior style?

“Ever-evolving, fun, rule-breaking, glamorous but a lived-in, well-worn “f***ed-luxe” kind of glam, joyful, colourful, irreverent, bold minimalism. A blend of old & new, high & low and a healthy dollop of “no”! I love filling my home with pieces others either hate or don’t get!”

Where do you get your inspiration from?

JJ Martin, Jenna Lyons, Marianne Cotterill, Nikki Tibbles, Pierce & Ward, Ken Fulk, Summer Thornton, Roman & Williams are all designers/stylists/tastemakers whose work I adore.

What’s your favourite part of your home & why?

Our home is 140 years old and I re-designed it to feel more like a grand European apartment that (when we want it to) is totally open and flows from one room to the next. And when we don’t want it to be open, we can close it off with internal glass and steel doors. I love the flexibility we get from that kind of layout.


What’s your least favourite part of your home & how would you change it?

Well, we’ve only recently renovated so we’re very much still in the honeymoon phase. But given it’s our first renovation, I’m sure down the line we’ll realise there are lots of things we would do differently.

Biggest interior design “ick” or pet peeve?

“There are many “icks” for my own home, but none I’m really willing to share lol! Only because my biggest peeve of all is when people make others feel bad about their choices or taste, and tell others what’s “in” or “out”. If YOU love something and it brings YOU joy, YOU should do it! If I wake up tomorrow and want to do a feature wall, I would never let anyone convince me they are “out”.”🤣

Your top interior design/renovation tip?

Design tip - dance to the beat of your own drum, take massive risks, have fun, be prepared to experiment and get it wrong, and find a vibe that transcends trends. That way you’re never “in” or “out”. Renovation wise - live in your home a long time before you do anything major and get a real feeling for how you/your family like to live - then it will basically renovate itself. Never let anyone tell you something is the “done thing”. Don’t EVER take design/style advice from a tradesman. I have zero spotlights in my kitchen and have ignored all notions of that “triangle thingy”, we’re told we’re supposed to have.”

What is your top thrifty tip for home design?

eBay! All the way!”

What is something you had to learn the hard way when designing your home?

That I’m not very good at counting and never pay attention to measurements. Things are very frequently too big or too small! I never seem to learn.


What’s your favourite colour palette?

Don’t have one. I clash a lot and quite like using colour combinations that aren’t “supposed” to go together. I only pick colours I love and just have a sense of what will work (for me) and what won’t. Having said that pink and red has a habit of following me wherever I go.”


What’s your favourite season and what subtle changes do you enjoy making to your home during this season transition?

My fave seasons are autumn and winter but I don’t decorate seasonally at all - I want it just as cosy and candlelit in May as I do in January.

Which local interior accounts or businesses inspire you?

For my personal vibe, I tend to find my inspiration further afield but I love seeing what the girls at @myliverpoolhouselove are up to - they fly the flag for the most fabulous homes on Merseyside.

You have such a brilliant eye for mixing colour and thrifted pieces in a very chic way – what’s your biggest tip for those looking to incorporate more vintage into their home?

Check out my Insta highlights 😉 for oodles of tips and advice. The early bird really does catch the worm, be prepared to scour car boot sales, charity shops and the odd skip and get mucky. Colour wise - try everything all least once! You’ll only live to regret the colours you DIDN’T do.



 

Number One Victorian Terrace (@numberonevictorianterrace)

girl standing in forest

Next up, we have Abigail (Abby/Abs) of Numerber One Victorian Terrace. Abby was born and raised in Liverpool and has lived there ever since - aside from 4 years living in Ireland as a child and 1 year in China. She reflects that "Liverpool has always been home." Abby lives in South Liverpool with her partner, Mike, and started her home Instagram account just prior to buying their first home in September 2021. She marvels at how she was "always so eager to have a home account, as I’d look and admire so many others regularly." Abby's love of interior design was sparked at a young age when she would redesign or reorder my bedroom and get such a buzz from it. My parents were so laid back that I even painted my mums living room bright blue once and they didn’t mind!"


