Sophia Ferrari-Wills, 35, from Cambridge, bought her 1960s cottage with husband Chris, 42, a sales manager, in October 2019.
The mother-of-two immediately got to work on creating her fairy-tale vision for a ‘pastel whimsical home’, first painting the walls magnolia for a blank canvas.
Once the renovation got underway, she also started uploading photos of the place to Instagram. Sophia gained 310,000 followers, and this success allowed her to leave her job as a midwife in April 2021 to pursue interior influencing full-time.
Fans love the colour scheme in Sophia’s house, which has a mermaid bathroom, forest playroom, ice cream office and a tree house for her daughters, Clemmie, four and Minnie, 20 months.
‘I’m a magpie for pastel and candy-style things,’ Sophia said. ‘I am a girly girl and pink always ties in with other colours as a neutral.’
Sophia uses her favourite colour ‘in every single room’ and layers it with other shades, including soft hues like turquoise, sage green, and lilac.
Recalling her technicolour awakening, Sophia said: ‘I’ve always been creative, but lockdown gave me the chance to completely overhaul.
‘I am a midwife health visitor and I used to take inspiration from other people’s homes.
‘I had a complete career change and still do the odd bank shift but at the moment I’m focusing on decorating and content creating.’
When it came to the pink overhaul, Sophia’s husband Chris was easily convinced.
‘When I first met Chris, he was wearing a pink jumper, he loves the happy vibe and encourages me to explore my creativity,’ Sophia explained.
‘People who visit are always very complimentary and amazed. Even some of Chris’ friends can’t believe he’s on board with the lilac kitchen but also that they like it too.’
To create her dream home in the most affordable way, Sophia hunted for bargains and revamped items she already owned.
She snagged an ex-display Fearne Cotton for Very sofa for £250 off eBay, along with two scallop armchairs for just £100 each from HomeSense.
Furniture left from grandparents was also upcycled, including a bureau that Sophia painted lilac to fit the home’s ‘mature pink barbie cottage’ aesthetic.
Even the family’s toilet got a coat of pink paint, with a mermaid theme created using scalloped gold tiles and rainbow shell wallpaper.
The other rooms of the home all follow a similar theme: the kitchen, which was previously orange and oak with terracotta and dark granite tiles, was painted lilac and updated with pink tiles and a scalloped-edge rug.
‘All the appliances are pink, and the wallpaper is called wonderland by Borastapeter with bunny rabbits,’ Sophia added.
She describes the living room as ‘a vast space with a yellow corner sofa and a baby pink one’, with ‘calamine pink’ decor.
‘There is a gallery wall with neon lights, and I always try and have natural flowers where I can,’ continued Sophia.
For a sense of calm, the playroom is forest themed with tree wallpaper and a turquoise ceiling.
Personal art is also an important feature in the property, as Minnie’s room has a feature wall mural Sophia painted herself.
‘It’s really quaint, I painted a mountain range with little hot air balloon,’ she explained. ‘We didn’t know if we were having a girl or a boy, but I liked the idea of drifting away in an air balloon.’
Clemmie’s room is whimsical and floral with a scalloped bed, mint green walls and another mural.
‘I painted a floral mural on her wall, and she has a beaded chandelier and pink pom pom curtains,’ Sophia said. ‘She has a lovely leafy wallpaper and a scalloped bed from Next.’
Sophia’s personal office is, of course, ice cream themed, while the landing is decorated with butterflies and an ombre pink stairway.
Outside, the girls can enjoy a treehouse painted in pink and green, along with a garden kitchen where Chris and Sophia can cook up a storm during summer.
Next on the agenda, the family plan to build an extension outdoors and renovate the upstairs bathroom.
By going most of the work themselves, Sophia believes they have saved a hefty amount of cash.
‘I think we have saved £5,000 to £10,000 by doing everything ourselves,’ she said.
Sophia advises others on a DIY journey to gather inspiration by creating mood boards and using testers on walls you plan on painting.
She also urges people to not be afraid of painting and putting up wallpaper, and said there were many affordable shops to buy both on the cheap.
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