Meet the Instagram interior design star: Holly @holly_homestyle

holly homestyle

We chat to the very clever Holly (@holly_homestyle), serial renovator and inspirational master of home transformation… 

“I really want to prove that you can add character to a new build and make it your own.”

Having completed no less than four back-to-back renovations of period properties over the past eight years, Holly and her young family moved to a new build (‘way out of our comfort zone!’) in Cheshire in June 2021. Since then they’ve been transforming its bland white walls to a home with real panache and personality, and Holly has been documenting it all on her Instagram account @holly_homestyle.

We invited Holly to tell us about the joys, the challenges and the how-tos of renovating a property while juggling a busy family life...

How did you first get into renovating and interior design? 

I unwittingly entered the world of renovating when my husband and I bought our first house back in 2015. We couldn’t afford to live in the more expensive part of town so had to buy a renovation project on the outskirts. 

At the time my husband was an electrician and told me that the first thing we were going to do was a rewire. I had no idea back then what a rewire of an old house would entail, but it’s safe to say it wasn’t what I expected! I’d started unpacking our decor downstairs to make the house more of a home, while he was upstairs taking the walls back to brick. I’ve learnt a lot since then! 

I also quickly learned that trades are often unreliable and expensive and to get anywhere quickly and affordably I was going to have to do a lot of it myself. Between us, my husband and I have been able to do most things from rewires and knocking down walls to tiling, interior design and everything in between. 

My love of interior design has grown into a huge passion over the years and although we’re currently on a break from renovating whilst we raise our two young children, I definitely want to go back to it one day. 

Our last project was our biggest: a 1930s double fronted detached house with a huge garden. We got the keys on the day we all went into lockdown in March 2020 and renovated it throughout the 2 years of the pandemic. In that time we also had a 2 year old and I was pregnant. It was tough, but so worth it.  holly kids bedroomWhat are the main things you’ve learned about home renovation?

So many - I’m always learning! The three biggest takeaways have probably been…  

Number one… Don’t let the dust get to you. It’s inevitable so accepting it’s going to be dusty for quite a while will make living with it so much easie.

Number two… Nothing’s perfect and that’s ok. I got very stressed at the beginning of our renovation journey that nothing ever turned out perfectly, particularly the finer details. I’ve since learned it’s the same for everyone and actually, it all adds character, especially to an older property. There’ll be a lot of snags, and I don’t think you ever truly finish a renovation.

And number three… If you want something done, do it yoursel if you possibly can! And if you can’t but have the time, try to learn how.

You’re a whizz at affordable little touches that can transform and personalise a space. Do you have any top tips for easy ways to make a home unique?

I always want the designer look and refuse to settle for anything less, but my bank balance doesn’t often agree, so I’ve always been forced to find similar looks at more affordable prices. 

It just takes a lot of research and patience to find items with the best value for money that you also really love. I also absolutely love trawling Facebook Marketplace, eBay, Vinted and antique emporiums for unique pieces too - it’s my favourite thing to do!

holly kitchen

holly bathroom

What are your favourite places (online or offline) for interior design inspiration?

I probably take most inspiration from interior designers, either on Instagram or from hotels they’ve designed. I love Sarah Brown, Salvesen Graham, Sean Symington, Emma Ainscough, Brooke Copp-Barton, Beata Hueman, Meta Coleman, Matilda Goad…so many! 

Hotels such as Soho House, Callow Hall, Heckfield Place, Charlotte’s Folly, Babington House and Artist Residence are all so inspirational. I’m also really inspired by my day job - I work for Woodchip & Magnolia, a luxury design house and absolutely love it! 

Do you have one room or space in the house that’s particularly special to you... Your own personal haven?

There’s no way the rest of my family would let me have my own personal space! And it is a family home… However, we do try and keep our living room as child free as possible though, so we can retreat there in the evenings to watch a film without fear of stepping on Lego.

How big a role does lighting play in your interior design? Any lighting tips to share?

Lighting is my number one! Lamps, pendants and wall lights have such a big impact on a space and add so much depth in terms of both lighting and decor. They can elevate a space, adding pops of colour and pattern and can create the perfect ambience depending on the room. 

If you can, add wall lights! I love them so much, especially either side of the bed to free up the tops of your bedside tables. Top tip is to add decorative panelling behind the bed; that way you can chase the walls out to add in wall lights and cover it up with the panelling. We’re just about to do exactly that in our guest bedroom! 

Do you think your home will ever be ‘finished’, or will there always be something more you want to do?

Never! I don’t know if a home can ever be finished - it’s always evolving and growing with you as you grow. I’m always adding pieces I’ve found on travels or have been handed down to me from family.  holly hometyle

Finally, do you have a favourite Pooky light - and if so why that one?

I love them all – I really I do! We recently used the Stella Pendant in our living room and it’s a real show stopper. I’m also a huge fan of the antique brass wall lights and have a soft spot for the black Ikat shade; a classic that works with everything!

holly homestyle stellaThe Stella pendant in situ  

Follow Holly’s renovation and interior design adventures at @holly_homestyle

All images courtesy of @holly_homestyle



Get the look...

Larger Stella pendant in clear glass:stella

20cm empire gathered lampshade in black printed linen ikat:black ikat


Twiglet wall light fitting in aluminium and brass:twiglet

 Paradiso table lamp in ebonyparadiso