How would you describe your interior style?

I really don’t know how to pinpoint my style other than eclectic/ modern vintage. I love a cosy feel!”


Where do you get your inspiration from?

My main inspiration comes from Pinterest, Instagram, home-related tv shows, and mostly other homes I see for sale online!”


What’s your favourite part of your home & why?

I love our front door. It’s so unique and walking down the stairs to see the light reflecting each morning is a treat. It’s everything I ever dreamt of and I cannot believe it’s ours. We can never move now 😂”


hallway entrance with gallery wall and blue front door

What’s your least favourite part of your home & how would you change it?

I really dislike our bathroom. It’s completely grey and tiled from top to bottom. It’s modern but not our style. It’s on our to-do list!”


Biggest interior design “ick” or pet peeve?

I really don’t like crushed velvet or rooms that have the same colour on the walls as every single piece of furniture too.”


Your top interior design/renovation tip?

Reuse things and upcycle what you already have. Old bins? Make them plant pot holders. Paint your chest of drawers and change the handles to freshen them up.”


If you could give one piece of advice to a first-time buyer looking to decorate/renovate their first home what would it be?

I would say that you can probably do a lot more than you think. Don’t compare yourself to others online and just have a go. You’ll learn so much whilst trying and you might enjoy it!”


What is your top thrifty tip for home design?

Charity shops/car boot sales are great for home decor. The item doesn’t need to be perfect but if you can see a vision with it then buy it. Maybe you could paint it? Stencil it? Etc.”


What is something you had to learn the hard way when designing your home?

“I think it’s best to live and get a feel for your home before you make big decisions. Decorating you can change but bigger interior decisions can wait until you’re sure what you want out of each space.”


What’s your favourite colour palette?

I love rich dark colours but also love a bit of monochrome, especially for accessories.”


What’s your favourite season and what subtle changes do you enjoy making to your home during this season transition?

I only really decorate for Christmas. Christmas is my ultimate favourite time to rearrange my spaces. I think Christmas is a great time to reflect on how far you’ve come with your home too.”



Which interior accounts or businesses inspire you?

I absolutely love Oliver Bonas' home decor, Habitat and John Lewis!”


I love that in your home, you’re not afraid to use rich paint colours and beautifully patterned wallpaper. What advice would you give about choosing/pairing bold paint colours & wallpaper?

Wallpaper is a great way to decorate a room and if the print is bold you only need minimal accessories. Try to pick out elements/colours of the wallpaper to decide on a perfect colour to match.”


 

Beth at Home (@_bethathome)

Now welcome Beth, a 30-year-old Speech and Language Therapist from Liverpool, where she lives with her husband and their border terrier, George.

woman standing in front of television and green wall

After moving away for university, Beth suggests that "neither myself nor my husband ever imagined returning to Liverpool, but the draw of (relatively) cheaper house prices, and the option to move in with my parents whilst we saved for our deposit, won us over." Beth enthuses "we’re now really glad we made the decision to return; not just to be close to family, but to be close to town, the beach, lovely parks, and great places to eat."


Beth started her Instagram account whilst renovating their first home. "It was an Edwardian terrace doer-upper, and we put it on the market almost as soon as we’d finished the renovations." "Initially", she thinks back, "I just wanted to stop annoying friends and family with incessant Instagram house updates, so I made a new account as a place to indulge my love of interior design and follow others for inspiration."


Beth tells of how she's always had an interest in art and creativity: "As a child, I was allowed to decorate my bedroom however I wanted - which at one point in my teenage years resulted in gold and purple walls, and a plethora of emo posters!" She muses about how her style has "thankfully evolved throughout the years, I’ve always loved creating cosy and safe spaces that feel uniquely my own."


How would you describe your interior style?

An eclectic mix of rich colours, and indulgent textures, with a mix of vintage furniture and modern pieces. That sounds fancy, but essentially I put lots of things I love in one space and hope for the best.”

Where do you get your inspiration from?

