I’m incredibly excited today to launch a brand new mini-series on Daisybutter. In the Kitchen With will be a regular feature that delves into the home life of an esteemed friend of mine. I’m in the long process of saving up to purchase my first home and, in the interim, I thought it’d be nice to pad out my currently lacklustre interiors category with a slice of inspiration from my favourite ladies.
Today, I’m so excited to introduce you to my gal pal Sophie Warner, the blogger behind The Story of a Girl Who Lives Above Her Means and editorial assistant at Evening Standard’s Homes & Property. I’ve been an avid reader of her blog since Before Instagram and am so proud to call her a friend. We’ve even holidayed together!
I’ve also followed her entire home story from viewing the property to renovating several rooms to a very high standard. Let’s peek inside her kitchen…
Nestled in Harlow, Sophie’s home is a bright yet cosy space, the idyllic spot for hosting guests. Through meticulous planning, lots of hard work and a helping hand or two from her family, she’s transformed the two-bedroom fixer-upper property into a place that radiates personality and has become the hub of her friendship group. I popped in to visit, along with my girls, and catch up on all things house buying, interiors and food. Of course.
Thanks for inviting the Daisybutter clan into your beautiful home today Sophie! Can you share a brief background behind your house and how you got to where you are today?
“I bought my two-bedroom terraced home with my boyfriend two years ago. We desperately wanted a house, rather than a flat, so we had to settle for a doer-upper. It was great because I got to put my own stamp on it, but not-so-great as renovating a house is expensive!
It turns out we didn’t really know what we were buying, and it needed a LOT more work than we originally thought. People are very good at hiding things at house viewings…! We’ve nearly finished the whole of the downstairs now, so we’re keen to start on the upstairs next year. It’s been a long journey to get here, but I honestly don’t think I’d have it any other way.”
What are your key inspirations when it comes to furnishing and decorating?
“I’m obsessed with following interior bloggers on Instagram, which is where I get a lot of my ideas from. Some of my favourite interior Instagram accounts for inspiration are @hello_haus, @the_indigo_house, @thefrugality and @life_at_number_63.
I also love mid-century design and have tried to incorporate Scandi vibes into my home. I want the house to look lived-in, so I like collecting trinkets, and art for our gallery wall.”
Tell us about your favourite part of your home. Why do you love it so much?
“My favourite part is the kitchen. This house wasn’t my first choice because the kitchen was quite small, and I’d had my heart set on a big, open space. But through some hard work from my wonderful Dad and boyfriend, we ripped the whole thing out and started over.
At one point, I had no ceiling and only a sink in the room during a BBQ gathering we threw! We ended up completely changing the layout and it’s added so much more space. I got my dream oak worktops, Belfast sink, range cooker and red fridge, which were all a bit of a pipe dream when I first mentioned them. I love spending time in here and often do at the weekends, making lots of mess!”
What is your favourite piece of furniture/décor in your house and why?
“My favourite piece is my dining table. I had my heart set on a reclaimed scaffolding board table, but they were extortionately priced. I was moaning to my Dad one day when suddenly he announced that he could build me one!
I bought the legs for a table and matching bench from eBay, and my Dad spent a few weeks sanding down some scaffolding boards. I’m absolutely thrilled with the end result and I love the fact I have something in my dining room that my Dad made. I don’t think I’ll ever get rid of it. Everyone always comments on it when they come round.”
What is your top tip for elevating a space and putting your own stamp on it?
“I think wall art is great for making a space feel like your own. It’s such a personal choice and really helps you to stamp your personality on a room, and can be as inexpensive or expensive as you wish.”
What are three words that describe your personal interior style and ethos?
Bargain hunter. Scandi-influenced. Full of trinkets!
We all know you’re quite the cookbook fiend with hundreds of recipe books in your stash, and I LOVE your #52recipes blog series. What are your favourite recipe books at the moment?
“I’m obsessed with cookbooks and regularly review them on my blog, A Story of a Girl Who Lives Above Her Means. In fact I’m almost ashamed of how many I own! I’ve recently been trying really hard to cut down my meat consumption, so I’ve been using Meera Sodha’s Fresh India. The recipes are delicious, and it’s a great mid-week book because they can be made in around 45 minutes. The Chana Saag is one of my favourite dinners!
I’m also really into Diana Henry’s Simple as well; the flavours are just incredible and she really knows what works together.”
Lastly, it’s time to get cooking! What is the signature Sophie dish that you’ll be sharing with my readers today?
“I’m going to be cooking my version of a roast chicken. I always thought I didn’t like it, but since moving into my own place, I’ve been experimenting and realised I just needed to make the right one.
What is your favourite element from Sophie’s beautiful home? And how delicious does the feast look?! I can confirm that girl knows how to cook AND how to happily feed a lone vegan amongst the wolf pack. Plus, let me know what you think of the new feature, in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you.