History is what makes London’s period properties some of the most desirable on the planet, but for Fearne Cotton there was a bit too much history hanging off the wall of her 19th-century period property in the capital.
It was filled with original features, from fireplaces to arching hallways, but was in need of a drastic makeover. ‘I love the age of my home and the way it holds history,’ says the television and radio presenter.
‘It’s an 1800s property and has lots of original features, such as fireplaces and arching hallways. I’m a big fan of older properties as I think they ooze character and have lots of stories to tell. [But] it needed a huge update.
‘There were about ten layers of wallpaper on the hallway walls, a tiny kitchen that needed extending and old wooden floors that needed covering.’
Before the house could be decorated, Fearne knocked out two walls in the kitchen to open it all up and bring in the light from the conservatory.
Then she added a blast of colour throughout with paint and wallpaper along with the things she loves. A fan of vintage finds, Fearne has also scoured eBay for unique vintage pieces to create a one-of-a-kind space. There was no set plan, elaborate mood boards or preconceived styling – she just went with her heart.
‘I fell in love with my home when I walked into the hallway just past the front door. I knew it had to be mine. It was more the atmosphere than anything else – I just had that feeling that it was right.
‘I think that’s a strong theme throughout my home. There’s no set styling to my home, everything is sort of bought based on how it made me feel when I saw it.’
A recent addition is Fearne’s reading nook in the lounge. ‘There wasn’t anything specific there before but I knew when I started working on the project with eBay that I wanted to re-decorate a space that would truly be mine.
‘I feel like sometimes the house can feel like a bit of a madhouse with the kids, my husband and our two cats, so I was lacking a space that I could call my own, and that’s really what I wanted the reading nook to be.
‘It’s essentially a cosy space for some all-important me-time. There’s nothing more relaxing than getting comfy with a good book and a cuppa, which I do a lot as part of my podcast research.’
Fearne focused on three main elements when creating the bright and airy reading nook: colour, relaxation and rituals. Warm colours such as orange and yellow brought feelings of happiness, and worked with shades of blue and purple for an essence of calm.
‘I think that colours can be really powerful, as they’ve been scientifically proven to affect your mood. So for the reading nook I leant into these a lot. I think the space does a really nice job of balancing calming blues with bolder pops of yellow and orange.’
The ritual and relaxation aspects were linked, says Fearne. ‘When I say ritual I’m referring to those ritualistic behaviours that enable us to manage daily life stresses, whether it’s a morning cup of tea or, as it is for me, a bit of quiet reading time.’
Fearne filled the space with candles with calming smells to stimulate the production of serotonin and dopamine to regulate mood, vintage lighting and cushions for added cosiness. It is now her go-to place to de-stress and have a read.
‘Basically just when I need a bit of a time-out from life, I like to go to my cosy, eclectic reading nook, curl up with a book and just escape in stories for a little while.’
Fearne didn’t fall in love with reading until she was 17. ‘Prior to that I thought it was boring but then I started to travel a lot for work in my teens and was often a little lonely so I would take a good book and get lost in that on a long flight or in a new part of the world. Books became my comfort and travel companion, and these days they’re my passion.’
Her main advice for creating any space is to ask: does this make me happy? ‘You spend a lot of time in your home. I do as I’m a bit of a homebody, so it’s important to make sure it’s a space that I feel comfortable in.
‘Looking after your mental health can be hard, but if you have places you can go that will help you feel safe and calm, that can really help.’
Fearne Cotton is curating this year’s Festifeel – click here for your chance to win a pair of tickets
House of Hackney Floral Avalon Wallpaper
‘As soon as I saw the sample I knew I needed it in my home. I just love how it’s not too girly and literally matches with everything.’
Swoon Charlbury Kingfisher Easy Velvet Armchair
‘I read A LOT, so I wanted something big and cosy that I could curl up in.’ ,
Huso Shaggy Rug
A light run can really lift a space, especially a cosy reading corner like Fearne’s.
Fairfax Rattan Basket
Sometimes it’s the simple additions that have the greatest impact, like earthy wood tones in a room full of colour.
‘I’ve become a bit of a plant mum. I love all the plants in the room and think they’re important to add that sense of outdoors to your indoors.’
Maria 2-Way Candleholder Pink
Little touches of decoration all add up to give Fearne’s space a effortlessly homely, vintage feel.
Elvina 3-Piece Nest of Tables,
‘My wooden side tables were another great vintage find.’
Pure Pomelo Scented Candle
‘Lux Luz are one of eBay’s Shop For Change sellers, profits go towards projects supporting women affected by domestic violence.’
This article contains affiliate links. We will earn a small commission on purchases made through one of these links but this never influences our experts’ opinions. Products are tested and reviewed independently of commercial initiatives.
Metro.co.uk joins forces with CoppaFeel!
This year Metro.co.uk are the proud sponsors of breast cancer charity CoppaFeel!’s music festival Festifeel, specially curated by their patron, Fearne Cotton.
Taking place on Sunday 18 September at London’s Omeara, the line up includes headliners McFly, comedian Rosie Jones and Radio 1 DJ Adele Roberts. For a chance to win a pair of tickets to the sold out event click here.
You can find out more about CoppaFeel! here, but in the meantime, here’s three simple steps from the charity to get you started on your chest-checking journey:
- Look at your boobs, pecs or chest.
- Look at the area from your armpit, across and beneath your boobs, pecs or chest, and up to your collarbone.
Be aware of any changes in size, outline or shape and changes in skin such as puckering or dimpling.
- Feel each of your boobs, pecs or chest.
- Feel the area from your armpit, across and beneath your boobs, pecs or chest, and up to your collarbone.
Be aware of any changes in skin such as puckering or dimpling, or any lumps, bumps or skin thickening which are different from the opposite side.
Notice your nipples
- Look at each of your nipples.
Be aware of any nipple discharge that’s not milky, any bleeding from the nipple, any rash or crusting on or around your nipple area that doesn’t heal easily and any change in the position of your nipple.
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