As well as the obvious online spaces like Instagram and Pinterest, I get a lot of inspiration from commercial spaces such as hotels or restaurants for things like colour combinations or materials. When deciding on a design scheme for a room, I often start with just one thing I love, be it a cushion, artwork or rug, and build the design around it.”


What’s your favourite part of your home & why?

I really love our front living room, which was actually the first room we tackled when we moved in. It’s a small room, painted in a dark teal, but gets lovely eastern light. On a nice day, George (the dog) uses it as his morning room to snooze in the sun.”


What’s your least favourite part of your home & how would you change it?

Currently, the front exterior, as it has great potential but needs a bit of TLC. We live in a conservation area, so that might complicate things, but we need our driveway redoing and our front porch restoring to how it was originally. It’s the last ‘big’ job on the to-do list as the interior is complete (at least for now, just don’t tell my husband that!)”


Biggest interior design “ick” or pet peeve.

Ripping out, painting over, or covering up original features. At some point in the history of our current house, someone took the parquet flooring out of our hallway, and I think it’s such a shame.”


brightly coloured living room with dog sat on sofa

Your top interior design/renovation tip?

You have to live in it, so do what makes you happy! Start by deciding on how you want your space to feel; cosy, airy, relaxing, welcoming etc., and then think about what makes you feel that way, or what you need in the space to achieve it. I like my home to feel considered but lived-in, where you can see there’s been attention to detail, but where you’re not afraid to sit down or mess up the cushions.”


If you could give one piece of advice to a first-time buyer looking to decorate/renovate their first home what would it be?

I’m an inpatient hypocrite, and haven’t always done this myself, but try not to rush the process. Decide how you’re going to use the space before you start making any changes, or you may find you make expensive mistakes.”


What is your top thrifty tip for home design?

So many of my most favourite pieces have been passed down from family members. You can’t get more thrifty than free! There are also the likes of Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree, Freecycle, charity shops, or eBay for secondhand or vintage furniture. When searching online, I sometimes use more generic search terms in the hope that I’ll find a bargain. For example, if I was sourcing a mid-century dining set, I might use search terms like ‘retro’ rather than search for specific brand names like G-plan, as sometimes you’ll come across someone selling something for much cheaper than the typical going rate as they don’t realise it’s true value. I learnt this tip from someone else on Instagram, but I can’t recall who now to credit them!”


What is something you had to learn the hard way when designing your home?

In my previous home, I was a bit guilty of following trends, such as using a navy and blush pink colour scheme in a bedroom, which was popular a few years ago. I never really liked either of these colours in isolation, so it’s no surprise that I got bored of it quickly and the space never really felt like ‘me’. I’d suggest that you decorate your home in your favourite colours and then I don’t think you’ll go far wrong!”


What’s your favourite colour palette?

Autumnal colours and jewel tones. The same colours as my wardrobe, stick to what you love!”


What’s your favourite season and what subtle changes do you enjoy making to your home during this season transition?

I absolutely love spring so I can start getting out into the garden again. I’m not big on seasonal decor really, as I think in recent years it’s become a bit wasteful (what do you do with an Easter-themed tea towel for the rest of the year?). Usually, come spring my windowsills are filled with seed trays!”


Which local interior accounts or businesses inspire you?

Mary Mary florals, keep me stocked with beautiful seasonal blooms.

RMo Studio for small-batch ceramics that somehow make coffee taste better.

@myliverpoolhouselove for showcasing the best of Merseyside interior design and styling.”


I adore the deep, rich colour tones you use throughout your home. What advice would you give to those looking to dabble in the darker side of colour?

Don’t be afraid of darker spaces. If a space is small or lacking in natural light, sometimes lighter colours can actually make it feel dingy by emphasising the shadows. You don’t always have to aim to make spaces feel larger; this goes back to how you want the room to feel - if you want a cosy or cocooning space, a darker colour will help you achieve that. You can also mix dark and lighter colours together. I’ve used colour blocking in our living room to tie the TV space with the dining area, without the whole room being painted dark.”


Follow our fabulous contributors over on Instagram: @nellylovesstore, @numberonevictorianterrace, @_bethathome.

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