There’s nothing like a good show home for interiors inspiration and so with a bout of spring decorating in mind I accepted an invite to view Miller Homes‘ Airedale Lea development in Eastburn, near Keighley. I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed because Miller use designer Jeanette Holmes, whose work I’ve long admired.
The site is right next to Airedale Hospital, which makes it a winner location wise, and the exteriors are what we’ve come to expect from new-build – attractive but not adventurous. This is understandable as, although I am a fan of modern architecture, it can be hard to sell. Plus, we have to bear in mind that we don’t spend hours looking at the outside of our homes. It’s the inside that really mattersThe show home interiors at Airedale Lea are gorgeous. First thoughts are “why doesn’t my house look like this?” and “I want to move in”. There are reasons for this. I’ve interviewed Jeanette before and she’s clever. She doesn’t just create stylish homes, she spends a lot of time getting into the mindset of the prospective buyer. Then she hijacks them with the lifestyle she knows they want.
The house is fashionable but homely and it smells of new carpets and fresh paint. The open-plan kitchen includes a table all ready for the dinner party you rarely have but if you did this is how it would want it to look. On the worktop, there’s a tray with a carafe of water and some fresh coffee and another with a variety of fancy olive oils bought from Farmers Markets – unlike mine, which is from Aldi. In the utility room, there are flowers, a linen spray in a tasteful apothecary-style bottle and kindling for that wood-burning stove you’ve always dreamed of.
Jeanette’s working title for the show home scheme was “modern rustic”. She also took a lot of inspiration from Neptune, which specialises in kitchens, cabinets, fabulous homeware and paint. (there is a showroom just outside York on the A64 road to Scarborough, which is fabulous and arranged in room sets). The wall colours are all by Neptune as are some of the accessories.
The sitting room features Harlequin Poetica Driftwood wallpaper with lighting from Light & Living, a Netherlands company.
The main bedroom was designed to feel restful and has a wall clad in rough sawn timber, made and installed by Lee Ward Joinery, Doncaster. It was then painted in a 50/50 mix of Neptune’s Silver Birch emulsion and water.
Jeanette decided that bedroom two would be for twin girls and used Sophie Allport’s Labrador dogs design as a theme.
I love the little touches like this space made into a study/play area with a desk and a wall covered in blackboard paint.
Jeanette’s favourite room is the second bedroom with lime-washed furniture against a backdrop of Navy Neptune emulsion. The cushions and cashmere throw are also by Neptune. She says: “This is simple yet elegant and it shows that a dramatic colour can feel calm when used with simple, pared-back furniture.”
Fully motivated after my visit, I’ve taken my first steps towards turning my old bungalow into a show home. The shabby sitting room is now a workshop and I’m painting my old furniture sage green and channeling my inner domestic goddess. It’s a start.
Homes at Airedale Lea, Eastburn, start from £185,000 for a townhouse and £187,500 for a three-bedroom semi to £325,000 for a large detached.