Through The Keyhole – A Scandi Sanctuary in Southampton

For this month’s ‘Through The Keyhole’ we give you Gemma, AKA @caffeineandcacti.  Her interior style is seriously swoon-worthy and we have been lusting after pretty much everything in her home since, well, forever.

Here she tells us where she gets her inspiration and what she treasures most. Perhaps most importantly she divulges where she sourced all of her awesome accessories and furniture. (Full suppliers list at the end of this article…we’ve basically just copied and pasted the entire thing to formulate our latest shopping list.) Enjoy!

Hi Gemma! We love following you on insta, but tell us about the person behind the account.

Well my name is Gemma and I’m 33 years old. I live in small town just outside of Southampton and I’m a student veterinary nurse. I live with my fiancé and our rescue Patterdale Terrier Cross, Byron.

I love shopping for homeware, styling my home (aka home faffing!), taking Byron for long walks and exploring new places.  I also love upcycling furniture, and this year I am going to learn the art of macramé so I can make some hanging planters and some backdrop pieces for our wedding.

 Give us some detail on your beautiful home.

Our home is a 3 bedroom mid terrace situated in a new build area. It looks out onto some beautiful tall trees so even though we are in a built up area it doesn’t feel like it.

 How would you describe your style?

It’s a scandi/boho vibe I’d say. I love the light and minimal design of Scandinavian spaces, with their clean lines and practicality. But more recently my home is leaning more and more towards a bohemian vibe, as I add more and more interesting pieces, patterns, soft furnishings, a ton of plants and even a bamboo drinks trolley!

 What inspires you and the way you style your home?

All the fabulous accounts on Instagram inspire me. I love stalking people’s homes on there. There are so many accounts  with incredible homes and styles, it’s forever making me want to update my home! I also love to check my favourite home stores for some style inspo, especially their ‘new in’ items.

  What is your favourite room?

My favourite room is our combined living/dining space. It’s where we spend most of our time when we’re at home, so it was important to me to make it as comfortable and relaxing as possible. It’s also the room our guests see the most so I wanted it to be stylish, inviting and interesting!

Our large grey corner sofa is the main feature of the room which I have an unlimited supply of blush and boho cushions for!

I’ve added interest to the walls by painting some geometric shapes in light airy shades, an idea I saw on Pinterest. I’ve created a little dining nook, complete with floating shelves and its own berber rug! To finish I adorned the room with soft glowy lights and strung fairy lights across the ceiling.

What is your most treasured interior item?

Well it isn’t a vintage piece or a sentimental family heirloom, but a rather large world travel map from IKEA! It measures 6.5 feet x 4.5 feet and the only place it fits is on our landing above our stairs.

 I fell in love with this map years ago when it was first released, but living at home with my parents I had no where to put it. Fast forward to buying our own home and it was discontinued and no longer being made! Gutted. I still dreamt of owning this giant map and so my OH constantly checked Gumtree and other pre-loved sites for one to pop up! (he’s good like that).

However because it was discontinued, people were now selling them for ridiculous prices online (like £500!) I’d almost given up hope until we checked online randomly one night and one was added for sale literally down the road from us, and we snapped it up for £25!!! They obviously didn’t realise how much they were going for! 

Where are your favourite places to source items for your home?

Without a doubt Ikea and Homesense/Tkmaxx are my ‘go to’ stores for homeware. Most of my furniture is from Ikea and most of my accessories are from Homesense/Tkmaxx. I could spend hours trailing around Ikea and Homesense, I just love them!

Since introducing more of a boho feel in my home I have purchased some gorgeous soft furnishings from some lovely small businesses on Insta.

Hannah from @loominessance makes the most beautiful soft hanging weaves. She can custom make one in your choice of colours, shape or size and I own the most gorgeous dusky pink one she made especially for me.

Another fave for me is @Homeofboho. It’s run by Louise who sells affordable boho textiles sourced from around the world. Her range of cushions are to die for and I need them all!

 What is the best value item in your home? 

Our best value item in our home I’d say is our amazing GJORA bed frame from Ikea (told you we had a lot of Ikea!). It’s a real statement piece and so well made. Plus it was a steal at under £200! It stays in our guest bedroom and receives plenty of compliments from people who stay in it. What I love about it is that you can really make it your own by draping your favourite fabric over the high end, or hanging plants and fairy lights from it like I have.

Not that we really need ask (but we will anyway) what’s your favorite colour to use in your home décor?

Without a doubt that would have to be blush pink! I am seriously crushing hard on blush at the moment. It’s just such a dreamy colour! I recently updated our guest bedroom by doing a half painted wall in Farrow and Ball’s ‘Calamine’, which is the perfect dusky pink colour in a light chalky finish.

I saw the half painted wall idea on Pinterest and thought it was edgy and different! Since doing it I’ve had a ton of people on Instagram telling me how much they love it and that they’ve been inspired to create their own. Check out @home_onthe_hill ’s living room for example.

 What is your favourite account on Instagram?

Oh man this is a HARD one!!! There are so many faves! If I had to pick just one however, the one who I am feeling most inspired by at the moment is definitely the fabulous Jen over at @blissfully_eclectic. Not only is she an all-round beautiful human, but her home is absolute goals! Jen is a literal home guru and each room in her home is bursting with personality and interesting pieces, mostly all sourced from thrift stores. If I could move into anyone’s home at the moment, it would be hers!

Photo credit: @blissfully_eclectic

 What is on your wish list?

I’ve recently made a big wish come true by painting our bedroom walls a delicious grey to go alongside the botanical wallpaper where my dressing table sits.

However there is one thing that will always remain on my interior wish list and that is a blush pink velvet couch! Like this one from

It will probably always remain on my wish list as I know it’s about as impractical as it gets. Also,  the OH is pretty lenient with the levels of pink in ourhome, however this would be a step too far for him! In my next home I’ll need a second lounge, one just for me and my pink sofa!

 We’d love to hear your top home styling tips…

The best advice I can give is don’t be afraid to experiment in your home. If you’ve been dying to paint that wall a certain colour, but you’re unsure about it, just go for it! You can always paint it back if you hate it.

I strongly believe that a house starts feeling like a home once you begin putting things on the wall. Whether it be a gallery wall full of your favourite prints and photos, some shelves adorned with your most treasured ornaments, or that new wall hanging you’ve purchased from @loominessance! Don’t be afraid to make holes in the wall.

 Just make sure you check where the wires are first, we learnt that the hard way! Oops. Oh and if you’re attempting an epic geometric wall then FrogTape is your best friend.


Beaded chandelier – Debenhams
Circular shelf – Flyingtiger
Fluffy pink cushion – Homesense
Black and white Pom Pom cushion – Primark
Black grid shelving unit- Ikea
Record player – Crosley £90
Macrame – Matalan £10
Fluffy stool – Homesense £60
Dressing table – Ikea
Tassel planter – Maisons Du Monde £35
Large pink planter – Homesense £15
Stacked coffee mugs – Homesense
Neon flamingo – Sunnylifeaustralia
Large round mirror – Ikea £60
Concrete and copper plant pot – Maisons Du Monde
Black chair – Ikea
Boho bed – Ikea
Palm print wallpaper – B&Q
Retro coffee table -Ikea
Lounge lamp – The Range £50


If you have a beautiful home and would love to feature here on the Homebirds blog, we’d love to hear from you! Send an email to Our readers are ready and waiting to be inspired!




No Comments

%d bloggers like this: