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How to style your Victorian semi-detached home

Sean Baldwin 11/11/2019 15:30:50


Sharon Hyatt-Mailes, aka @overatno_43 on Instagram, tells us about her Victorian semi-detached home,
her sense of style and why she loves our Cafe Style shutters.  

Cafe style shutters by California Shutters
Image credit: overatno_43

Hi Sharon, thanks for joining us today! Before you tell us about your installation, can you give us a bit of background detail about yourself and your home?

I’m a married mother of 2 who's been renovating houses in an amateur capacity for 25 years. I live in the Old Town in Hemel Hempstead, Herts, and have lived in Hertfordshire all my life. We moved into our current home just over 2 years ago. It's an 1892 Victorian semi-detached villa on 4 floors. This was a downsize from our last house following my cancer diagnosis and enabled me to give up work during my treatment and recovery. It needed no structural work, it was just a little ‘tired’, so it's a great project to get my teeth into and take my mind off my treatment.

In your Instagram profile, you mention that you’re ‘creating a unique home on an already spent budget’. Can you tell us a bit more about this approach and how it affects your choices? 

In the move to this property, we cleared as much of our mortgage as possible. We had lost 1 income in me giving up work and we have 2 children (albeit 16 and 20) still living at home, so had to be very ‘cost conscious’ in the renovation. This meant balancing cost against quality. There's no point in 'buying cheap,buying twice' as I spent a lot of time looking at the products and look that we wanted, reading reviews and in some cases, sourcing alternatives, i.e. upcycling old pieces of furniture and giving them a second life. It's amazing what a bit of imagination and paint can do!!


Cafe style shutters by California Shutters

How would you describe this style? 

Our house is a traditional Victorian house with a ‘quirky’ spin. I like to surprise and use unusual objects such as a bowler hat for a lamp shade.

What made you choose our café style shutters? 

We have box sash windows and I didn't want to lose the feel of the box sash behind a curtain or full length shutters. The cafe style shutters are perfect and even enhance the feature of the box sash.

Shop Cafe style shutters>>


Do you think of yourself as a DIYer? 

My husband is the more competent DIYer but I've spent many evenings heat-stripping woodwork back, glossing, painting and upcycling pieces of furniture. He's often away working long hours, so it's a case of having to crack on - what could possibly go wrong?! It’s having a can-do attitude I guess.

How easy were the shutters to install? 

My husband said they were a dream to fit (hence ordering more and recommending you to my sister who also bought from you), with easy to understand instructions and minimal DIY skill needed!

Install guides>>

Cafe style shutters by California Shutters

What difference did they make to your rooms?

It’s given us the privacy we wanted whilst enhancing the character of our box sash windows.

What advice would you give to someone who’s thinking about installing shutters but is unsure? 

DO IT! The instructions are easy to follow, the results are amazing, not just from the inside but from the outside of the house too.

Get a quote today>>


What's your most liked photo on Instagram?

The outside of my house which includes the bay window showing the shutters.

Finally, what would you say is your favourite thing about your café style shutters? 

They were easy to install, have made a real difference to both the inside and outside of the house and have given us privacy without compromising the look of any original features. WE LOVE THEM.

Cafe style shutters by California Shutters
Image credit: California Shutters
  • Designed to cover only the lower half of your window, our made-to-measure Café Style shutters are a stylish choice for anybody who wants to keep passersby from peering into their living spaces while still letting in plenty of light.                                                                                                      
  • Measuring for your shutters is easy, and installing them is no stretch either! It’s rather like assembling flat-pack furniture and doesn’t take long, even if you’re a DIY novice.                            
  • You’ll simply need a drill, a spirit-level, a hammer and a screwdriver. Your shutter frames will arrive with pre-drilled holes and a full hardware pack containing hinges, hinge pins, screws and magnets.

Click here for a quick quote or speak to one of our shutter experts for free!