Houzz Tour: At Home With... Charlotte Smith of Lotts & Lots
Continuing our series visiting interiors bloggers at home, designer Charlotte Smith opens up her Essex house and shares her inspiration
Finding their home on a property website was the easy part – Charlotte admits ‘it was love at first click’. But once they’d had their offer accepted, the real work began. ‘The house had been empty for three years, and hadn’t had any upkeep for about 20,’ Charlotte says. ‘Every room needed structural attention.’ A jewellery designer by trade, Charlotte brought her eye for detail and colour to the project and, after lots of hard work, the finished result is a welcoming home packed with pretty details and bursts of cheerful colour. Take the tour below.
COMMENT FOR A CHANCE TO WIN
To celebrate some of the most creative and inspiring UK bloggers and their homes, we’ll be asking each blogger in this series to choose a giveaway gift that reflects their personal style. Charlotte Smith has chosen a Distressed Shaker shelf from Seagirl and Magpie as her prize. All you have to do to enter is comment below on why you love this home. *This competition has now closed.*
Who lives here Charlotte Smith and her husband, Dan
Blog Lotts & Lots
Property A semi-detached Edwardian house
Size 5 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms
Location Leigh-on-Sea, Essex
That’s interesting When we bought it, it was split into two homes
Table, Hastings and Bexhill Wood Recycling from Shop in St Leonards. Folding chair, Ikea. Dinner plates, Sophie Conran for Portmeirion. Wine glasses, John Lewis.
Take a tour of Caroline Rowland’s vintage-style London home
My blog is all about DIY and creative living for the modern maker. It started as a jewellery-making blog and as my life has changed, so has the site. Since house renovations began, I’ve been sharing more home tutorials, from big room makeovers to furniture refreshes.
Walls painted in Pavilion Blue, Farrow & Ball.
I really needed a creative outlet. I was working as an unfulfilled PA after studying and working in fashion for a few years; I really missed being creative and didn’t want to become stagnant. I’d just discovered jewellery-making and blogs, so decided to start my own. I had very few readers for years, but as my confidence and skills grew, I started sharing more content and the opportunities have been amazing. I’ve worked with Liberty and Mollie Makes magazine, and set up my own jewellery-making classes.
Greenwich White Smooth kitchen cabinets, Howdens. Retro Metro tiles; Porcelain floor tiles, all Walls and Floors.
We’ve owned the house since October 2013, but only moved in a year ago. It needed considerable renovation work done before it was habitable.
We found the house online and immediately knew it was the one. We’d had two houses fall through previously, but with this house it was love at first click. I was away, so Dan saw it first and immediately booked a second viewing for the next day. We put in an offer straight away and thankfully it was accepted.
Forhoja kitchen trolley, Ikea.
It was a bit of a project! The house had been split into two residences, so there were two of everything to sort out. Between January and May 2014, we took out two bathrooms and kitchens and replaced them with just one of each, knocking down internal walls to create more livable spaces.
The house had been empty for three years, but hadn’t had any upkeep for about 20 – every room needed structural attention, from rotting supporting beams in the roof to missing ceiling supports. We really took on a lot of work.
Wire lampshades, Habitat.
Don’t be scared of colour, choose pieces you love, and make a room suit you and your lifestyle. When we first started work on the house, we received so much conflicting advice, especially with regards to our kitchen. Dan and I are the worst for piling up post and leaving bits to put away later. There was a lot of talk of breakfast bars and little tables, but I knew I wanted to keep dumping areas to a minimum and create a flexible space.
I kept half the kitchen freestanding, so we could add areas as we needed them, and as I sourced the additional cabinets from Gumtree, it made the kitchen much cheaper. It really works for us, and even if we don’t put everything away during the week, it doesn’t take long to tidy up at the weekend.
Cabinet painted in Green Verditer, Little Greene. Lula lamp, Habitat. Vase, Anthropologie.
