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We love our upside down house

When Sarah and Chris Stronach renovated their terraced home overlooking a river, it made sense to have all their living space on the first floor
The living room was redecorated with a blue feature wall in Crown’s City Life, which makes the fireplace from Camden Fires and bird pictures from Oka, really stand out. As Chris works at Next they got a staff discount on their sofas, while Sarah’s parents made the foot stool from old table legs and an upholstered foam top. The pictures behind the sofa are from one of Sarah’s favourite local shops, Fezziwigs in Tynemouth

When Sarah Stronach bought a dilapidated terraced house eight years ago with her brother Callum Wilson she didn’t imagine she’d end up renovating it twice. For many years Sarah lived on the top floor while Callum mainly lived on the bottom floor, although it was never properly converted into two separate flats as they shared a common entranceway and kitchen. However when Sarah married Chris last year, they bought out her brother and totally changed the layout again to create an ‘upside down’ house with the living accommodation upstairs and the bedrooms downstairs.

Adding a new banister and spindles has freshened up the hallway, which also features a painted plywood floor and square metal pendant light from Bhs. ‘My mum made the curtains with fabric from Absolutely Fabrics, as we can get a cold wind coming off the river,’ says Sarah
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About Your Home Magazine

May is a great month for DIYers and decorators, as the days are now longer and lighter and we get two bank holidays to make the most of too! If you’re planning a spot of redecorating, then you’ll find plenty of exciting colour schemes to inspire you in this issue. Whether you love bold brights or sophisticated neutrals, we’ve got some great looks for you try on page 36, while on page 20 we look back in time to see how to make the season’s hottest retro trends work in your home. And don’t forget your windows when planning your new scheme. Shutters are big news right now, so we’ve put together a buyer’s guide to the latest, most gorgeous designs at affordable prices to help you choose the ones that are right for you (p.40). While you’re at it, check out our fantastic competition to win a set of bespoke shutters from Hillarys (p.43). Early summer is a good time to fit a new bathroom but many of us are put off by the cost. Never fear – we’ve found some real bargain buys that prove you don’t need to take out a second mortgage to get the bathroom of your dreams (p.54). If installing a new kitchen is on your to-do list this year, then you must read our feature on page 46 to discover the latest hi-tech gadgets that can make your life so much easier and give you more time to yourself (and who doesn’t want that eh?) Finally, take a look at our delicious meat-free recipe ideas (p.100 – ideal for quick and healthy family meals, whether you’re a veggie or not. P.S. The noodle dish is utterly scrummy!