We’re pleased to introduce Instagram interior design star Mickila from @ourlifeat51, the latest influencer to take part in our Real Homes series.
Mickila loves to share images of her beautiful Staffordshire home, from her ultra organised cupboards to her pink front door! @ourlifeat51 showcases Mickila’s style, which is all about the fresh and the feminine. With a penchant for crisp backdrops and carefully curated homeware displays, Mickila has developed her own signature style and created a home that is both contemporary and personalised.
We sat down with Mickila and asked her a few questions about her house, her sources of inspiration and what she found most difficult during her renovation project…
How would you describe your interior design style?
We previously lived in a 1700s cottage where we let the period features do the talking and combined that with a cosy, rustic feeling. We now live in a new build and found that we couldn’t make that style work in the same way, as it’s very much a blank canvas. So, here we’ve gone for more of a neutral base of white and grey, and added character using furniture and accessories.
What was your first project?
As our current home is a new build, we bought it ‘ready-made’, so we didn’t get to choose our options prior to moving in. Our first job was to paint over the builder’s magnolia which instantly made the house lighter and brighter.
What was the most exciting or challenging part of renovating your home?
The most challenging part of doing up our current home has been trying to do decorating and flat-pack building whilst looking after two children. It means that my husband and I have to either work as a tag team or do what we can while the children are in bed!
Our previous home was a renovation before we had children, and we lived with my parents whilst the work was being done, but sticking to budget was definitely the biggest challenge we faced there.
Where do you find inspiration?
I would say that it is mostly from Instagram. I love the Scandi-Industrial look in @lydias_layton_life, the neutral tones with hints of blush pink in @mrsphome_ and the icy colours used in @house_of_holcroft. All quite different styles but I take inspiration from different parts of their homes either with styling, products or decor.
Where do you shop for homeware?
I used to shop at large homeware stores such as Next, John Lewis and Matalan but I’ve started shopping at small businesses on Instagram. I find that I’m getting a more personal service and you can genuinely tell that every sale means the absolute world to the people behind the scenes.
What are your next house plans?
Next on the agenda is to completely revamp the garden. It’s on quite a steep slope so will need a bit of work. We’d like to keep some lawn for the kids to run about on but have a nice grown up area with garden furniture and a pergola. My husband doesn’t know about all this work yet!
How do you choose new window treatments?
For me it would be value for money and delivery times. I know that good things come to those who wait but I’m not the most patient person! In terms of value for money, I’m always on the lookout for voucher codes and savings as every little bit saved definitely helps when you’re trying to stick to a budget.
If you had £10,000 to spend on a piece of furniture or interior design, what would it be and why?
I would spend it on decorating the bedrooms, particularly comfy beds, luxury bedding and blackout blinds. As a mum of two young children, sleep is so important, especially in the summer when they won’t go to sleep because the sun is still out.
What are your top tips for someone planning a renovation?
For a renovation, I would definitely say to develop a realistic budget and then double it. You will be amazed at the amount of unforeseen costs and cutting corners on anything will only cost more money in the long run. Prioritise what you need rather than what you want.
For a new build, I would say to wait for the recommended time before decorating, especially painting. We didn’t, and now you can see some cracks in the paint along the skirting boards, which wouldn’t be there if we had have waited. A lesson is patience learned there!
A great big thank you to Mickila for welcoming us inside. We are so pleased that we could provide our Touched By Design Supreme Blackout Peony Pink Roller Blind for her bathroom and we look forward to dressing more windows in future. Be sure to visit @ourlifeat51 and give her a follow.
Are you looking for a new window treatment or home accessory? Take a look at our collection of blinds, curtains and interior products at Blinds Direct.