Lou Watkins Midcentury, Vintage Inspired Home
Today on the blog is the hilarious Lou Watkins, whose Instagram posts always make me chuckle, she’s also got a great eye for interiors, a fabulous piece of furniture; mid-century and vintage and some great art. I especially love her study chair, the wallpaper in the guest bedroom, which you can see just below, her MDF bookcases and her chest of drawers in her bedroom, but really all of it is so well put together.
Lou co-hosts #howivintage where you can share posts of vintage items and furniture.
Go find out about Lou's inspiration, a bit about her and her home below.
Confessing to my career feels a bit like standing up in a meeting and stating ‘Hello, my name is Lou and I’m an HR & Payroll Operations Manager’, to which the reply is ‘Welcome Lou, there are no judgements here’. It’s not as creative, fabulous and aspirational as the way half of us on Instagram make our living; but it’s probably right in there with the other half - where our less-than-glamorous day jobs fund the interiors addiction of our Insta alter-egos.
And let’s face it, if you are reading this it’s because - like me - whatever else you do, what connects you to everyone else reading this, is your cushion craving, hygge hankering, soft-furnishing yearning. We’re all hooked.
So I could tell you more about me in this bio - I’m single, no kids, 5ft 5ins and would like to meet...wait, no! Wrong profile! But really, let’s get down to the good stuff straight away...let’s talk decor to each other...
My home is a 1930’s semi that admittedly looks rather ex-Council from the outside. When I viewed it, it was the house that the 80’s had forgot. Metal Venetian blinds at the windows, strip lighting, laminate and yellow-varnished pine. So no, I didn’t fall in love with it and instantly know I had to have it...but it was the biggest house I could afford in a not overly dodgy area with the south-facing garden of my dreams (it’s true, I’m actually more in to gardening than interiors, there, I’ve said it), a dining room (dinner parties were always part of the plan, bothering to learn to cook not so much), 3 beds (I always wanted a home office AND a guest room...greedy, eh?) and off street parking. It was less kerb appeal and more keeping it real. Sold.
Misguidedly, I thought I could imbue this 80’s cough-up with era-relevant character by wallpapering it in a 1930’s floral design and buying a brown Chesterfield when I first arrived. I went neutral with the soft furnishings because I didn’t know what colour scheme I wanted...and it was all in the Boxing Day sales three weeks after I moved in. Turns out the first decision was regrettable, the second sensible. The first I’ve already changed, the second...well I’m still working on ditching the beige furniture, but I know what I want now. The thing I did get right was to have bespoke, fitted wardrobes and bookshelves made by my mate out of MDF immediately. They’re keepers.
The rest I am making up as I go along. I love to mix vintage with small indie brands or high street. Occasionally I go crazy and buy high end...then live off Rice Krispies for a month to pay for it. I’m mad for midcentury, adore artwork, love a colour-pop. I have a scrapbook in my soul of ideas that I’ve mentally snipped out and kept for when my day job can afford them or chance let’s me find them. If I could figure Pinterest out I wouldn’t have to remember so much. They say every man’s home is his castle. I’d say it’s every woman’s moodboard. I’ll wait for the right vintage piece to come along, I’ll save up Christmas and birthday money for the perfect self-gift...because of that my home evolves, rather than gets designed from scratch, with happy compromises and fortuitous finds along the way. Sometimes I’ll look at a room and think ‘Huh, so that’s how you turned out? I like you’. Sometimes it’s more ‘What the hell was I thinking?’ but in your own home you can be playful, experiment, change your mind, tweak, throw out, or restart can’t you? I’m doing all of that.
Instagram has given me confidence and inspiration. I’m partial to a gallery wall. Never would have thought of that before Instagram. Painting a small room dark? Nope, wouldn’t have occurred to me. Painting my kitchen cupboards? Couldn’t have been arsed. The forum to bounce around ideas, share sources and receive encouragement has been a revelation to me. I’m so glad I gave up Tinder and picked up Insta; I’ve found true love.
So what’s next? Well, if you check out my Story Highlights you’ll find me bitching over my kitchen revamp. If you want to watch a middle aged woman whine over painting prep then I’m your gal. I’ve already bailed on my moodboard as I’ve run out of cash for the lino and that now means finding a wallpaper that can work with the floor tiles that I’ve wanted to get rid of for five years. And it still ain’t gonna happen. They’re staying. Dammit. Like I said earlier...I’m just figuring it out as I go. So along with my Insta followers, I’m looking forward to the reveal...as even I’m not clear yet how it will turn out. And that’s what makes it fun.
The Girl with The Green Sofa