Those of you who are active on Instagram may have come across the deliciously photogenic Little Miss Ivy Boo, her big brother Henry, their home that makes you drool with Insta-envy and very occasionally the Maman and owner of Instagram account @thislairdlife, Rebecca Hales. CheltenhamMaman HQ had the pleasure of visiting Rebecca in her mind bogglingly beautiful Cheltenham home to find out just where she gets her interior design ideas from.
Rebecca and her family live in leafy Leckhampton, a trendy area of Cheltenham a stones throw away from the Bath Road but close enough to Leckhampton Hill to enjoy the countryside by foot. From the outside their home is a functional and attractive 1950s detached home. But when you step through the door these words do this home no justice at all.
CheltenhamMaman HQ: Thanks so much for having me and the CheltenhamBébé round for a chinwag and tour of your pad. How long have you been here?
Rebecca: We moved to Cheltenham four years ago from South London, and lived in Montpellier and then Pittville before buying this house eighteen months ago, it was such a mess when we got it, we had to replace everything, the plumber took a selfie with the boiler because he had never seen one so old before! Unfortunately it’s not quite finished yet, but we have run out of time as we are are sad to say we are leaving beautiful Cheltenham this week to start a new life in Panama.
CMHQ: Oh my god but your home? Where will you live? Are you packed…. I have a gazillion questions….
Rebecca: We’re not really sure! We’ll be back before Christmas and we’ll have some big decisions to make then but right now we’re just focusing on giving it a try. So no, I’ve not packed, we have no accommodation sorted, I don’t speak the language and I really have no idea how it’s all going to work, but it will, we’ll make it all work. We’ve always been spontaneous and love to travel, even with the children. When we got the opportunity to move to Cheltenham, it all happened within a month!
CMHQ: So CheltenhamMaman readers are just in time to have a snoop around this home of yours. Phew! We’re here in the kitchen/dining room – tell us all about it.
Rebecca: I’m going to miss it – we’ve put so much work into the renovation I can’t imagine anyone else living here. The kitchen is probably my favourite room. It’s where we spend most of our time as a family, I love to cook from scratch and experiment with my own recipes, and Henry will often pull up a chair and help me. I can see my little veggie patch from the kitchen and I just love that, I am so passionate about organic produce, we eat a lot of raw plant based meals so good quality fruits and vegetables are important to me. One of the things I will most miss when we move is Ocado, they do a great organic range.
(Click into a picture to view a larger gallery.)
CMHQ: Ok but where’s all your stuff? Have you just got some amazing secret storage in here? What’s the deal with the clear work surfaces?
Rebecca: No I just don’t have stuff! I like a really clutter free environment. It’s calm and clean. I read the book ‘The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up’ by Marie Kondo. Straight after I read it I took fifty bags of stuff to the charity shop and have never looked back. I love the concrete floor in here too. It really works with the minimalist style.
CMHQ: I love the green couch in the living room, are you really decisive when it comes to choosing things for your home?
Rebecca: No! Not at all. I take forever to think my design through. I do loads of research and spend a massive amount of time on Pinterest comparing different design options and creating boards. I did all of the work initially on the renovation; I booked all the tradesmen and made all the decisions but more recently Chris is just desperate to get it all finished so he’s been a bit more involved to move things along. I have been suffering from decision fatigue!
CMHQ: So moving upstairs…. where do you like to shop for linens and soft furnishings?
Rebecca: I love a bit of The White Company. Doesn’t everyone? I picked these filament light fittings up from eBay but Ivy smashed one against the wall so they’re a bit of a hazard and, it turns out, pretty tricky to replace. Not much in the house is brand new. I like pieces that have a bit of history or a story behind them. I love finding things on eBay and second hand shops and being given old furniture by friends and family, I feel like it makes the house feel more homely.
CMHQ: The children’s rooms are lovely too. Tell me about your little wild ones?
Rebecca: Henry is two and he goes to a lovely nursery in Charlton Kings a couple of mornings a week. I think if we were staying we’d be considering lots of different options for schooling but he’s been really happy there. Henry is such a chilled out and tidy little boy. Ivy (14 months) couldn’t be more different. She loves making a mess and is just constantly on the go. She never stops. We call her the baby rhino because she just charges around constantly.
CMHQ: Back downstairs to the utility/shower room and the garden. So many interesting nooks and crannies! Where do you get your inspiration?
Yes the bifolding doors really bring the outside in, the garden is another favourite part of the house for me, it’s so quiet and tranquil.
We get so much inspiration from places we have been and I love all of the Lucky Onion restaurants and hotels. My parents are quite eccentric and live in this big old house in London crammed with antiques and treasures, it’s funny how I went the opposite way to them and minimal, I think I’d describe my style as rustic Scandinavian.
CMHQ: So what is the future for this beautiful home?
Rebecca: I really am not sure at the moment, hopefully we can get it finished when we come back over Christmas. We went into this renovation thinking this would be our home so it feels like a part of us, I guess it will just end up someone else’s home. I’d like to think we would return to Cheltenham as we do love it here, but we have no family here so no ties, and if we are exploring the other side of the world we might not even return to the UK. I have a feeling I might just fall head over heels in love with Hawaii!
CMHQ: Well thanks so much for having us. You’ve done a brilliant job on this place. Please please please keep us all updated on #thislairdpair and your adventures in Panama. You’re a very brave lady, we could all learn a lot from your spontaneity! Travel safe and keep in touch.