When fashion editor and founder of style and interiors blog The Edited moved home, her eye for colour helped her to see past the magnolia walls to realise the house’s true potential. Words by Jessica Jonzen.
When Erica Davies first went to look at the house which would become her home, she could never have guessed that it would become an Instagram sensation. ‘The house could not have been more bland,’ she laughs. ‘As soon as I walked in I knew there was absolutely nothing I wanted to keep, but I could see its potential.’
Now, just over a year after she moved in with her husband, James, and their two children, Charlie, aged six and four-year old Lila, Davies has transformed the eight-year old mock-Georgian home. Pictures of the deep blue sitting room with its elegant bookcases and Fiddle Leaf Fig get hundreds of likes and enthusiastic comments on Instagram.
Moving from a pretty Victorian house in South East London to a new build on the Essex / Suffolk border was a big change for the former fashion editor of The Sun. ‘I had really put my stamp on our last house and was very sad to leave, but we wanted more space.’ The house sits on a small development in the grounds of a manor house overlooking the Stour Valley. ‘It was bland inside but it was perfectly sound. I just thought “I can work with this”.’
Readers of Davies’ blog The Edited and her 34,000 followers on Instagram have been rapt by the house’s dramatic transformation. ‘I knew that I wanted to be bold – colour and print don’t scare me at all. I wanted to create a really fun, exciting house for us to live in because we’re not planning on moving, so I’m not decorating it for somebody else’s aesthetic,’ she says.
Davies first tackled the sitting room, which had bare magnolia walls, beige carpets and very little else. ‘I knew I wanted something dark with almost a gentlemans’ club vibe to it. It’s a very large room so I wanted to create little zones and I needed a colour that would make it feel rich, but cosy, and give it the grandeur I wanted. I chose Juniper Ash by Little Greene and I love it – it’s blue but it’s very warm.’
Davies also commissioned a local joiner to build two fitted bookcases from MDF on either side of the French doors. ‘We had lots of books that we wanted to display and I thought it would be a great way to create a reading area and add some storage and character to the room.’ The couple installed Kahrs Da Capo Oak Indosatti floorboards, plantation shutters and swapped their grey sofa for a Loaf Bagsie sofa in Midnight Plush Velvet, covered in cushions and throws to add texture. ‘I’ve been most thrilled with the pair of German cocktail chairs that I bought on eBay’, she says. I reupholstered them in a Swaying Palms fabric which I had shipped over from the US. They’re a lovely mix of kitsch and cool which really appeals
A cocktail trolley, lamps, collections of vintage mirrors and vases and Erica’s self-confessed obsession – house plants – complete the look. ‘I think plants just make a room – a large statement palm adds structure and texture. Conservatory Archives in Hackney is a gem of a store and they will help source
specialist plants for you. They found me my Fiddle Leaf Fig and I adore him!
The hall and landing were painted in Blackened by Farrow & Ball and Davies ripped out the beige carpet and installed Bert & May’s monochrome Loredo tiles. ‘I’d seen a picture of the green stair carpet from Roger Oates on Pinterest and I just kept coming back to it and wondering if I could do it in a modern house. I’m so glad that I went for it because I love it and smile every time I see it.’
Davies started The Edited whilst pregnant with her daughter, Lila. ‘I wanted a bit of a creative outlet whilst on maternity leave and I was pretty sure that I wouldn’t be going back to my job. I had lunch with a PR who said they were doing lots of work with so-called mummy bloggers. That didn’t sit very comfortably with me, but I did want to talk about the things that my friends and I were talking about – what COS had in store, and what Whistles was doing, and which cool prints I could buy for the nursery. It was a light bulb moment and it grew from there.’
Since going freelance and moving out of London, Davies has found that the blog has really blossomed. ‘I think it’s because I’ve found what I really like to talk about and share, which is fashion and interiors.
I can do what I want to do and it’s given me the confidence just to be myself,’ she says. ‘It’s very natural to me to show both fashion and interiors as I think they’re very closely linked. People genuinely love having a nose around other people’s houses and offering opinions, and Instagram is the perfect tool for that. I’m constantly inspired by it.’