Alexis and her husband Stephen bought their home brand new, from the developer, so it was a complete blank canvas. She initially planned a very low key, Scandi minimal interior, but found herself injecting more and more colour and drama as time went by. Her challenge was to add character into the property and differentiate her house from other new builds and the results are wonderfully original.
She achieved this by combining her imagination and strong sense of individuality with her tremendous attention to detail. Alexis has painted the white banister and staircase a dramatic dark charcoal for a crisp contrast to the matt white walls. Every switch and plug socket is carefully considered, she chose black light switches, black radiators and black room dividers at the door thresholds and for a graphic effect. She did not want an entirely monochromatic scheme though and over time found herself adding a lot more colour than she expected.
Alexis researches every room thoroughly; she draws up plans in order to maximise the space available and uses Pinterest and Instagram and magazines for inspiration. ‘I love a starting point, and I found myself using either a strong colour or a piece of furniture or fabric and things would evolve from there.’ She has cleverly mixed expensive choices with budget items, to create a scheme that combines Scandi and industrial styles with the occasional hint of luxury.
The kitchen cabinets were installed by the developer, but Alexis was able to add her own stamp thoroughly in the dining area. ‘We added panelling to this end of the room and painted it black, knowing that because the room overlooked the garden it would never seem gloomy’ Alexis explains. ‘I added brighter colours to the living room, which faces north.’ Egger chevron flooring in light oak throughout the downstairs unifies all the spaces perfectly.
The project took time, as they have two young children and Stephen works full time. Alexis has been studying interior architecture as well. ‘Lockdown was a god send’ she laughs. It started soon after they moved in and really enabled her to focus and tackle the house as thoroughly as possible. ‘I am not happy unless I have a project on the go’ she admits. ‘I definitely have a bit of a creativity addiction. I loved having fun themes in my sons’ rooms but was conscious to keep things reasonably neutral as well, as they grow up so fast’ she reflects.
Alexis was a make up artist before starting her recent interior design studies. Interior design presents similar challenges, the need to transform a blank canvas, for starters and requires many similar skills, including the use of colour, project planning, and working in layers. So, she has a lot of useful experience that she can apply to her new profession and hopes her new direction will be as fruitful as her previous career. ‘Working as a make-up artist in TV and film was not family friendly though, so I am hoping to run an interior design business from home at first and see where it takes me’.
A mix of bold colours and organic, natural materials such as raffia and macrame have resulted in a stylish, individual interior and a wonderful backdrop for Alexis’s collection of framed graphic prints. Plants have also added lots interest throughout her home, ‘I do love a bit of indoor gardening’ she admits.
Alexis removed a cupboard in the family bathroom, creating room for a shower as well as a bath.
You can read the full story in the current issue of Your Home magazine September 2022