As the worlds of fashion and interior design become more intertwined than ever, our new series takes you inside the stylish homes of women working in creative industries, be it photography, art, fashion or film. Next up is lifestyle influencer Lydia Millen, who has spent the last 12 months renovating her dream country home in Buckinghamshire. Inspired by muted tones, contrasting textures and modern British glamour, her job is nearly now complete, and she's ready to share the results. Here, she talks us through her journey, but for more updates and interiors inspirations visit @lydiamillenhome.
The front door
"Our front door is one of my favourite parts of our home. It’s big and wide and I always knew I wanted to make a feature of it. I love the seasons (some might say it’s a bit of an obsession), so planning my seasonal wreath is something I take a considerable amount of enjoyment in. This is our current autumn wreath inspired by the farmland that surrounds our home at harvest time. It also incorporates pheasant feathers which are found all around our home as the birds roam freely during the colder months. To finish I also added dried French lavender from our front garden to tie in our flower beds. The door is painted in Farrow & Ball ‘downpipe’."
"The biggest project of our home was our hallways. We wanted to create a charming space with maximum brightness, so we used white paint for the walls and added panelling on the bottom half to add character. We had two new staircases built, removing the old modern glass design and opting for a modern New England style to add a grand feel. We’re now curating the perfect art and prints to hang on the walls to add the finishing touch - I love this limited edition print from artist Toni Thornton, which brings all of the tones in the hallways to life."
The living room
"Our living room is probably one of my favourite rooms in the house, although I do say that about a lot of the rooms in our home. It was my first time experimenting with dark colours and it sparked a love affair which now extends throughout the house. There was no fireplace when we bought the property and we always knew we wanted to put one in to make it a central focus of the space - surrounded by soft and scrumptious sofas to give the room balance. Christmas is our favourite time of year and spending evenings cosied under blankets with the fire roaring is our favourite thing to do. We spend most of our time in this room. It's a great space to relax with loved ones."
"The kitchen was the room that sold me the house. With its huge pantry, stunning centre island complete with a wine fridge and floor-to-ceiling windows, it really was love at first sight. We gave the original Tom Howley kitchen a new lease of life by painting it in Farrow & Ball ‘cornforth white’ for the wall units and railing, and a contrasting piece of Ceasarstone worktop for the centre island. Painting your kitchen is a great, inexpensive way to give it a little more longevity, but there are definitely elements of the design which I would change if I redesigned it myself, perhaps opening up the space into the lounge and making it more open-plan."
Living room number two
"The back of our home is almost completely glass and we have four rooms with floor-to-ceiling bi-fold doors which we love to fling open even on a cold frosty morning to bring the outside in. In warmer months, it makes the perfect space for entertaining which we absolutely love to do."
The powder room
"I call this room ‘The Powder Room’ and it’s the room that I was really able to have fun and experiment with. Growing up at my dad's, we had the most beautiful bathroom on the top floor of their Georgian townhouse and since then I’ve always wanted period bathroom fixtures my home - a high cistern toilet was top of my list. We wallpapered the whole room including the ceiling with Cole & Sons' Fornasetti Nuvolette design which adds a really dramatic feel. We then painted the panelling in Farrow & Ball ‘downpipe’. Our house has six bathrooms, so I have big plans for the other bathrooms now that I’ve managed to convince my husband that this is a great idea."
"I love filling out my home with dried plants and stems. It’s soft and calming and I adore the way it works with the tones of the house. Our house is situated in a secluded hamlet and is surrounded by 60-foot of towering trees, so if I ever feel like I need a little extra oxygen in the house that day I open up the windows and let it in that way. Also, I can’t kill something that’s already dead, so it’s those small wins that bring me much joy."
"It was my mission to create a bedroom that is a sanctuary for sleep. In our first home we did our very best to keep it clutter-free, but our new house came with much more space and our very first ensuite. We keep our dressing rooms separate, so that nothing other than sleep happens in this room. We went for soft high pile carpet alongside soft-grey walls and pillows - lots and lots of pillows for added softness. Our bed was a huge investment; we wanted it so to feel like the ultimate indulgence every time we get into it so we really opted for quality with a Simba mattress and Haastens duvet which feels like I’m sleeping between the clouds."
The finishing touches
"Sometimes you won’t get it right the first time, sometimes you won’t get it right the second time either, but if you have the means to play and experiment with your space I definitely encourage you to do so. It’s been the best way to learn and it’s incredibly rewarding when you create the perfect look in your space."
From Harper's Bazaar U.K.