Quirky family home designed for entertaining

Homeware label owner Emily Rees has transformed two separate London flats into into a quirky family home

When the Rees family swapped their busy London life for the seaside town of Hastings, they also traded in a finished family home for a huge renovation project that tested their design know-how and DIY skills. Fortunately, owner Emily owns a homeware label, and already had an eye for design.

The couple spotted this large Victorian house for sale, which had been converted into two separate flats in the 1970s. They used the money they made from the sale of their previous property to renovate their new family home from top to bottom, filling it with personality, bold colours and eclectic furniture.


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Project Notes

The owners: Emily Rees (pictured above), owner of homeware label Edge of Home, lives here with husband Gareth, a copywriter and author, and their two children, Isis, seven, and Venus, six, and Hendrix, the cocker spaniel

Total project costs: £65,950


 rees-home-dining-tableA wall was removed between the kitchen, scullery and the bathroom to make this long galley shape.  Bespoke brick slips flooring, Cathedral Stone & Brick.  Marble work surface, Marble 2 Marvel. Wine boxes, Crates4You. Sheepskin, Hide Rugs


Emily started her company, Edge of Home, after designing things for her own house. Wallpaper, Edge of Home. Mirror, Red Candy. Floor painted in Off Black, Farrow & Ball (opens in new tab)


Emily’s work space and design studio is where she gets to experiment with decoration. ‘This is how I would have my whole house look if I could get away with it,’ she says. Wall paint, Nancy’s Blushes (opens in new tab) matt emulsion; floor paint, Off Black matt emulsion, both Farrow & Ball (opens in new tab). Desk, Edge of Home


Emily tiled the bathroom herself after seeing the design in a magazine. Johnson’s Prismatics tiles, Tile Mountain. Serenity bath, Holloways of Ludlow (opens in new tab). Hudson Reed thermostatic shower bar, Victorian Plumbing


The paint effect was an idea of Emily’s as she had run out of money but had lots of tins of paint left over from the other rooms. Wall paints, Valspar at B&Q (opens in new tab). Stencils, wardrobe and floor painted in Off Black and Nancy’s Blushes matt emulsion, Farrow and Ball (opens in new tab). Bed and Spot rug, Next


The couple painted over red walls but kept some of the gold gilt cornicing, which they have worked into their pink and lavender room scheme. The original fireplace has been cleaned up. Chair and Allsorts pom-pom blanket, both Edge of Home. Black and white rug, Next. Ripple cushion, Edge of Home


Displaying Gareth’s vinyl records allows the cover art-work to be on show and creates a moveable gallery. Ribba picture ledge, Ikea. Wall paint, Off Black matt emulsion, Farrow & Ball (opens in new tab). Logan coffee table; black and white rug, both Next. Sideboard, Ebay (opens in new tab)


The living room is where the family hang out to watch films together. The leather 1970s sofa was picked up from a local junk shop. The coffee table was Gareth’s parents from the 1980s. Emily changed the clear glass top to mirrored safety glass. Door, painted with Valspar’s In The Pursuit of Happiness. Lampshade, blankets and cushions, all Edge of Home. Art, Mark Hollis. Skull head, Dwell (opens in new tab)


The front of the family home was so filthy and brown, the couple decided to paint it black using Night Jewels, by Dulux (opens in new tab)
Maxine is a freelance interior stylist and writer. She can be found blogging on her site We Love Home, where she covers the latest trends and her own projects in her Victorian terrace in Brighton where she lives with her dog Teddy.