Welcome to our first ever ‘Through the Keyhole’, which will be a monthly fix from here on in. Each month we will be bringing you a guided tour of an inspirational home, and we’re starting here, with the fabulous home of Miffy Shaw (or @miffyshaw, for those of you on Instagram.) It is bursting with quirky charm and distinctive style, so we couldn’t wait to have a proper nosy round and find out more about the creative talents of its owner.
Hi Miffy – tell us a bit about you.
Well I live with my husband Gareth, our one and a half year old daughter Frankie and our French bulldog Tugboat. I’m mostly a mum, with a lot of interiors and ironing thrown in! We have been doing up properties to sell for the last thirteen years, and I do all the interiors for them, as well as some manual labour. I love DIY and up-cycling and getting stuck into a project. I’ve just started taking on interior design work for clients to get some experience of decorating to suit other people’s style and tastes and to gain confidence.
How long have you lived in your home and what made you buy it?
We live in a 1930’s 3-bed semi in a Beautiful Town called Penarth in South Wales. We have been here for just over three years and it is our first proper home. We renovate properties to sell and a friend of mine had a house she thought we would like. Gareth went to see it as I was away, and when he called me to say “you’re gonna love it!” I knew then I would want it. The first thing I saw was the fireplace in the front room and I was sold!
Does the house have any original features?
We do have some, like the fireplace in the front room, as well as in two of the bedrooms. We have some black and white tiles in the hallway, good floorboards and my favourite – the parquet flooring. We had to take it up in the second reception room to do the extension but we kept it and re-laid it in the garage conversion.
Was it a project when you bought it?
Yes! We’ve renovated the whole house throughout and added an extension to create a spacious kitchen/diner. We took a load of walls out to open it all up. The extension has bi-fold doors and a flat roof so that we could have a wild flower garden and a roof window.
How would you describe your interior style?
Ooh, not sure really as I like so many different things! I’m on both the dark side and the light side!. I like old things with a story and character. Rustic Industrial is probably my absolute favourite style, epitomized by my tractor seat stools.
What inspires you?
That’s a hard question. I just kinda love what I love. I am obsessed with interiors and love looking at magazines, Pinterest and of course Instagram. I am fascinated by other people’s homes and reflecting on what Iove about them and also what I’d do differently. I like most styles and colours and find it hard to decide on what I want. I’m inspired by rustic, industrial spaces and love raw, natural materials like wood, stone, leather and metal.
What’s your favourite room in the house?
Our kitchen – without a doubt. I love it when the bi-fold doors are open and we have friends and family over for a BBQ or pizza party. The kitchen is the heart of the home and it’s where we eat and relax. We’ve used the same limestone flooring inside and out and used the same colour on the walls, so when it’s all opened up it feels like one big space.
What is your most treasured interior possession?
I think that would have to be my round, bronze coloured mirror that belonged to my Nan. When I was young I thought all my nan’s stuff was old fashioned but now I love it all and its so special to me.
Where are your favourite places to shop for interiors?
My go-to place is eBay! I like old pieces of furniture and anything with a story. I love having a rummage through charity shops, car boot sales and auctions. High street store wise, I love Anthropology and Zara Home.
What sort of things do you splash out on and where do you make savings?
I love lighting and think it’s worth spending what you can as it can make or break the look of a room. I like to have lots of different light fittings, so I can get all cosy and hygge-y in the evenings. I save on furniture by buying old pieces and up-cycling them. I love working with wood and have made lots of stuff in the house myself, which has enabled me to get exactly what I wanted, as well as save money. It helps that my husband is a Builder so between us we can do all the DIY and renovations ourselves.
What is the best value item in your home?
That has to be my brown leather armchair. Another amazing find on eBay for £70!
What’s your favourite colour to use in your home décor?
I love colours even though I don’t wear them. Navy is probably my favourite and I think it looks fab against our original brick wall.
What is your favourite account on Instagram?
I would say @RockettstGeorge. Simple- I literally want everything. I also love @devolkitchens- everything they make is beautiful and one day I will have one! @mywarehousehome is right up my street too.
What is your next housey project?
We converted the garage to create a man cave for Gareth but it has been filled with junk. We need to finish it off and add the sliding barn doors to hide said junk! We also want to convert the loft and I’m looking forward to decorating that.
Any interior tips for our readers?
Take walls down, bring the outdoors in and be brave. Go with what you love and what makes your heart sing. It’s your home so just do whatever makes you happy.
If you loved this, you will love Miffy’s instagram page @miffyshaw, where you can keep up to date on all her interior projects. We highly recommend you follow this lady!
Do you have a distinctively stylish home that would inspire others? We’d love to hear from you. Get in touch to be featured – firstname.lastname@example.org