Stepping inside Lydia Elder’s beautiful home in Kent, you would never imagine it was once a new-build with bare walls. This Insta-worthy home has modern-botanical lover written all over it. From punchy emerald walls, to delicately detailed tropical prints – we spoke to Lydia to get the inside scoop on her love for interior design.
Initially setting up her Instagram account @lydias_layton_life back when she first reserved her new-build in 2017, to find inspiration for her home, she never thought by sharing her own decorating progress it would be this much of a hit.
Now with over 100,000 followers, Lydia has become quite the style inspiration, sharing her latest renovation work, family life, and even her recent big move across to Singapore.
So, how long have you lived in your amazing home?
“We lived in Kent for 2 and a half years until recently. We moved out of London looking for more space and a better quality of life for our children. We initially fell in love with this home due to its amazing, family-friendly layout – with four large double-bedrooms upstairs and an equal-sized open-plan kitchen and living space downstairs, it was perfectly proportioned!”
Where did your passion for interior design begin?
“Not until we moved into our home in Kent! This was the first time that I felt really inspired to create a beautiful living space for myself and my family.
“There was so much potential with it being a new-build, every room was a blank canvas and that really excited me. I think it was looking at beautiful and bold wallpaper prints for a feature wall in our hallway that first got my creative interior juices flowing!”
Taking a blank canvas and making it your own is certainly something far from an easy task. Especially when you have various creative ideas and blank walls staring back at you… so where do you start?
“This is always the hardest question! I don’t have one set style, as my tastes are constantly evolving, so for me it’s less about a theme and more finding pieces, prints or colours that I love, and piecing them together. I’m always drawn to mid-century shapes and furnishings, alongside industrial textures like concrete and brass, softened with nature-inspired fabrics or wall finishings.”
Are you always on the lookout to experiment with new trends, or do you like to keep your style consistent?
“I wouldn’t say I follow trends, as there are some (like boucle!) that I just can’t bring myself to jump on board with, but I definitely get inspired by certain trends if they fit in with my personal taste and home style.
“I love experimenting with interior DIY and ways to add interest to a plain wall or unused corner.”
What’s your favourite trend at the moment?
“I think that ‘bringing the outdoors in’ through statement, nature-inspired prints and wall finishings is continuing to be popular, especially after this year when so many people have been stuck inside their homes and also craving feelings of stability and peace. Luckily for me, that’s exactly my cup of tea, and I am loving all types of botanical wall murals, from monochrome sketch styles to deep, bold shades of green”.
Why did you choose wallpaper when styling your home?
“Wallpaper is my favourite way to decorate a room, and it’s also a wall finishing that is easily changeable if you want to refresh or change your colour scheme.
“I first chose wallpaper for my bedroom, and this was a big deal, as all the walls in my bedroom were white, and the furniture was grey and mango wood. I wanted a WOW statement wallpaper that would add a fun, tropical vibe to the room while still maintaining a sophisticated look.
“I chose the Palma Tropical Wallpaper in navy, which has a beautiful green palm print layered on a deep navy background with a slight sheen. It’s still one of my favourite prints!”
“For our home office, I wanted to create a feature wall that wouldn’t overwhelm the small room, and would still bring in light and give a fresh and airy feel. I chose I Love Wallpaper as there were so many stunning patterns in their new Wall Mural collection.
“I absolutely loved the finished effect of the Jungle Escape Mural, and to date it’s probably my most asked-about wallpaper!”
What did you have to consider the most when styling this room?
“When styling the study a key consideration was light, as it’s a smallish room with only one, shuttered, window. I tend to decorate with black, however I knew that this room needed bright, natural textures and that the right mural would need to have a light base colour – which is why I chose the Jungle Escape Wall Mural in green”.
What is one accessory that you just can’t live without?
“Faux plants! I have them all over the house, they just bring life and colour to a room instantly, without the fear of killing them!”
Any upcoming interior plans?
“Having recently moved to Singapore, we will be facing the new challenge of decorating a rental property! Having less freedom to make permanent changes will force me to become even more creative, so I am really excited to see what we come up with – and for the chance to decorate every room from scratch! I’ve already got some ideas about ways to incorporate a statement wall mural in the bedroom using a faux wall…watch this space!”
You can find Lydia on Instagram here to follow updates on her new renovation plans overseas. You can also find us on Instagram @ilovewallpaper.co.uk for latest trends, updates and all things wallpaper!