When I started my own instagram account, @projecthomedesign, one of the main motivators was to gain inspiration from other peoples homes, the majority of those I liked being stunning period properties. My challenge then was always how to translate the beautiful character created in period properties into my own boring, featureless white box (my envy of original fireplaces and cornicing is palpable!) So, I also searched for new build accounts to get some inspiration. I found some truly beautiful accounts that looked glorious in their grey tones, mirrored surfaces and minimalist look; sadly I knew this aesthetic would not work for our lifestyle and love of “stuff” so this inspiration wasn’t quite right for me either. (See Also this post; Finding Your Aesthetic)
One of the first people to reach out to me on Instagram was the lovely Beth Shehata who commented on a picture I posted on Day 2 of @projecthomedesign inviting me to take part in the hashtag, and now account, she runs My Home Trend. I remember being unbelievably flattered that Beth had commented on my photo as her house is just stunning and so full of character and guess what… she’s got a new build! I met the lovely Beth at the first No House Rules event in November 2017 and we happily chatted away about New Builds for quite some time and what a lovely person she is in “real life” too!
I am always thrilled when people kindly say that a room in our house gave them some more ideas about what they can do with their new build. One source alone will never help any of us understand what we like, so over the next few weeks I will be sharing some of my favourite New Build accounts who show great creativity and originality in how they decorate their homes. Beths home, as one I have coveted since the beginning, is a natural place for me to start.
Beths home, @bethshehata, seamlessly blends the clean lines and bright space which makes new builds so attractive with dark character and bold design choices. Her gorgeous bar is Insta-famous (as is her enviable collection of Gin!) and Beth is a master of teaming dramatic statement artwork with deep shades and tones making her home feel full of personality; her home is certainly not your standard new build!
Hi Beth! Thank you so much for being the first account to feature on the series. As a fellow new build home owner, what attracted you to buying your home?
For me I was moving to a new city (for work), buying my first house (on my own) and wasn’t really sure what I wanted! I was 24 at the time and had never really thought about owning a home, decorating or interiors before and the thought of having a house that needed work scared me a little so moving in to a new build meant
a) I moved in to a squeeky clean, blank canvas and was able to select kitchens etc from and the start
b) There was no chain I needed to deal with; which as a first time buyer was hugely attractive
c) The two year warranty gave me an extra safety blanket if anything went wrong
I totally agree! I was surprised by how much I liked the idea of blank (and clean) canvas. After the 6 month wait to decorate I personally found this left me with a bit of an “identity crisis” of what look I wanted. As a fellow lover of character, what has been your biggest challenge with decorating your home?
I think not knowing where to start; I’d never really had an interest in design and I made a lot of decisions that I then went on to regret. I bought all of my furniture before moving in to the house and then it didn’t really work with the space or my taste; even though I thought it did at the time. I did the same with decorating. My living room went through three iterations before I got it to how it is now, and it’s definitely not finished yet but slowly does it!
Despite starting my home with a fear of it, I now love DIY and decorating! I’ve learnt to fit lights, change plug and lighting sockets, fit carpets, wallpaper, paint and upcycle things. I still use a professional for big (or expensive!) lighting, and when there’s a lot to paint/expensive wallpaper (I don’t trust myself) but you’ll surprise yourself with what you can teach yourself to do!
That’s so funny with your lounge “evolution”; I was the same with both our hallway and the kitchen – redecorated both of these two or three times before I fully embraced the character I like. How would you describe your style?
I have no idea and even though I’ve been asked this question multiple times I still haven’t figured it out! I guess I like modern, quirky interiors. I like pieces in my home that are “Conversation Starters” for example the Mannequin planter from Muck ‘n’ Brass in my hallway combined with the mirrored wall, the bar in my kitchen (which is not only a conversation starter but an enabler!), or the chandelier teamed with the gothic arch mirror on the top floor landing. I like bold colours – navys, greens, silvers, golds, dark greys and blacks and I take a lot of inspiration from the likes of Sharon Hornsby, Kate Watson-Smyth and Ellie Tildesley (all of which I discovered through Instagram).
Your bar is one of my favourite features in your home and such a brave use of space; which I think can be really difficult when you own a new build as, layout wise, you can be so heavily influenced by the show home. What advice would you give a new build home owner?
Take your time especially if it’s your first home, buy the essentials like your sofa, but with accessorising do it slowly; give yourself an opportunity to live in your home and get a feel for it and don’t be afraid of giving DIY a try or decorating yourself; if it goes wrong you’ve spent a little bit of money and invested your time but you can always re-do it, and if it’s not right start again!
I couldn’t agree more Beth; its just paint after all! Thank you so much for sharing your inspiration and ideas!
Like Beth, I believe that the long 6 month wait until you can decorate should be used to your advantage; take the time to figure out what you like and what works for you in the space you live in. Beth and I also share the thought that a room is never “done” and in fact keeps evolving with your tastes and lifestyle, so try not to look at decorating as a project to finish; its a process to enjoy!
So please do head on over to Beths instagram to see more delicious photos of her home as well as bags of inspiration from her stories and her hashtag account My Home Trend.