‘we went over to the dark side!’

9 min read


Ditching its dated interior for a bold and dramatic palette, Alana’s new-look home is now brimming with personality

CHANGES AHEAD ‘I love the look of wood worktops but they are high maintenance, so we may change them’



I’m Alana Packwood, 34, and I run my own interiors company (delveinteriors. co.uk). I live here with my husband Stephen, 33, our son Marley, two, and our cat, Wesley.


A threebedroom Edwardian cottage in Letchworth Garden City, North Hertfordshire, which we bought in March 2020.


The house needed a complete strip-out right down to the bones, but that meant we could start from scratch and stamp our own taste to make it our own.


We went over to the dark side, colourwise, reinstated original features and chose statement wallpapers to create a home full of drama.


Make a moodboard – it helps achieve a curated, finished look and means you don’t waste money making mistakes.


Tongue-and-groove panelling adds interest to a mono scheme

FUTURE PROOFED ‘The cabinets, which are from Wentworth Kitchens, are paintable so if I ever want to change the colour, we don’t need to change the whole kitchen’

We got the keys for this place the day before lockdown, so it was just me, Stephen, and a load of boxes on moving-in day as no one was allowed to help,’ says Alana. ‘Initially, I had a few days of panic because the house was in such a state. In fact, it was so bad that we didn’t even bother with a survey as we knew we’d have to strip everything out and start again.

But even though the 1970s hadn’t been kind to the house, and everything was extremely dated and badly maintained, I was excited by the idea of bringing character back into it and replacing the Edwardian features that had unfortunately been ripped out.

After the panic subsided Stephen and I made a plan of action, deciding to start with the ground-floor layout which was then a warren of tiny rooms. We knew it was going to be a messy job and one of the biggest investments so it made sense to start there.

Kitchen build

Luckily, construction was still able to continue during lockdown so we hired builders who knocked down the internal walls and installed four steels to help create a large kitchen-diner. We also enlarged the doorway into the garden, which was originally only 80cm wide, replacing it with wide metal-framed doors to let the light flood in, as the new space we created was quite dark.

The room lent itself to a natural U-shaped kitchen area but I didn’t want loads of wall units as I felt they would make the space feel claustrophobic, so we went for one bank of storage cupboards and then

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