#MyHouseLikeThis - 7 - The House That Black Built
Welcome to this #BlackIsMyHappyColour special of #MyHouseLikeThis featuring the only home that would make sense for this edition and that is the gorgeous dwelling of Chelsea Stonier, or as you Instagram interiors lovers may know her...The House That Black Built.
It's no surprise why we and many others love Chelsea's home, it's filled with gorgeous Victorian character and a marvellous monochrome palette that oozes sophistication and style.
So let's get right to it and find out more about Chelsea...
AHLT: Firstly, can you tell us a little bit about you and The House That Black Built?
Chelsea: Hi! Of course, I’m Chelsea aka The House That Black Built. We - my husband Mr S and I - purchased no. 43, a 3 bed Victorian Villa in Shropshire, just over 4 years ago. It’s just us two and our gorgeous black kitty Loki. This is our first home and still a work in progress! It isn’t a huge renovation project but we’re definitely putting our own stamp on the place. As first time buyers we’ve learnt A LOT with this house and made plenty of mistakes but I think we’re finally finding our feet - and our own style!
AHLT: You certainly have a style that we connect with as it's probably quite clear that we love everything that is monochrome or dark in style both with interiors and fashion. Why do you find yourself so drawn to the colour black?
Chelsea: Black has always been my go-to colour for clothing and it just kind of developed when we bought the house. It wasn’t so much a conscious decision but a natural choice for both of us when we started picking out furniture and accessories and looking at inspiration. For us, black is classic, effortless and cool, it compliments everything but can make a statement all on its own. A lot of people message me to say we’re really brave using black or that they would have never have thought to use it in interiors, I find that really funny as I’ve always thought of black as a neutral and just as obvious as using white.
AHLT: It can be a bold move to journey to the dark side, but you clearly have made it work effortlessly in your home. What has been your favourite design decision so far?
Chelsea: The panelling in The Sad Room. I am a SUCKER for mouldings and panelling. We only have a 3-bed semi so I wanted to be realistic as to what would work; I have dreams of a Parisian apartment with sky-high ceilings and intricate mouldings. Whilst we don’t have this, we are lucky to have a home full of Victorian period features and so the panelling really does work beautifully with the rest of the property. You’ll definitely see more panelling here soon!
AHLT: We can't wait to see that pop up on your Instagram feed which, by the way, is perfectly polished and marvellously monochrome. How do you plan and achieve such perfect squares?
Chelsea: Oh thank you!! I’m not the best photographer but I do love a curated feed! With so many amazing accounts on Instagram, I think it’s important to find your own style to help you stand out. I don’t use filters as I find that just causes confusion when followers ask about paint colours but I always add a little white border and I like to make sure that the colours and tones in my photos are cohesive. When a new follower finds my account I’d want them to look at my profile and think that all the individual photos complement each other colour wise and that my account knows what it’s about! Does that make sense? It isn’t just the house but a little bit of fashion and lifestyle too, but all of it is completely our style. Unfortunately, I’m not very organised in the taking of the photos so I’m normally scrolling through my camera roll to find something suitable or snapping a shot last minute!
AHLT: Ah ha! The secrets out! But we're sure you're not alone on that one! Moving more towards planning the house itself, how do create each space in your home? If you had to give someone a recipe what would it be?
Chelsea: Kate Watson-Smyth from @mad_about_the_house said it best - “something new, something old, something black and something gold”. The basic rule is: there will always be something new that you’ve purchased because you love it and had to have it but not everything should be new. Then something old (usually wood), vintage, that has character and tells a story. Something black (I mean durrr) but also black acts as an anchor, it ties a room together and bring definition to space and lastly gold (or another metal) because you always need that touch of metallic! It’s a design rule we did without realising it and now we try to live by it - it works! I do think most of all though, it’s important that your home reflects who YOU are and your own personality.
AHLT: Great advice, and we too love Kate Watson-Smyth for that very reason as we're sure many of our readers do too! What would you say is your favourite space in your home and why?
Chelsea: The room we spend most of our time is a room that you never see on the feed, which is the living room! We haven’t decorated it yet but it’s next on the list and I can’t wait to share it with everyone once it’s done. Even though the decor isn’t to our taste it’s still my favourite room to spend time in because it’s where Mr S and I relax every night and catch up on each other’s day (and binge watch Netflix). But decor-wise, I think it always has to be the room most recently decorated, doesn’t it? Which is currently the kitchen! It still isn’t finished but we’re really pleased with how it’s taking shape and how the design decisions we’ve made our working out. Kitchens can typically be a huge expense but we wanted to challenge ourselves to completely make ours over on a budget and show that you don’t have to throw money at a project for it to be stylish. Fingers crossed it pays off!
AHLT: You've created a very high-end look so kudos to you guys and your DIY skills. Creating something yourself always makes the home feel just that little bit more personalised and sacred. What makes your home special to you and why?
Chelsea: I think you're right and that it is probably all the work we have put into it ourselves. We are both keen DIYers and when you invest so much of your own time (and anyone who follows me knows that’s ALOT of time!) into a project it just means more to you. But also, just because it’s OUR home! I think your home should be the most special place in the world to you. Regardless of how big it is or how fancy it is, it’s your little safe place. Somewhere that’s just yours. I don’t ever take that for granted.
AHLT: And you shouldn't, your home should always be a haven in your life. That said there are moments when we may make choices we later regret or see trends we don't particularly connect with. What is your least favourite trend in interiors right now?
Chelsea: Ahhhhhh. I can’t answer that!!! Haha. But no seriously, there are lots of interior trends and styles that aren’t particularly my taste and then some styles that you might be surprised, based on my own home, that I actually love. But I wouldn’t want to offend anyone because decorating your home is, and should be, so personal! Sitting firmly on the fence haha.
AHLT: Probably a wise choice and we agree with your sentiment on making things personal. That said sometimes things don't always go to plan and you may not have the right home to make it truly personal. To that end, if you could change just one thing about your home what would it be?
Chelsea: I mean, honestly, there are loads; I wish we’d have pulled up the carpets and found original parquet, I wish we could afford to replace the UPVC conservatory with a crittall style structure or that the house was about 30 minutes closer to my family. But also, nothing. I feel really lucky to have a beautiful home and I just appreciate where we are in our life now. But that doesn’t mean I’ll ever stop decorating haha!
AHLT: Finally, as its #MyHappyColourIsBlack weekend what is the one thing in the world that makes you the happiest?
Chelsea: That's easy, Mr S 🖤
Thank you Chelsea for inspiring us all with your fabulous feed! We've thoroughly enjoyed chatting with you and learning more about your story. If you'd like to keep up to date with Chelsea and her monochrome movements be sure to follow her on Instagram @TheHouseThatBlackBuilt
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