#MyHouseLikeThis - Episode 1 - Reece Hayden Smith
We’re super excited to share AHLT’s new Blog series where we get an inside look at the homes of the best and brightest upcoming interiors influencers. Today’s blog is dedicated to Littleedwardian73, a charming home for two guys and a dog based in Catford, South East London that was once featured on BuzzFeed as part of their “19 Incredible Bedrooms That'll Inspire You To Get Your Shit Together”. If you like your interiors dark and have a passion for all things Fornasetti then these guys are ones to watch. Whilst LittleEdwardian73 exudes luxury (feast your eyes on some fabulous statement choices such as the Nuvolette wallpaper print by Cole & Son in the master bedroom) there is also a thrifty approach to interiors that makes high-end decor feel somewhat realistic for those new to renovations. We had a chat with Reece Hayden Smith (the guy behind the squares) to learn more about his home, his creative process and what advice he’d give to those looking to start a new project at home...
A House Like...LittleEdwardian73
AHLT: Well hello there! Before we get stuck into it, can you tell us a little bit about you and your home?
Hi, my name is Reece, I’m 29 years old and I’m a children’s intensive care and transport nurse. I have always had a passion for interiors and I believe this stems from my Mother who makes curtains for a living. I find myself to have a unique, quirky sense of style and have always been interested in creating my vision through the style choices I make in my own home. I have lived in London for the past five years with my partner Paul and we bought our first home together two years ago. We decided that we wanted to buy a house in London without going further out than zone four. Though originally looking to settle down in East London we extended our search online and found a place in Catford within our price range which, from the pictures provided, looked very nice!
AHLT : So did the house and the area live up to the property listing?
When we came to look at the house Paul actually didn’t like it, but I loved it and could envision what we could do to the property. After only seeing it once we put an offer in and after a not so painful process we got the house. Over the past two years, we’ve come to love our house and we feel that we bought in the right area at exactly the right time as there’s lots of positive change going on in Catford and they are regenerating the area very significantly. As a result, we’ve really loved living in South East London!
AHLT : You’ve definitely got in at the right time - a very smart move! Literally! So, going back to your style, which is very much up our street by the way, how would you describe it in just 3 words?
I would say...Eclectic, unique and dark
AHLT : That’s a pretty good summary! You’re pretty nifty when it comes to decorating your home and we’ve seen you transform all sorts of items. What would you say is your favourite purchase for your home and why?
My favourite purchase for my home is the bed in the main bedroom known as the cloud bedroom. I was scouring eBay for furniture but I happened to come across this bed, I don’t do the usual eBay thing of trying to win an object or item but this had a buy it now for £350 which I did feel was too good to be true. Well, we bought it and I was so happy. It was a Heal's bed, the original price tag was £4000 not including a custom-made mattress which was around £1600. And we got the bed from this beautiful house in Surrey. There was nothing wrong with it and it had been residing in the spare room - they just wanted to get rid of it because they were moving back to the Middle East!
AHLT : You mentioned the “cloud bedroom”, that room has Fornasetti all over it which we’ve now come to associate with your home. When you plan to decorate or restyle your home what is your usual plan of attack?
The only way I plan a room is by seeing something I love and then elaborating on the original source. For example in the main bedroom, the Cole & Son Fornasetti wallpaper with the clouds was the first thing I wanted so I’ve built the room around “clouds” as a theme. I often create mood boards digitally or sometimes on a board. It all starts in my head, I have a vision and I often know how to execute it without too much physical planning.
AHLT : You’re a pretty brave designer! Did you ever have any mishaps during your renovating, it can always be tricky doing DIY - did you learn anything as a result if so?
I haven’t really had any DIY mishaps in this house but one time I did put a nail through a gas pipe when trying to hang a mirror. The funny thing was that I couldn’t find my hammer so I used a rolling pin instead. What I did learn from this is that you should never use kitchen utensils as tools for DIY...
AHLT : Wow, that could have been dangerous! So when you’re not trying to blow up the house where do you go to relax? Do you have a favourite space?
I’m very hard on myself because I love everything that I’ve done so far but I want it all done right away which is difficult because money is always the limitation. That said, I love my bedroom and it’s my favourite room ever. It turned out better than I could have ever expected and I adore everything that I picked for the room. The bedroom is my serene space I love spending time there to get away from it all. The finishing touches will be adding shutters for the bedroom windows, then the room will be complete!
AHLT : So after the shutters, which you will not regret by the way, what is your next home project and what considerations would you have before you start it?
We are currently getting an architect to draw up plans for an extension. The extension will house the family room and a new kitchen. Along with this we will redecorate the formal sitting room and carry out works on the downstairs bathroom turning this into downstairs toilet and utility. We are both very excited about this and we have lots of ideas of what we would like to achieve...hopefully all within budget!
AHLT : Good luck, that sounds incredibly exciting and we cannot wait to see how it pans out. So who would you say inspires you when it comes to interior design?
It’s not necessarily who inspires me because I get my inspiration from lots of different sources. Instagram is a great place for getting huge amounts of inspiration and seeing the array of designs that people carry out in their own homes. I also find Pinterest is a great asset when creating a scheme for a room.
AHLT : It’s hard sometimes seeing all of the inspiration out there and not knowing where to start once you’ve seen so many different homes of all shapes and sizes. With that in mind, if you could change just one thing about your home what would it be?
I would change the size maybe. I would like it a little bigger...just because I like decorating lots of rooms!
AHLT : We know the feeling, it can be quite the expensive habit! We’ve had a great time chatting with you Reece, your home is superb and you should be very proud of your achievements, we expect many will be inspired by your home and style. To that end, what advice would you give to homeowners looking to start their next decor or renovation project?
Have an idea of what you want before starting the project create mood boards and draw some rough sketches. Dedicate time to finding a good builder and architect and get recommendations from others...it pays to do your research! Then finally shop around because you can often get things a lot cheaper to achieve your ultimate vision.
AHLT : Thanks Reece for your time, it's been an absolute pleasure.
To follow Reece’s story you can find his gorgeous home on Instagram in the links provided below...
Are your interiors something to write home about?
Let us know by sharing your posts with #MyHouseLikeThis and each month we'll pick finalists to feature on the blog! You'll get to vote for your favourites for each final and we'll send a gorgeous prize to the winning interior, just to make them even more scent-sational...