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Before & After: An English Home’s Multicolored Makeover

by Garrett Fleming

Before & After: An English Home's Multicolored Makeover, Design*Sponge

Oftentimes entrepreneur Laura Wellington is kept busy by the varying commercial and residential design assignments she receives from her clients. Recently, however, she found the time to oversee a much more personal project: the revamp of her own home in Leeds, England. Using a rather unique working style, she and her partner James have infused their home with a collection of colors and accessories the likes of which we rarely come across.

The house’s color palette is a great example of the organic process Laura used to achieve the look. When it came time to paint, she was excited by the prospect of potentially using some of the colors she’d recommended to her clients but that hadn’t made the cut. Samples in hand, Laura headed to the kitchen and a wall that was destined for demolition. “I stood back and created a color journey,” she beings. “I let my eyes take me to the next color leading from the living room right up to the attic.” She even designed one of the hues herself.

Form there, Laura “dumped” all of her existing furniture into the appropriate room and let her imagination help shape the space. This freeform and “playful” workflow saw her pairing wild accessories together and coming up with clever DIY hacks. In one space she made use of leftover materials from client projects. In another, she turned a dining table into shelves to display some of her favorite accessories.

While she’s thrilled with the way her renovation turned out, Laura says the most profound takeaway from the process is her renewed confidence in herself, her abilities and her eye for design. Because of this, she’s even been making bolder choices at both the hair salon and when she gets dressed every morning. Scroll down to see the home that has Laura holding her head higher than ever. Enjoy! Garrett

Photography by Beautiful Homes in the North

Image above: Laura collected all of the paints her color-averse clients have rejected over the years and put them all in her own home. “One of the first things I did was to get all those colors up on a wall which was being knocked down in the kitchen, and then I stood back and created a color journey. I let my eyes take me to the next color leading from the living room right up to the attic,” she explains.

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Laura and James found their sofa – which retails for $1,100 – for $60 on eBay. To get it home they had to balance it on top of their car and drive very slowly. Then, to make it fit up the stairs, the two had to break the piece’s back and basically take it apart. “That sofa won’t ever be able to come out of that room again, but it looks amazing,” they tell us.

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I think the nicest thing that I’ve learned about myself from the process (of designing my home) is that I’m actually good at design. I’ve realized that I didn’t have any confidence in my design abilities in the past – although I was getting work from clients and they were always super happy with the results. I always put it down to other things – working with good trades, collaborating with people, etc. – but I’ve learned to love my work, my [unique] processes and really honed my love for color.” – Laura Wellington 

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The living room’s paint color – a custom hue Laura created – is the most-commented-on aspect of the couple’s home. Laura says the process of creating it instilled in her a love for paint, and she would love to create her own line of colors one day.

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Laura used leftover materials from client projects and upcycled older furniture to save money on her own renovation. These shelves – for example – were once a dining table.

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Laura lusted over this Petite Friture “Vertigo” pendant for years before pulling the trigger: “I have pictures in my phone of pretty much every shop I’ve ever seen it in[…] but then last year I worked my butt off… and used the profits to buy it. I was able to go for the bigger version – which is a huge statement – and every day it makes my heart sing.

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Designing her colorful, bold home has instilled in Laura the confidence to take stylistic risks in other aspects of her life: “It has given me confidence in myself. I’ve started to change my hair color, dress more colorfully and [stopped] caring what people think. A friend joked that I’m becoming the haus — which is not what I expected to happen.”

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Laura sums up her home’s design in three words: “colorful, unique, [and] purposeful.”

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James’ mom helped the pair out by making them this set of curtains. The poles used for the shelving unit are actually old broom handles.

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Laura inherited a love of artwork from her parents. They owned a print shop when she was younger. “Ink [is] in my veins,” she says.

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The collection of artwork continues into the home’s entryway, creating cohesion between the two spaces.

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A coat of Valspar “Cornwall Blue” enlivens the space.

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The above print perfectly encapsulates Laura’s adoration of pop art and her partner James’ love of The Adventures of Tin Tin.

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The staircase – while beautiful – has made moving furniture around quite difficult. Laura’s love of buying furniture online without making sure the pieces will fit isn’t helping either.

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The “Hula” light Laura designed for Habitat hangs front and center in her home’s entry. Her previous rentals were too small to display it, so Laura was thrilled when it fit just right here.

SOURCE LSIT

Bedroom
Paint – Valspar “Weather the Storm”
Rug – Supermundane

Living Room
Lighting – Petite Friture “Vertigo” by Constance Guisset

Entryway
Paint – Valspar “Cornwall Blue”

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Comments

  • This house is AMAZEBALLS. The light fixture in the living room was worth every penny. It looks like a fabulous beach hat.

  • Oh my goodness, so MUCH to love here! I especially like the entry way….that Tin tin poster! the hulu fixture! Way to go Laura!
    And I love your haircolor. Reminds me of the summer I was 8, and when signing up for my summer pool pass the first time without my mom’s help, I wrote “yellow” down for hair color (as I did not know the word blonde yet.) I still think of myself of having yellow hair…but you have the real deal and it looks great, especially sitting on that blue couch…my favorite color combo.

  • Amazingly beautiful. Your hula light is fantastic, the furniture is perfect, what more can I say? Good luck on future endeavors.

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