Interiorssneak peeks

In West Sussex, a Family Home Blossoms to Life

by Sofia Tuovinen

In West Sussex, a Family Home Blossoms to Life | Design*Sponge

Ten years ago, Ju de Paula made one of the biggest decisions in her life. After spending a couple of amazing days in London, she came back home to Brazil but couldn’t stop thinking about the city she had fallen for. After pondering for a few weeks, Ju decided to embark on an adventure of a lifetime — she sold her car and flew back to London. She didn’t know anyone and hardly spoke the language, but something just felt right about it all. A month after moving to London, Ju met her husband Kam — the rest is history!

Today, Ju, Kam and their children Jasmin and Zak live in a beautiful, blossoming abode in the English countryside. Before settling into country life, the family lived in a two-bedroom apartment in central London. When their children were born, Ju and Kam started longing for a quieter life and more space for their kids to roam —  moving further out from the city felt like the ideal choice. The couple began looking for a new home in West Sussex, where they could be close to family and still commute to the city. Finding the right property wasn’t easy— Ju and Kam looked at over 30 homes before finally finding the perfect one. For Ju, who works as an interior designer, it was love at first sight. The house needed a lot of TLC, but she instantly knew that it had tons of potential. As soon as the offer on the house was accepted, Ju started the design process, which would transform the house into a gorgeous, pattern-filled sanctuary with personal details and plenty of creative DIY elements.

Ju grew up in a colorful home where her mother was always crafting and singing happily out of tune. “I loved it… it made our home a happy place, always buzzing with energy,” she reminisces. Ju set out to recreate that same joyful environment for her little ones. She wanted the family’s home to be refreshing and original, not to mention budget-friendly. To achieve her vision and to afford some of the high-end wallpapers and fabrics that she and Kam love, it was important to be creative and experimental. Ju learned new skills from Pinterest and YouTube — putting up wallpaper, sewing, upholstering and upcycling all helped her execute the design plan without breaking the bank. Now that Ju has worked her magic around the house, visiting it is a blissful experience. Each space is a unique blend of bold colors and floral patterns that together create a soft yet vibrant atmosphere. The family’s home feels comfortable, bright and personal and is filled with one-off pieces, all thanks to Ju’s wonderfully imaginative solutions. —Sofia

Photography by Alexandra Joseph

Image above: Ju wanted a bold entrance hall, and chose a cobalt blue wallpaper to set the tone for the room. To make the space feel bigger, Ju upholstered a vintage wingback chair in the same blue hue.

In West Sussex, a Family Home Blossoms to Life | Design*Sponge

The living room sums up Ju’s decorating style: colorful, patterned, bright and airy. The fireplace used to be brown and was one of the first things that Ju addressed in the house — painting it white brought the room to life!

In West Sussex, a Family Home Blossoms to Life | Design*Sponge

The vintage cocktail chairs were a gift from Kam. Ju upholstered them in bright orange and floral fabrics from Designers Guild. “They bring me so much joy, as they are so bright and cheery!” Ju exclaims.

In West Sussex, a Family Home Blossoms to Life | Design*Sponge

This is where the family gathers for quality time together, and where Ju and Kam can relax after the kids have gone to bed. The gallery wall features vintage mirrors of various shapes, along with souvenirs from trips abroad.

In West Sussex, a Family Home Blossoms to Life | Design*Sponge

The living room coffee table is one of Ju’s beautiful DIY creations. She found an old pine table at a charity shop and upholstered it with bright floral fabric. “Now it is the star of our living room!”

In West Sussex, a Family Home Blossoms to Life | Design*Sponge

Although the living room is full of color, the neutral base of greys and whites keeps the space calm and refined.

In West Sussex, a Family Home Blossoms to Life | Design*Sponge

The bright yellow floor lamp makes the dining room feel full of sunshine even on the rainiest day. The dining table and buffet are both flea market finds that Ju painted with white chalk paint. Now this is the favorite spot for creative crafting sessions!

In West Sussex, a Family Home Blossoms to Life | Design*Sponge

“Kam helped me to choose this wallpaper, and I’m so glad he did! It’s so colorful and relaxing at the same time… just perfect!” Ju shares.

In West Sussex, a Family Home Blossoms to Life | Design*Sponge

Sometimes Ju prefers to work in the dining room. “It’s a lovely, relaxing space to get creative!”

In West Sussex, a Family Home Blossoms to Life | Design*Sponge

When the family first moved in, Ju knew she would have to tolerate the beige bathroom downstairs. Once the other downstairs rooms were finished, Ju couldn’t bear to look at the sad little space any longer. She took action and updated the room in two days with less than $130!

