Happying up a home

I'm pretty excited about sharing this job.

Last summer, I worked on a project for a friend of mine. Ailsa asked me to help her with her home. Make it happier, more her. My friend uses a wheelchair and doesn't keep the best health. She had ideas and she needed someone to pull them together, to get organised and to support her with decisions.

So after deciding on going full colour, photos, memories and bungs of plants, we got new flooring in then did this:

The living room is quite dark and is really mostly used in the evening so we embraced the dark and went with the Farrow and Ball Stiffkey Blue on the walls as a foil to the furniture and accessories. Ailsa had been dreaming of a bright pink sofa. She just needed someone to say "Do it!" and to go sofa shopping with her. The sofa,com chaise is the comfiest thing I've ever sat on. Then we went for more and more bright jewel tones to really cheer the place up; arranging her books in a rainbow, swapping around lampshades, reframing favourite photos. And the 50 Shades of Scotland print by Emily MacKenzie really tied it all in together.

As the bedroom has shutters and bare floorboards (better suited to Ailsa's requirements), my challenge was to soften the bedroom up without rugs and curtains. So texture was super important. This is the same bed, I had a new headboard made by VM Upholstery and got layering with the bedding. A sideboard replaced the clothes rail and drawers for easy access and more space for my pal's treasures. Another friend painted an amazing watercolour-looking mural of a moody Scottish island so Ailsa can sit in bed and be transported to a rainy, West coast beach.

The kitchen just needed some more character and a new table and chairs. (I cut down the legs of a table from Wayfair so that Ailsa's wheel chair fits under perfectly) Ailsa wanted the outside to come in to the kitchen and had seen this and wanted me to recreate it. So I used a washing pulley and small shelves to hang plants from. I can't wait to see how they grow and fill the space. Fairy lights ensure a cheery, bright space even on a gloomy day. And, by putting lots of special photos into harmoniously matching frames, the memories get the spotlight.

The toilet is bonkers I know. It used to be grey and white but Ailsa wanted it to be a big surprise for visitors and to make her giggle, So she found this wallpaper. And we emphasised the dark colours and added a chalkboard so visitors can leave notes to make Ailsa smile.

Ailsa and I spent a really lovely day going through photographs and she made a pile of ones she wanted framed. The pile was huge and there would never have been enough frames in the world to get them all done. So I came up with this collage, framing it in the hall with some moulding to hopefully make it feel more permanent and less studenty. I like to think of her getting a giggle from the memories on the wall.

And the best part of the project was that Ailsa had to go away for a couple of weeks while the painters worked. I got to do all the dressing and surprises for a big reveal on her return, It was a bit emotional. It's amazing what a bit of thought can bring to a space and the meaning that can have on our lives. I love it.

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