April 22, 2020

Stay at home with Matthew and Hollie Spade.

I don’t know about you, but other the past few weeks I’ve found myself becoming increasingly interested in the homes of other people. As more snippets of home are emerging from some of my favourite folks on the internet, I’ve found myself wanting to see and know more about the people behind the posts. What makes their house a home? Where do they shop for homeware?

Inspired by my nosy nature, I decided to approach some of those less in the interior bubble and ask if they’d be up for shooting some of their own content to feature here, and it’s with great pleasure that I announce this new series with my first two willing volunteers, Matthew and Hollie Spade.

Matthew and Hollie space in their light living room
Matthew and Hollie Sapde in mid-century living room
Mat and Hollie in their open plan living room space created in partnership with West Elm.

You might know Matthew better as @mat_buckets on the gram. A freelance content creator and writer over at the Bucket and Spades blog, I first met Mat at a press trip this time last year. We’ve been great pals ever since. His wife Hollie is a fashion promotion lecturer and interior lover, plus one of the only people who has made me want to don a shaved head. Seriously? The effortlessly cool duo moved into this home (their first owned home) in Lancashire just over three years ago and have started documenting their interior journey over at @theoneonthecorner. I admire how the pair have committed to DIY themselves, and are proof that even if you make slow progress, you don’t need a huge budget to make somewhere your own.

Let’s talk details. The house itself is semi-detached with a front garden and driveway which extends around the side in turn acting as their back garden space. Downstairs there’s a porch, lounge, and an open plan space they use as a living room, kitchen and dining room. Upstairs there’s a bedroom, small box office, guest bedroom and narrow but perfectly decent bathroom.

Shall we take a home tour and ask them a few questions? The answer is yes, obviously.

entranceway with tiled house number
The mosaic tile entranceway that took a number of design tests to get right!

Can you tell me a little bit about your interior style? 

Sure thing, well I think the easiest way to describe our style is basically a mash up of both our interior and general tastes / interests into one house. We both have fairly different ideas when it comes to design, so we play on both and this is what we end up with.

Parts mid-century, parts Art Deco, parts modernism and other parts made up from our love of graphic design, cartoons, art and travel.

light living room with picture shelf
light living room with coloured bookshelf
Simple pots and artwork add interest and personality to the living room space.

So, who makes the decisions when it comes to the design?

A bit of both of us for sure, but Hollie knows how to make things happen in a more logical way than me. I’m a “oh yeah come on let’s do that”, and she’ll follow up with “yeah but would that work for the space and is it even possible?” Hollie is also extremely good with research; sticking in the hours to find the perfect thing we had in mind. I think I’m pretty good making a space look updated without buying something new, with small styling tweaks, a switch of colour or knowing where the light will bounce to compliment something. Teamwork.  

light living room with tan leather sofa and pink decor
bookcase details
You can always tell a lot about people through their bookshelves, right?

You’ve undertaken quite a bit of DIY with the house so far. What has been your favourite project so far and is there anything you wish you had known in the beginning?

The biggest and our favourite has to be the renovation of our back garden. It was quite rundown and overgrown when we moved in, and after about a year of making do we set out to totally redesign it. That meant ripping out the floor, building a whole new “wind proof” fence, taking lots of inspiration from elements found on the West Coast of American, but making things feel appropriate for a 1930s red brick house. We love it! We couldn’t have done it without a lot of help from Hollie’s dad, serious skills.

It’s well worth reminding yourself that things can take longer than you first think, and things will go wrong, but you learn from it and are wiser for next time. It’s all part of the fun I’d say (minus the 1647448 trips to get more belt sanding paper…)

dark blue living room details with green velvet sofa
dark living room with large palm plant
dark living room with orange retro telephone
In the darker lounge, walnut furniture, plants and gold accents make the space cosy.

Hah! I love how chilled out your home aesthetic is. Where are your favourite places to shop for interior pieces?

Here’s a few:

West Elm | Arket | Ikea | Utility Design | Oliver Bonas | H&M Home | Lifestory

And we have a few pieces from small and well known designers, thing we pick up on our travels and lots of vintage stuff from second hand places / family.

white hallway with colourful gallery wall
The hallway gallery wall is filled with prints from their wedding and various small independent brands.

And what are both of your favourite piece of furniture or decor that you currently own?

Hollie: It would be between our green velvet sofa or our bed. The sofa was one of our big first purchases, it looks pretty special sat in front our our navy walls. For a less-furniture related feature, I’d say our gallery wall on the landing, that was fun to do!

Mat: On the flip side I’d say it’s our tan leather sofa we got when we collaborated with West Elm last year. We had the opportunity to style our living room with a bunch of West Elm products, including the sofa, coffee table, rug, lamp and chair. It’s all looking great with age and use, I kinda like the affect the sun has on the ageing process. Our little part of California is the most unexpected of places. And for my non-furniture thing, I’d have to say my collection of bits and bobs in my office space.

minimal taupe bedroom with line drawing
minimal bedroom with taupe walls and decor
The muted bedroom is the perfect space to relax and unwind.

I’d also love to know what your perfect Sunday morning entails…

How about waking up in Las Vegas, going for an early morning run followed by buffet breakfast then reading by the pool…not quite at home, but you did say perfect!

minimal office desk with postcards on the wall
magazine office details with g.f.smith book
office details
An office space is filled with mementoes of previous trips and design-led pieces.

Absolutely, sounds ideal. Finally, I like to end things with a small business shout out! Who should we be checking out?

Oh for sure! We love:

Lifestory | Rifle Paper Co. | Telegramme | Outpost Coffee | Magic Rock Brewery | Deadstock General Store | Pollen Bakery | Dicks Edinburgh

garden with terracotta plant pots from market
Mat and Hollie recently collaborated with Arket on a gardening campaign after spending a long time getting the space ready!

What do you think to Mat and Hollie’s home? Follow them over at @mat_buckets and @holliespade for more. For more interior inspiration, colour clashing and general life admin, check out the rest of my blog. Follow me on InstagramPinterest and Twitter for more EJP in your life.


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Emma Jane Palin is a freelance art consultant, interior stylist and multi-award-winning blogger residing in Margate, UK. She has worked with various home and lifestyle brands not limited to West Elm, Apple, John Lewis, Habitat, MADE, Caran D'Ache + No.3 Gin. Emma is also a regular contributor to Hunker where she writes about design trends and interior advice.

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