In West Sussex, a Family Home Blossoms to Life | Design*Sponge

The guest room is the most recently updated space in the home. “I wanted it to feel like a walk in the garden, so our guests could really experience the vibe I’m creating for the whole house,” Ju explains. The floral headboard is the highlight of the room and one of Ju’s own creations.

In West Sussex, a Family Home Blossoms to Life | Design*Sponge

To allow the headboard to stand out, Ju kept the walls simple with parchment wallpaper from Designers Guild. The plants add to the garden feel of the room, while colorful plates from Anthropologie add a quirky touch.

In West Sussex, a Family Home Blossoms to Life | Design*Sponge

The little Frida Kahlo doll was a surprise from Ju’s Instagram friend Manon. “I love Frida Kahlo with all her layers, bold colors and over-the-top style… she is a massive influence on my work!” Ju explains.

In West Sussex, a Family Home Blossoms to Life | Design*Sponge

The study is Ju’s own sanctuary in the house — an inspiring space where she can work and be creative. The upcycled dresser is an unexpected and unique piece for a study, which is why Ju loves it so much. “It complements my office decor beautifully and it’s just the perfect storage piece for my fabric samples,” she explains.

In West Sussex, a Family Home Blossoms to Life | Design*Sponge

Ju in her study, where she works on interior design and furniture projects for her business Blueberry Living & Co.

In West Sussex, a Family Home Blossoms to Life | Design*Sponge

The stunning floral wallpaper from Designers Guild turns the study into a floral retreat. “It was an investment and I really don’t regret it… it never fails to put a smile on face!” Ju says.

In West Sussex, a Family Home Blossoms to Life | Design*Sponge

“Jasmin’s bedroom design was inspired by her love of birds and pink!” The different wallpaper patterns and the mismatched curtains add a fun, playful flair to the space. Most items in the room were found at car boot sales.

In West Sussex, a Family Home Blossoms to Life | Design*Sponge

Jasmin and Lily the bunny playing together on the bed. The floral headboard was Ju’s DIY project.

In West Sussex, a Family Home Blossoms to Life | Design*Sponge

Ju wanted Zak’s room to work with all the colorful rooms in the house but still feel cool and different. The chair in the corner was Ju’s first upholstery project and came all the way from her bedroom in Brazil. “Now we love cuddling on it at our story time before bed!” she shares.

In West Sussex, a Family Home Blossoms to Life | Design*Sponge

What I love most about my home…”I love how it always feels like sunshine in every room.” — Ju

In West Sussex, a Family Home Blossoms to Life | Design*Sponge

Floor plan of the family’s four-bedroom home.

Source list

Paint for all rooms: Quartz Flint 4 from Dulux

Entrance Hall
Tulip table – Vertigo Interiors
Table lamp – TK Maxx
Armchair – Blueberry Living & Co.
Wallpaper – Designers Guild

Living Room
Wallpaper – Designers Guild
1950s Cocktail armchairs – Blueberry Living & Co.
Coffee table – Blueberry Living & Co.
Side table – Blueberry Living & Co.
Sofa – IKEA
Cushions – Designers Guild
Rug – Designers Guild
Wall lights – Blueberry Living & Co.
Kids Table – Vertigo Interiors
Curtains – Designers Guild

Dining Room
Side Board – Blueberry Living & Co.
White Eames Chairs – eBay
Tulip Chair – Vertigo Interiors
Vintage dining table – Blueberry Living & Co.
Floor lamp – Habitat
Wallpaper – Designers Guild
Rug – Wayfair
Ombre curtains – Designers Guild

Wallpaper – Designers Guild
Greenhouse – IKEA
Towel hook – Anthropologie
Door knobs – Home Sense

Guest room
Headboard – Blueberry Living & Co.
Tray side table – TK Maxx
Light – eBay
Wall bracket – B & Q
Plates – Anthropologie
Curtains – Designers Guild
Wallpaper – Designers Guild
Cushions – Designers Guild
Sheepskin rug – IKEA
Chevron rug – Argos

Dresser – Blueberry Living & Co.
Plates – Anthropologie
Vintage teachers desk – Flea Market
Antique chair – Blueberry Living & Co.
Wall Sconce – TK Maxx
Rug – eBay
Table lamp – Home Sense
Curtains – Designers Guild
Wallpaper – Designers Guild
Vintage picture – eBay

Jasmin’s Room
Picture ledges – IKEA
Headboard – Blueberry Living & Co.
Bed – IKEA
Table lamp – Heals
Side Table – Blueberry Living & Co.
Wallpaper – Designers Guild
Floor Lamp – Habitat
Curtains – Designers Guild
Rug – eBay

Zak’s Room
Bed – IKEA
Lamp – Habitat
Chair – Blueberry Living & Co.
Picture ledge – IKEA
Curtains – IKEA (customized)
Rug – Urban Outfitters
Kid suitcase – IKEA
Wallpaper – Zara Home


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    • Ahhh thanks SO much Ruth! Loving the “juicy and delicious!” :) It’s been so much fun having the photo shoot and now seeing our home here! Yay!!!
      Ju xx

  • aaah, just love it–all the flowers and colors and flowers and colors and…just makes me so happy!

