Renovations and Revelations With Leanne Lim-Walker

To celebrate the launch of RI Home, we hosted a pop-up event at Soho Square and invited fashion and lifestyle-turned-interiors blogger and YouTuber, Leanne Lim-Walker AKA @liannelimwalkerhome to tell us all about the renovations of her Victorian home and why she loves our Electric Opulence trend…

How did you approach the search when looking for your first home?

I always knew I loved character; I love old buildings with covings and exposed floors and I knew I didn’t want a new build. I’ve ended up moving out of the city I’ve always lived but I just fell in love with the place. It definitely needs renovating but that’s what I loved about it. 

What’s your favourite room in the house?

I like the kitchen – it was one of the rooms the previous owners had just done so it’s modern and nice. I still want to paint the cupboard doors and I’ve added marble vinyl to the worktops to make it look more expensive. 

What's a good order to start decorating a house?

I would start with the areas you use the most – we’re doing the lounge next because it doesn’t feel like ours yet and then we’ll do the bedroom. 

Where do you find inspiration? 

I look on Pinterest and Instagram and have collections saved of all these things I love. I also follow a lot of home accounts who are also renovating so it’s inspiring to see each different journey. 

How do you decide on a theme? Do you have one for the whole house or one for each room?

I like each room to be different. One room has that Scandinavian feel but I’m definitely going to be more playful, I’m going for a bright feature wall in the living room, in a dark navy blue. I’m dreaming about a pink velvet sofa. As long as it’s comfy my fiancé doesn’t mind!

What are your tips for decorating on a budget?

You can do a lot of things yourself whether that’s stripping the walls, patch repair or painting. If you find furniture you like but it’s too expensive, upcycle something second-hand and make it your own. There are little things you can do like painting or change the handles.  

What’s your advice to anyone who wants to decorate their space and feeling nervous about it?

I would say work with what you’ve got. We discovered our house has historical subsidence but there are also so many amazing original features that come with having a Victorian house that’s 160 years old. There are original tiles, windows, shutters – we’re still discovering things that haven’t been taken out and it’s those things that make it really special.

What do you want your home to say about you?

I want people to come in and be wowed. With Instagram, everyone seeks the same kind of pictures when it comes to interiors so I want to be a bit different.

How did you make your rented house feel like a home?

We had a very ugly fireplace and I wanted to do a feature wall, so rather than the fireplace being the focal point, I did it around the TV and slowly incorporated the rug, the cushions and accessorized with plants. I also made my Macramé wall hanging myself.

How do you keep things looking neat and Instagram ready?

I’m keen to show both sides, one of my best posts is when I’d spent the day stripping wallpaper with my hair and make-up done and another with me sat on a ladder wearing a joggers and a face mask. I’ve actually only done one room so far, I’ve not unpacked and most of the house isn’t presentable!

Let’s talk about some of your key picks and how you’d bring them into your space…

I love the cushions and I’ve definitely got my eye on those candlesticks! I’ve just bought a second hand unit I’m going to paint matte black with gold handles – they’d look great on there. 

What attracted you to our most expressive trend, Eclectic Opulence?

I love the metallics; they work beautifully with the dark tones. The colours really complement each other and it’s a mixture of textures, from faux furs, embroidery and sequins. There’s lots of attention to detail, I think the tiger cushion could work with my pink sofa!