Completing rooms! There’s still so much work to do and bits to finish that getting another room crossed off the list is a great feeling. In the summer, I love being out in the garden. As soon as I get home in the evenings, I do a lap of it, checking all the plants and watering my seedlings. I find it really relaxing after spending the day in London and commuting.
Ektorp sofa, Ikea. Bookcase, Scape Interiors.
I never really follow trends, but I love seeing how more and more people are using plants and greenery in their homes. It creates such a wonderful, calming atmosphere and works across all spaces, no matter what style or size of home you have. I definitely want to add more plants throughout the house.
Glass dome with a plate, H&M.
It’s so hard to pick! I love the rooms at the front in winter, because they’re so cosy. In summer, I like to be in the back, in the dining room or my bedroom, as the rooms are flooded with light and I love to be able to see out into the garden.
If I really had to choose, I’d probably say the bathroom. When it was a kitchen, it was terrifying – all dark wood and leaking ceiling. I love how spacious it is and the fact there’s room for my bath, which I found on eBay for £50.
Fabric wall tiles; Porcelain floor tiles, all Walls and Floors. Hamman towel, Forget-Me-Not in Leigh-on-Sea.
View Charlotte Duckworth’s bright and stylish London flat
If I’m being honest, the first thing I do is check Instagram! As that usually makes me late, I try to have a cup of tea and feed the cat before I check my phone.
Costa Rica. I love the trees, the nature, the food, the beaches – everything is beautiful and so relaxed. I went when I was having a bit of a bad patch about four years ago and I just felt reset. I started my blog a few months after I returned; it definitely set me on the path I’m on now.
Distressed Shaker shelf, Seagirl and Magpie.
The hallway is next on the list. The house is rather Tardis-like and has three floors. I started the downstairs hallway last year and we have recently had the first and second floors decorated. Now I’m planning all the details: I’ve ordered some amazing Designers Guild wallpaper for one of the walls and spend a lot of time looking for bookcases, light fittings and rugs to finish it off.
Walls painted in Silver Mist, Homebase.
Leather sofas! I don’t mind old chesterfields or battered armchairs when they’re in the right setting, but modern, nondescript leather sofas do nothing for me – they are just cold and slippery. Dan had one when I first moved in that I used to jump on when he wasn’t around – the thing was indestructible. Everything matching also freaks me out – I can’t get my head around having everything the same.
Lime, Basil & Mandarin candle, Jo Malone.
Usually doing something creative. At the moment, doing bits in the garden is my favourite activity – planting seeds and even weeding is a novelty. In winter, I like to get my sewing machine out and have a play around or make jewellery. I’m never normally sitting still.
Wilton bedstead, John Lewis.
Sleeping! After a week of commuting, writing my blog and sorting jewellery-making classes, I’m normally shattered and like to recharge. If I’m not doing that, then the ideal Friday would be catching up with friends and having a few cocktails somewhere.
Bright pink cushion cover, H&M. Other cushion covers, Ikea.
Eating well, staying active and trying to be kind to myself. I try to cram in so much, and if I tell myself off for not doing something perfectly, I always try to remember I’ve done my best with what I have and that’s enough.
I saw a saying years ago that has always stuck with me – keep things as simple as possible, and no more. When life gets too complicated, I try to remember to find the simplest solution.
Apart from my husband, friends and family, I’d say my cat, Rosie, blusher, my sewing machine and sunshine!
Print, Etsy. Ribba frame, Ikea.
Visit Charlotte’s blog.
COMMENT TO WIN
All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is post a comment below on what you love about Charlotte’s home. A randomly drawn entry from all comments that were submitted in the contest period and approved by Houzz UK Ltd will determine this month’s prize winner. Approved comments will be included in the draw automatically. The prize winner will receive a Distressed Shaker shelf, RRP £55, from Seagirl and Magpie (or, if out of stock, a gift voucher will be issued). View the full competition T&Cs here. *This competition has now closed.*
Are you a UK interiors blogger? Talk to us! If you’d like to submit your home for this series, please send details to firstname.lastname@example.org.