The Willis Home

Wedding, Lifestyle, Recipes, Pregnancy & Interiors

Thursday, 15 March 2018

The guest blogger series 1: Charlotte, The Home That Made Me



I simply had to kick off the guest blogger series, with interior queen herself Charlotte Valentine! Charlotte is an insta crush of mine turned real life friend. She inspired me to go from grey to greige and made me realise adding hints of colour can still fit in with my theme. We have an insulting friendship and always make eachother giggle - thanks to Instagram for introducing us! 


What's your name and what's your Instagram handle?
My name is Charlotte & my Instagram handle is @thehomethatmademe



Tell us a bit about yourself?
I'm a 27 year old interior addict turned designer. I live just outside of Bournemouth on the South Coast. I'm married to Joe (aka Mr THTMM) and have two children, Elsa who's 4 and Rory who's 2, as well as my pug, Mungo (who's my favourite child...)


How long have you been Blogging/Instagramming and what inspired you to start?
I joined Instagram back when I was on maternity leave with Elsa, so about 4 years ago now. I gradually started posting pictures of my home (which we moved from 3 years ago) as a way of keeping sane basically. I felt incredibly lonely and seeing as interiors was/is still my passion, it seemed the perfect release for me. It gradually took off and now I have over 100k followers and a successful blog www.thehomethatmademe.com. How amazing is that?!


Who inspires you? Do they have Instagram handles?
I follow so many incredible people on Instagram; not only interior but also parenting & lifestyle based accounts, who inspire me for many reasons. My all time favourite account has got to be @rvk_loves purely because she was the reason I started posting pictures of my home. 4 years ago interior accounts didn't really exist, especially compared to how many there are now, so she was my main inspiration. She has also moved house, but it's still as gorgeous as the one that pushed me out of my comfort zone to go for it, and start posting my own.



Would you say your home has a theme? If so, how would you describe it?
Beige-tastic fantastic!! I'm known for my love of neutral interior, although it may seem quite bland to some, I'm personally drawn to calm, peaceful environments. In my opinion, it's timeless and will never go out of fashion.

What is your favourite room in your home and why?
My en-suite bathroom. It is the one room that is purely "mine", I don't have to share it with anyone. I can go in there for a long soak in my roll top bath of dreams, after a bad day, and let it all go. Plus it's pretty gorgeous... everyone doubted my decision on the patterned floor tiles, but I'm so glad I stuck to my guns and went for them as they definitely "make" the room.



If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Do you know what, I'm going to be totally boring and say that I'd stay right here. I'm a complete home bird. Whenever I go away, I always come home and think how lucky I am to live in such a beautiful place. We're fortunate enough to have the beautiful beaches of Bournemouth about 5 minutes away. The New Forest is just round the corner too. I'd also miss having my family/friends on our doorstep.


Where do you generally shop for home related products?
Anywhere and everywhere. Although nothing beats a high street bargain! Mixing high end "special" pieces with more affordable finds is something I pride myself in. My favourite shop is definitely Neptune. However, I couldn't afford to deck my entire house out in their products, so I try to find similar items in places like Homesense, The Range, Dunelm, Matalan, Ikea & so on. Online, my go-to website is Wayfair.


Tell us something interesting about you, that we wouldn't find out from your socials?
That's a tricky one. I always say I'm like an open book and I would share pretty much everything on Instagram and my blog. My special talent is that I can make a farting noise by rubbing my hands together... does that count? (Wow, you never fail to surprise me Charlotte!)

Do you have a 5 year plan?
Yes and no. I'm very much a determined, motivated kind of person. But Joe is more level headed and brings me back down to be more realistic. If I had it my way we'd be moving and getting into property development (I mean how many times can I decorate each room of 1 house...) However, he believes we need to stay put for the kids, our area is so sought after because of the incredible schools. In 5 years I'd like to have established myself as more of an interior designer in my own right - who knows what the future holds for social media & blogging? 5 years ago it wasn't a career at all so will it continue to grow, or will it decline? I'll have a lot more time on my hands to take on clients when both kids are at school. All I do know, is that in December 2020, I'll be getting a golden retriever puppy. Only been nagging for about 3 years and this was the agreed date. Think Mr THTMM thought I would forget/go off the idea by then. No chance.


What advice would you give to first time buyers?
I have SO much advice, but my main one would 100% be "everything happens for a reason". When people say it to me, I basically want to punch them in the face, but it is so true & I'm going to be all weird & hippy-dippy in that, I believe houses choose their owners. I remember back when I was looking to buy my first home at age 18, and several times, the chain collapsed last minute, leaving me so gutted. Then "the one" came along and looking back, I'm SO glad that I ended up with that house... it really was "The Home That Made Me". We were also planning to move in 2014, but ended up pulling out as something didn't feel right, and so we decided to stay put. About 6 months later we were approached and given an amazing opportunity to buy this house which was beyond our wildest dreams. Trust your gut instinct, always.


Another vital bit of advice is ALWAYS room sizes - don't think about the decor or the layout, they can be changed!


If you won £1m what would you do and buy with it?
I'd buy the house of dreams; a Georgian house with a big sweeping gravel driveway, electric gates and a lavender boarder. It'd have a kitchen with an AGA, butler sink and stable doors overlooking several acres with chickens roaming around, and a rope swing off of an old tree. Think huge windows, high ceilings and tonnes of character!

What is one thing you couldn't live without?
My phone, always. I'm ashamed to admit it's the last thing I see at night and the first thing in the morning. Although Instagram is now my full time career, I'd probably be as addicted and spend just as much time on it, if I wasn't earning a penny!



What song would be the theme tune to your life?
Just asked Mr THTMM who said Nelly Furtado "Man Eater" so I don't know what that says about me! I'm going to go with a Walkabout (dodgy Australian pub with sticky floors & too many sambuca's) classic of,  Journey - Don't stop believing. Purely because I reckon if you set your mind to something, work hard and truly believe in yourself, you can do ANYTHING.



Hit us with your best motto?
"Everything happens for a reason" For reasons above.

Click the links below for Charlotte's socials:
Instagram: @thehomethatmademe
Blog:www.thehomethatmademe.com

We hope you enjoyed this post,
Love, Rey & Charlotte x
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