Alex Stedman’s 213,000 Instagram followers know the inside of her London home well. After all, it’s long been the backdrop to her posts, which give everyday fashion and lifestyle tips, bringing together high-street and premium brands. Recently, however, the 35-year-old has been documenting the travails of doing up the terrace house that she and her husband Chris bought in 2016.
They moved in during the winter, with no water or heating, and no money left to start renovations. It’s taken two years of constant work, with the not inconsiderable interruption of having their first baby, Peggy, last year, but it’s nearly finished. ‘I want it to look stylish, but I’m sensible with my money,’ Alex says. ‘We didn’t have much spare after buying the house, so everything has been very carefully sourced or upcycled. I’m not a label snob – I shop at cheap places so that I can save up for little luxuries.’ Here, we find out how she conjures up home style that belies her budget.
What made you branch out into interiors?
When we moved into our first flat together in 2010, we spent everything we had on our mortgage and bills, so couldn’t do anything to the interior. But, in 2014, we remortgaged and had a loft conversion. I started following lots of interiors accounts on social media and became obsessed by how easily a tin of paint can change anything – it was so much more satisfying than clothes.
Why did you move house again so quickly?
We’d doubled our money on our flat and wanted to find our forever home. We typed our budget and the number of rooms we wanted into Zoopla, and there were about three houses for sale. This was one of them. When we walked in, we instantly fell in love.
What was the hardest part of the renovation?
We bought it in late 2016. It was at the top of our budget and we had £6,000 left over, knowing we had to put central heating in. We didn’t even have proper plumbing, just a lead tap in the hall. I would arrange breakfast meetings in smart restaurants and arrive early to wash and brush my teeth!