Home lifestyle Take a look inside this artist’s super colourful house

Take a look inside this artist’s super colourful house

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Take a look inside this artist’s super colourful house


Who wouldn’t want to live in a hot pink cottage? (Picture: David Broabent)

To the outside world, this unassuming building is just another charming cottage nestled in the heart of the rolling countryside. But visitors be warned.

As you walk through the front door, you’re suddenly thrust into a hectic hybrid of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory and the Mad Hatter’s tea party.

The loud clashing colour scheme with hand-painted floral walls, neon polka dots and fluorescent stripes might be a nightmare for some. But for ceramicist Mary Rose Young, it is a living work of art – and her dream home.

‘People are often unsure of how to react when they see it for the first time,’ smiles Mary, whose fuchsia hair and wardrobe contrast spectacularly with her carefully curated interior.

Ceramicist Mary Rose Young wanted her house to match her eclectic art style (Picture: David Broabent)

Once the eyes have adjusted, it’s clear she knows a thing or two about colour and how to throw a pattern together.

‘This is my craft and I wanted it to reflect my tastes and who I am – to be fun and hospitable. It gives you that childlike feeling of looking into a sweet shop. It’s a fun house for grown-ups!’

Mary and her musician husband Phil bought the cottage in Lydney in the heart of the Forest of Dean 30 years ago for a mere £30,000.

Mary’s not afraid to mix patterns (Picture: David Broabent)

‘It was such a humble dwelling when we bought it and it was so dark inside. There were no architectural features, so I decided vibrant colours were the way forward to introduce some light and create much needed character.

‘I painted everything myself by hand to make it totally unique, like an extension of my work. The refurb became a fun project alongside my ceramics, and every part of it came from the heart.’

The kitchen is one of the most charming and colourful rooms in the house. Mary painted all the units and fired the black and white tiles herself. The fluorescent pink dresser houses all her plates and cups.

The kitchen isn’t just for cooking, it’s a work of art (Picture: David Broabent)

‘I hand-painted all the walls and painted the beams in the pitched ceiling baby blue, which was a challenge,’ she laughs. ‘I wanted it to look unique.’ She also hand-painted the pink roses on the table top.

But the pièce de résistance is the ceramic chandelier hanging from the ceiling. It’s very Alice In Wonderland-esque – the centrepiece is a teapot and the light bulbs fit into cups and saucers on the arms.’

In the dining room, Mary has created a ceiling rose made from faux flowers and petals stuck onto the ceiling with a hot-glue gun. ‘It’s tricky to dust,’ she laughs ‘but it’s fun and I love it.’

It’s not just the walls, ceilings and furniture that get a makeover – Mary also paints the floors. ‘I painted the wood floor red to brighten up the room as it was quite dark.’

Each painting in Mary’s cosy dining nook has a corresponding piece of pottery (Picture: David Broabent)

Huge hand-painted pink, blue and orange roses adorn the stone walls, which adds texture as well as pops of colour and beautifully sets off the green dresser.

Upstairs, Mary’s small pink gallery is filled with her framed paintings, and there are shelves to show off the matching vases and jugs. ‘’Each painting has a corresponding piece of pottery,’ she says. ‘This is a great room to sit, for visitors to have a cuppa and a piece of cake.’

But her favourite room is the huge vaulted gallery, which she refurbed to house her vast collection of designer pottery.

The massive ceramic chandelier is worth £25,000 (Picture: David Broabent)

‘I wanted something dramatic and expensive here so I created the crown chandelier as a centre piece, which is worth £25,000! It looks great against the striped walls and painted dressers.

‘The floor is also spectacular – it’s a mosaic of tiny vinyl flooring based on a Venetian church floor I fell in love with. It took six weeks to lay all the individual pieces but it was worth it.’

The sitting room has a yellow ceiling with orange painted beams and blue stone walls. The window and doors frames have an added touch of pink polka dots.

The low ceilings are brightened up with yellow paint (Picture: David Broabent)

Many of the colours are inspired by a trip Mary and Phil made to New Orleans. ‘I loved the way they put the pastel colours together.

The wooden stairs are painted like confetti in different colours. ‘It’s much cheaper than having a carpet – and when it gets scruffy I just add a few more colours,’ she laughs.

The French-style wooden bed in her boudoir also had a makeover. ‘I loved the shape of it but it needed some colour so I painted the headboard red and the frame pink. Now it really stands out against the turquoise floor and yellow striped wallpaper.

Even the bedroom got the rainbow treatment (Picture: David Broabent)

‘Colour is my speciality and I really enjoy putting loads of testing colours together on the walls to see what works. It’s all trial and error – you need to see what works with the light in the room.’

Rose made all the tiles in the bathroom and even painted and fired the sink and loo in her kiln to make them match.

In 2014, she wanted to buy a boutique hotel nearby so put the house on the market. With only one viewing and no offers, the estate suggested she paint it all white. She refused.

‘I can’t see the point of decorating your home to suit other people’s tastes. We love this house and we’re delighted we stayed put.’

To see more of Mary’s work visit maryroseyoung.com or follow @maryrosepottery on Instagram.


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