There were some things internally that she kept, too. “The builder said, ‘Get rid of the doors, they’re awful’, but I couldn’t. They remind me of being a kid, running in and out of the house all day long.”
Emma’s brother, an engineer, designed the structural beams, which were essential, but she did the redesign herself and found a local builder. “I worked off the BER-rating floor plan, and followed my instinct. For example, I always wanted a playroom off the kitchen, so I did that,” she says with satisfaction. She turned the original games room into a master bedroom, and opened up several of the small rooms, including the living room, to make one big, open-plan living space. She also ensured that the builder put really effective insulation in the walls, floors and ceilings. There were a few demons lurking, like dry rot under the floors, so they took them all up. Emma didn’t mind too much, as it gave her an opportunity to put beautiful smoked herringbone flooring in the dining and living areas, while they put down tiles in the kitchen, laminate in the playroom and carpets in the bedrooms. .
When it came to the decor, Emma chose to mix a bit of Nordic with a touch of French; she also takes much of her inspiration from the sea, and she uses different shades of blue extensively. “I wanted it to feel young and bright and open. I love the Nordic look, but it can be stark. I like a French feel, but with a bit of fun. I like to layer things up with texture,” she explains.
She got her kitchen locally and is thrilled with it. “I got it from P&M Kitchens in Ferns. They were the only company who sent me a screen 3D model, and they made it for half the price the others were quoting,” the bubbly brunette notes with delight. The worktops are made from Carrara marble, and the lighting over the peninsula is from Mullan Lighting. The paint on the units is Smokey Joe from Helen Turkington.
Apart from the kitchen, Emma has kept her background fairly neutral, and used Colourtrend’s Milk Teeth, in the main, on the walls. “I get colour in with my furnishings and accessories,” Emma says, adding that she had collected many of them over the years for her homes abroad. “I’ve done up houses in Arizona and London,” she says, adding that she had collected many of the pieces of furniture in the different rooms from the different countries in which they’d lived. These include very interesting pieces like the dining table, which is an old barn door.