The Home Tour Series #13 Rosemary Bickers

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As we walked up the beautifully well-kept garden path, the duck egg blue front door was opened to the sound of laughter cascading down the stairs. We were lucky enough to visit the home of Rose and her family back in February when it was safe to do so.

Rose apologises almost immediately, forgetting that it was half-term when we arranged to visit, so three out of her four children were at home – with the eldest two ready and waiting to give us the grand tour!

‘As soon as I walked in the door I fell in love with the high ceilings and period features,’ Rose tells us. ‘I knew this was our perfect family home!’ Growing up just 10 doors down from where they are now, Rose explains she knew the neighbourhood well before they bought their house back in 2013.

Now wonderfully light and airy, Rose tells us they’ve tackled a lot of work in the seven years they’ve lived here. ‘We had looked at a few properties around Suffolk, all requiring some sort of work to them. I think my husband and I are both drawn to properties with a project.’

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‘Everything was very dated and needed not only modernising but a change of living space. We did the renovation in two phases,’ she explains. The first phase before we moved in and the second phase after a year of living here and figuring out exactly how we wanted things to be.’

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Walking through the hallway and into the bright (despite it being a gloomy day weather-wise) open-plan kitchen, you instantly get the feeling of this being a family home. One that, although undoubtedly busy at times, is filled with warmth and joy. Much of this comes through from the decor too – it is light and modern, with pastel tones and beautiful homemade crafts throughout.

‘I would describe my home inspiration as a mix between minimalism with warmth through soft pastel tones,’ Rose tells us. ‘Practical but pretty is my approach to home life. With four small children it needs to be functional for all, but also a home you feel cosy and loved.’ You certainly feel this approach in every room – it is practical and cosy, with touches of that warm familiarity of home life greeting you at every corner.

It is homely and lived in, but beautifully decorated and modern.

Rose explains, that when it comes to decorating their home, Instagram can play a part in the inspiration behind certain decor decisions. There is always a new trend when it comes to home interiors. My approach is finding one that suits your home and your family and working it around your existing plans. I’ve definitely used more daring paint colours, like our feature wallpaper and pink fireplaces, thanks to Instagram and other online inspiring platforms.’

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Like many of us though, there are certain trends Rose loves, but that wouldn’t necessarily work in their home – I adore the new minimal black interior style but […] I feel I crave a light and airy fresh feel!’

Talking about Instagram, Rose’s account continues to grow and gain new followers looking for easy crafts to do with the kids, DIY ideas and snippets of family life. She tells us that photos of her open-plan kitchen always do well, as do pictures of little Dottie’s bedroom ‘with her sweet pastel tones and cute shelf.’ Rose admits that this ‘small pretty nest’ is her favourite room too: ‘It’s full of so many lovely nursery decor items and the pretty pastel tones, I could quite happily spend all day reading to her in here.’ 

When it comes to recommending a few of her own favourite home interior accounts, Rose admits there’s too many to list, so settles on sharing her top five: The Suffolk Nest, Bobbins at Number 18, We Made This Home, Wallflower Cottage and Tiny and The House

Together with inspiring homes, Rose tells us about some of the lovely independent interior stores she’s discovered through Instagram too. ‘I try to support and buy from as many independent stores as I can. The one thing I love about shopping independently is the personal touch you receive with each purchase. I’ve made personal online friendships with so many unique companies, something Instagram is great for! My top five shops for home decorations are Nordic House, Nordic Nest, This Modern Life for nursery items, Tea & Kate and Trouva.’

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With four young children, Rose tells us that for her, having a large family space is very important – ‘An area we can all eat together and enjoy as a family is key, so opening up the downstairs family/kitchen area was one of the best decisions we made.’

‘Originally the house had a central fireplace which houses the boiler and a rather large unnecessary wall. We took this down and moved the boiler upstairs creating a large open family living area for us all to enjoy. I think it’s always important to invest in good quality furniture to create lasting storage solutions too.’

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When we visited Rose’s home back in February, spring hadn’t quite sprung outside. Inside however, it felt warm and welcoming with small touches of spring throughout.

Rose reveals a few ways that she decorates her home, both natural and homemade, for the season: I find that flowers both real and artificial as well as cushions and paper garlands are a great way to change your home with the seasons. In winter, I’ll have big fluffy velvet cushions where as in summertime I like to have a mix of linens and fresh cottons in our sitting room and snug.’

‘We use a lot of paper decorations throughout our home too. In winter time I’ll have stars and gold paper garlands hung up in the kitchen. In spring and summer I like to use flowers and pastel paper decorations.’

It is these little touches that makes Rose’s home feel so inviting. It is a home you dream of growing up in as a child – bustling, warm and full of laughter and fun activities. We could have happily stayed for another few hours.

Rose’s three words, when we asked what really makes a house a home for her, says it all and really characterises the beautiful home we visited: love, warmth and memories.

A big thank you to Rose for welcoming us into her home.

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