I’ve always admired the brilliant Gayle Mansfield from afar (i.e., from Instagram ;). She’s an artist, owner of the lovely Gayle Mansfield Designs, and has the most incredible aesthetic in her home: think the most stylish open plan Scandi with touches of texture, greenery and exposed brickwork. It’s pretty much an interiors dream in her period Worthing property.
Her house truly has been a labour of love for Gayle and her partner, and I wanted to hear all about its transformation. Read on to find out about knocking out walls after walls after walls…
First off, who lives in your lovely open plan scandi home and how long have you been there?
My partner, our daughter Edie, and me. We moved in November 2012 so 4.5 years now.
What’s the situation in your house?
It’s an Edwardian 3 bed semi detached house, built in around 1910.
What about your home works well for your family life?
We knocked the two reception rooms and kitchen in to one big space and that generally works well for us although it can be a bit noisy. In hindsight I would have kept the front reception room separate and just knocked the second reception room and kitchen in to one. However, there is something quite nice about being able to see the whole way through the house from the front to the garden. Our daughter was very little when we knocked all the walls down and I wanted to be able to see her from wherever I was but as she grows and we all have our different interests it might have been better to have one separate space. If we stay long term (we’re never sure!) then perhaps we would think about re-instating a wall to create one. Having an eat in kitchen also works well for us as a family, as do the doors opening out directly on the garden. The fact we have the luxury of a third bedroom, which we use as a work studio, and houses our huge industrial printer, is also great as it means I can keep all my business stuff separate rather than spreading everything out all over the kitchen table, although I do sometimes do that for a change of scene.
How would you describe your interiors aesthetic?
I am definitely drawn towards calm white interiors with a Scandinavian influence. Having said that I do also like the odd dark wall, and am planning on experimenting with that in the future. I like minimalism but I am also realistic about living like that, so I try to ensure there is enough storage and that all the clutter/things I don’t want to see out are put away (of course in practice this rarely happens and then about once a week I lose the plot and have a mad tidy up). I also like a little bit of industrial and vintage mixed in, to keep things interesting, for example I love the exposed brickwork in our bedroom, which was not planned, but works well.
What’s your favourite thing about your open plan scandi home?
There’s three things: firstly, our bathroom. We knocked through (can you detect a theme here?!) the separate toilet and bathroom to create one room and it just has a lovely calming feel to it. The marble floor tiles and waterfall shower feel very decadent. Having spent years in rented properties this is so luxurious to me.
Secondly I love our wood burning stove which gives off an incredible amount of heat in the winter months.
Finally, there’s my idea which was to create an understairs utility room and loo by using both the understairs area and part of the adjoining hallway, which means we have managed to squeeze in a loo/basin and washing machine/tumble dryer with a bit of storage too. I like the fact that our utilities are out of the kitchen as it keeps the noise down.
What are you most proud of in your open plan scandi home?
I guess I am proud of the transformation as a whole really, for being brave in my vision to knock the whole thing through. It feels nothing like the house that we bought. I’m also proud of the time and effort we spent sanding, preparing and painting all the white floorboards.
If you could change one thing about your home, what would it be?
White is great, but you can possibly have too much of it so all white walls, white floorboards, some white furniture, white kitchen cupboards, white radiators…maybe I would have toned it down/mixed it up a little more. Sometimes I’d like the location of it to change slightly and be a little nearer the sea but really I can’t complain. I also don’t think I’d have bothered with shutters on every window!
Also, I’d definitely change the really cheap vinyl flooring that we laid in the kitchen, which was meant to be a temporary thing but has been there for 3 years (always the way) and is looking a bit past it now. I am coveting pale wood Dinesen boards but that’s just a pipe dream at this point! That’s not one thing is it!
Click here to view more home tours on More Than Toast.