  • LOVE this! Can you tell me more about the bathroom reno for under $130? What was there to already work with? What was purchased? Thank you! I love that the individual style really shines throughout!

  • Oh my! Your home radiates happiness and sunshine! Proof that when one follows their heart wonderful things happen!

    • Awwww I just got a little teary, reading your comment! Thanks SO much, Claire!
      I couldn’t agree more! Always follow your heart and surround yourself with what makes you smile!!! :)

      Ju xx

  • I’m all for freedom of movement and immigration, but out of curiosity, how is it that someone can just move to London from Brazil on a whim like that? Is there some sort of arrangement between the 2 countries? I was just a little struck reading the story, knowing several people from the US who had a nightmare of a time moving to the UK (even with British spouses).

  • This might be my favorite home I’ve ever seen! Thank you for sharing! I love the updated Designers Guild look! Really, really great job making it yours!!! So beautiful!!!

  • Wow! This home isn’t my style at all, but I love it! Very well done! To me it had a whimsical, Alice in Wonderland feel to it. Perfect for a happy home in England! Thanks for sharing.

    • Ahhh thanks SO much, Lyndsey! I’m so happy you like our home!
      Love the “Alice in Wonderland” mention… Jasmin will love hearing it!!! ;)


  • Bookmarked for future inspiration! Can’t leave this screen without writing “scrumptious!”

  • Oh my goodness!!! What a fun home. I’m completely inspired to bring more floral and bright colors into my next house. I love the mix of patterns, colors, textures etc. Thank you for sharing your space!!!

  • Wow! This is one of my favorite house tours. And I love your quote about sunshine in every room. It truly is. Really nice.

  • oh oh OHHHHH! I know Ju from Instagram, where I fell in LOVE with her design style. I’m watching closely because this girl is going straight to the top and quick. What a beautiful feature! So inspiring!!

  • beautiful home and you are from the beautiful city of Florianópolis, I have been there and it is magical, Just like your home in England

  • Your home is beautiful! Please when can I move in? I love what you have done with the fire place. I have wanted to do the same to ours but always hesitated, I wonder if I dare do it now.
    Frida has found the most perfect home to live in💖

    • Oh, lovely Manon… Thank you so much! You can move in anytime!
      Just can you please bring your tiny friends with you?! Frida would love that!!! ;)
      Please show us some pics if you paint the fireplace!!!

      Ju xxxx

  • I think I’ve read every home tour on DS for a decade, and honestly, this is one of the best I’ve ever seen. There’s so much happiness, personality and energy radiating from every picture and caption, reading this has put such a smile on my face!

  • Can’t get enough of florals – the wallpapers are exquisite! A home full of light and color – you can tell right away that joyful lives are spent here!

  • I just adore seeing all of your work Ju.
    Your home is just so so beautiful. I am so passionate about colour and just love to see what you come up with next. Such beautiful photos.
    Thank you for sharing what you do every day. You always come across so vibrant and full of life and it shows in your work. Puts a smile on my face and really makes my day. Inspires me to give more a go.

  • Ju, The floral wallpaper in the study is amazing! I’d love to use it in my daughter’s room with a checkered black and white floor! Your style is brilliant and inspirational! Any ordering tips? The floral print size seems larger than what I see online.

    • Hi, Piper!
      Thanks so much! :)
      That wallpaper really is amazing… it puts a smile on my face every time I walk into my study! It will look gorgeous with a checkered black and white floor! What a lucky girl!
      So… ordering… they sell it as a panel… it comes in two rolls of 0.90m each and the total width is 1.80m (height 3m). I only used one panel for my study… because it covered most of the wall! Depending on the size of your wall, you may need to order more than one panel! ;)

      Hope it helps?

      Ju xx

  • Swooning over your beautiful, bright home! I am obsessed with all the gorgeous floral prints. I’m tempted to dress up my small powder room with wall paper like you have in your study. Thank you for sharing!