Open to ideas

PUBLISHED: 10:30 11 July 2008 | UPDATED: 15:20 20 February 2013

The flooring was an important part of the design of Jackie's home and gives the eye a good idea of room boundaries without the need for walls

The flooring was an important part of the design of Jackie's home and gives the eye a good idea of room boundaries without the need for walls

Jackie Watson's elegant three-storey home in Chelmsford provided a blank canvass to create a unique interior look she now enjoys with her son, Clark

THE elegant exterior of Jackie Watson's three-storey house in Chelmsford gave her inspiration as to how to style and decorate the rooms inside, and with a newly-built house to work on, she was filled with enthusiasm for the task.

Jackie has successfully run an interior design business for eight years and has achieved many different styles for every conceivable taste. This isn't the first house that Jackie has decorated for herself, but it is a challenge that she was looking forward to a lot.

'I was very excited about moving into the house,' she recalls. 'I had numerous ideas and different looks that I had collected together over time spent in the business.' For Jackie, who was able to source suppliers easily, the job of making her new house into a beautiful home brought great excitement.

Richly patterned
As with a lot of new houses, the kitchen was fitted before Jackie moved in, although she was able to choose colour schemes and finishes on materials. With the pale relaxing look being achieved by using wooden units and cupboards, the room was given its style. In contrast to the light walls and units, a richly-patterned slate floor was laid which complemented the stainless steel appliances beautifully.

'I was very impressed by the build of the kitchen and it was one of the things that I was really struck on when I viewed plans of the house before its completion,' comments Jackie. Another feature that was a real selling point for Jackie was the open planning of the downstairs accommodation. 'This is a style that I'm really keen on at the moment and I felt would really suit my lifestyle,' adds Jackie.

Within the space downstairs there is enough room for two seating areas, both of which have an almost colonial atmosphere which Jackie has carefully furnished with lots of natural shades and textures. The comfy sofa nearest the kitchen was commissioned for the room, working on Jackie's specifications and ideas. The rattan chair at the garden end of the room transforms this part into a light conservatory-style area complete with roof windows and doors which open onto a patio outside. Jackie loves this part of the room, which doubles up as a great dining area. The mood of the room varies depending on the time of day, but the eating area really comes to life at night when the additional lighting outside spills over the garden.

Although Jackie had not wanted any carpeting downstairs, she decided to soften the look and feel upstairs with a selection that would be in keeping with the schemes of each room. She chose a biscuit-coloured wool carpet for the guest room which instantly looked cosy. Jackie then set to work on decorating the room in a style she felt her guests would appreciate. She used some wide-striped wallpaper from the Osborne and Little range which is, rather unusually, horizontally striped.

This, unintentionally, made the room look surprisingly big. She then accessorised the bed itself with beautiful white bed linen and a warm folded blanket. 'I wanted the room to be welcoming and restful,' explains Jackie, 'and I think that with all the little finishing touches like the prints on the walls and the muted coloured curtains, this has been achieved.'

Although Jackie's more than happy with the style throughout the house, she never tires of the look of her bedroom and en suite. The freshness of the greens used in these two rooms provides an uplifting atmosphere and will not date like some designs. 'I chose the topiary pattern because it has a classic feel without looking dull,' explains Jackie.

Attention to detail
Jackie worked really hard on paying attention to detail in these two rooms making sure that everything worked well together. She made a matching headboard for the bed from some remnant fabric and even made some cushions to match the upholstered chair in the bathroom. 'I think my efforts paid off,' says Jackie with a smile, 'because the bedroom and en suite are probably the most widely commented on rooms in the house by guests when they come to stay.'

Without a doubt Jackie knows her stuff and has proved it by making her own house into a beautiful stylish home, but what about future projects. 'Well, I think after doing this place just how I like it, I might just stay put and relax in it for a while.'

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