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Digital Subscriptions > Your Home Magazine > November 2016 > I have used my love of mixing old and new

I have used my love of mixing old and new

Donna Caira has created a dramatic backdrop for her Fife coastal home
The wing chair is from John Lewis and the two armchairs were junk shop finds. The chimney breast wall is painted in Downpipe by Farrow & Ball. The wooden star, entwined by fairy lights was made by Anthony for Donna’s design business, Small Bird. ‘I love stars,’ Donna admits. ‘And they always sell well,’ she adds. The stag is from Design Vintage

‘I like to mix things up,’ Donna admits. ‘I think I have a bit of rock chick in me so that has come out in our home.’ Her commitment to eclecticism has resulted in a bohemian vibe throughout. Not afraid to experiment, Donna has applied unpredictable choices to every room, from the shocking pink panelled wall in the traditional Victorian kitchen to the faded floral sofa and raspberry-toned armchairs in the more dramatically decorated drawing room. Taupes and dark greys dominate the décor, so the occasional ‘pink moment’ comes as a pleasant, refreshing surprise in this edgy home. There is an air of Alice In Wonderland in this dwelling – expect the unexpected when you enter!

‘We bought the house in 1999 and our daughters have grown up here. We moved to the area for Anthony’s work, as a pro at the local golf club, he was brought up here as well, his family all live nearby,’ Donna explains. The large Victorian house is located on a beautiful leafy street. The décor when they bought the house was tasteful, but over co-ordinated and too chintzy for Donna’s taste. They undertook the transformation slowly, knowing that it takes time to get things right. ‘A house needs to evolve,’ Donna believes. ‘Especially if you want the resulting scheme to be really authentic and individual.’

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About Your Home Magazine

I know that November isn’t everyone’s favourite month, but I think there’s something rather cosy about coming home on a cold, dark night and curling up on the sofa in front of the fire. If you’re thinking of investing in a wood-burner to warm up your home this winter then turn to page 115, where we’ve got the low-down on the latest models and what you need to consider before you buy. Talking of making your home warm and toasty, do take a look at George Clarke’s column this month, where he shares his expert advice on insulating your home (p.111). Of course nothing beats, a tasty comforting supper on those chilly November nights – so do try our delicious recipe suggestions on page 100, packed with warming spices! I know many of you are keen to be braver when it comes to using pattern in your home, so on page 36 we show how to make it work for you, from balancing scale to creating the illusion of space and, of course, our pick of the latest designs for wallpapers and fabrics to inspire you. Many of us dream of living in a period property with gorgeous plasterwork and beautiful fireplaces, but in reality many of them have had their original features removed or damaged over the years. In this month’s home improvement feature, we take a look at what steps you need to take to restore your period home to its former glory and where to look for affordable, original materials (p.106). Happy decorating!