Nichola Borrett, @thebhousehold, has been living in her new build townhouse since late 2014. With coming up to 4 years in her home, Nichola has created a beautifully harmonious aesthetic with a pallet of greys, dark blue shades and varied hues of mustard yellow throughout her house. Nichola was amongst the first New Build accounts I found on instagram. I was drawn to her home by seeing how she masterfully adds character and personality to her home while avoiding a “matchy matchy” look. It easy to see why Nichols has built a heavyweight following of over 20K and appeared in magazines, most notably Homestyle Magazine in August 2017.
What really inspires me about Nichola’s home is her ability to indulge in statements sparingly and deliberately. This approach gives her home a sophisticated personality without loosing character and individuality; I certainly can take a lesson from Nichola’s styling as her purposeful touch to bold design makes her choices stand out so effectively. I couldn’t wait to catch up with Nichola and find out more about her home!
So Nicola, you have a very classy, modern style, which I can see would attract you to buying your new build. What was the biggest draw of your home purchase?
We always knew that a new build was for us; I find visualising spaces really difficult if they’re not a blank canvas so I love that when you move in to a brand new home you can just let loose with your imagination and let the spaces grow with you. The fact that we got to choose every tiny detail, down to the door handles, meant that I was so in love with the empty house as soon as I walked in. Seeing your choices come to life really is amazing.
That is so interesting Nichola, you’re the first New Build home owner that said that they find a blank canvas easier to add your own imagination. It’s also sounds like you had a lot of control over your choices; I wish we had been able to pick our door handles! So given how much say you had in every detail, what has been your biggest challenge with decorating your home?
The biggest challenge was actually deciding what on earth to put on the walls and what style we wanted to achieve! We had to wait a good 6 months on the advice of our home builder before we could put paint to paintbrush and that wait was absolutely agonising. I was raring to get started with creating our dream home but it gave me enough time to really think about each room and how we used it. The room that was the trickiest was the living room; we actually didn’t decorate the living room at all until we had lived in our home for almost 2 years. It was the room that we spent the most time in, so I knew it needed to be right and didn’t want to rush in to anything.
Two years! Wow! But your patience paid off; your lounge is just spectacular and I adore how you’ve made it such a flexible space by styling it differently for each season; so clever and a great way to mix up the look! To me you use neutrals in a very strategic way so that your home is never boring and always evolving. How would you describe your style?
Well, I would probably describe my style as modern with a touch of glam although I don’t think that I really ‘fit in’ to any particular category of interior style… but I quite like that!
I go with my gut and fill our home with things that make me smile when I walk into each room. If your home can make you smile everyday then you must be doing something right
What a fantastic approach to your style. I live by a similar rule and really believe that your home should reflect your loves and personality. You have created a wonderful home that is full of character and you clearly love being in new build, what advice would you give a new build home owner?
My number one piece of advice would be do not rush in to decorating every room, the wait is absolute agony but I can’t think of anything worse than decorating every room and then changing my mind 6 months down the line. The ideas of our home that I had in my head have changed more times than I can count on my fingers (and toes!) until we’ve finally settled on our overall style. This also ties in to not rushing when buying furniture and high ticket items. Your style will develop in time and you’ll get a feel for the space and how you want to use it- I’m so glad we didn’t buy everything as soon as we moved in because it gave us time to realise what we actually did need and want.
Buying a new build is one of the best experiences out there, always listen to your gut feelings when trying to find your style and remember that you don’t need to follow the crowds to have a beautiful home.
Nichola speaks so positively about buying a new build, it makes me want to do it again! (Although Mr PHD is absolutely not keen on that idea, so that was quickly put to bed!) In fact Nichola and I happily spent an evening chatting about our new build infactuations and joy of looking around show homes; its always wonderful to find a kindred spirit of such a niche obsession!
Nichola bought her new build through Strata Homes, who by the sounds of it, were hugely flexible and offered lots of choice with extras. The sliding doors from her lounge into kitchen/diner are a great example of this and I had to ask Nichola more about this feature; “We added the doors as an extra when we bought the house. You could customise the colour on both sides and have anything from mirror to solid colour but we were boring and went for the same both sides. Our next door neighbours have a full mirror in the lounge and that looks amazing!” I’m sure that both look equally fab, although the mass of mirror may not be ideal for the all important insta snaps of course, but how beautiful it must be in the light…
With such a great understanding of how to pull together a look across her whole home, I was also intrigued as to what Instagram accounts had inspired Nichola;
@beautifulhomesinthenorth ; Katie and Karen shoot homes for interiors magazines and post real interior homes from across the country; a great source of inspiration for a variety of looks
@marenbaxter; her styling skills are just out of this world!
@bagandbones; because who doesn’t want one of their neons in their home??
@myhometrend and @bethshehata; Beth is just laugh out loud funny and a long lost soul sister. She set up @myhometrend after the hashtag competition came to a natural end. Its such a great account for inspiration and to join in with the weekly tag themes! (click here to read an interview with Beth on her new build home)
Nichola is a total gem and a joy to chat to. Do go and show her some support on her instagram and do also check out her blog which has a room by room details from her sumptuous home. Join me next week as we meet another new build home owner successfully adding personality and character to their home.