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Digital Subscriptions > Homestyle > April 2016 > If I can’t buy what I want, I make it myself

If I can’t buy what I want, I make it myself

A stint living in France showed Gill Coates the power of upcycling, and she’s brought that attitude to her new life and home in Dorset


‘One of the very first things we did after moving in was to strip out the old kitchen, which had ancient imitation wood Formica and a broken oven,’ says Gill. She and Peter then knocked together the old kitchen, dining room and sitting room as they were all so poky, to create a large kitchen/diner. ‘We found exactly the kind of stainless steel cabinet doors we wanted at Ikea, and a local firm made the wooden units and island, which we then painted ourselves. Nobody believes us when we tell them the stainless steel units are from Ikea, but it’s true!’

Welcome to my home

A bit about me

I’m Gill Coates, and I’m an interior designer and professional chocolate maker.

I’m married to Peter and we live here with Mack, our black Labrador dog.

Where I live

My home is a four-bedroom 1960s bungalow in Lyme Regis, Dorset.

What I wanted to change

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About Homestyle

With April showers casting a cloud over outdoor activities, now is the perfect time to give your home some well-deserved attention. If you don’t think you have the pennies to spare, think again, as we bring you eight whole pages of savvy updates for every budget, starting from £20 or less. Turn to page 63 to get cracking. If the sun does make an appearance, Pippa Jameson is on hand with three stunning looks for stylish spring dining on page 92. Plus, flick over to page 73 for plenty of fresh, seasonal recipes to be prepared – and devoured – in a jiffy. Got your eye on your dream home or struggling to pin down ‘the one’? Don’t miss our essential guide to house hunting, including tips and tricks for getting yourself at the top of the estate agent’s call list, plus five top apps to streamline your search, all on page 98. What’s more, we’ve enlisted colour expert, Jane Cumberbatch, to demystify the meaning behind your colour schemes and which hues you should be using to help you achieve your goals, feel more relaxed and get energised. And for those of us who can’t resist a peep behind closed doors, we invite you inside seven real homes for your monthly hit of décor inspiration, shopping ideas and easy DIY projects.