Blogger Mel Wiggins has an effortlessly stylish home, filled with eclectic pieces that sit together in cosy, comfortable harmony. The vibe is earthy with distinctly retro touches, reflecting Mel’s values and the importance she places on home style that’s kind on people and the planet.
“I live in a small town in Northern Ireland, about 30 minutes from Belfast,” says Mel. “Our house is a 1930s townhouse pretty much smack bang in the town centre, and we love it. It’s split over four floors from a basement to an attic conversion, so there are lots and lots of stairs.”
The house is steeped in history, something that Mel admits she’s a “sucker” for. “There are 21 houses in our row and the original weekly rent on each house was 21 shillings, giving it the local nickname of ‘Guinea Row’ back in the day. We rented this house for two years before approaching the owners about buying it. We feel really lucky to live where we do and have an incredible community of neighbours around us.”
“I’d say my interiors style has evolved lately from colourful cluttered retro to paired-back retro with an earthy feel,” says Mel. “I still have a serious penchant for quality old furniture and vintage finds, but have become less of a magpie about it. Maybe the inevitable clutter that parenting small children brings has given me a shove down the ‘less is more’ approach! Right now, I want bright, airy rooms with lots of greenery.”
Mel’s living room is calm and peaceful which, she explains, is largely down to ditching their TV. “Last year we decided the living room was becoming a really useless space. The TV was always on in the background without anyone really watching it, cluttering up the space. Getting rid of the TV has made a massive difference to how we use the room and our overall family life. We now use that room for reading or when we have lots of friends over. Pairing back on the clutter in your home has a massive way of creating calm.”
Mel’s house lends itself really well to the retro look because it’s old, with high ceilings and picture rails. “The key is making sure you don’t just fill your house with retro tat because you like it,” explains Mel. “If you do that it’ll just end up looking overwhelming and tacky. I prefer to find really good quality retro pieces and mix them with more modern, natural accessories like plants and wood.”
“When we renovated our bathroom last year it had been floor to ceiling in tiles and was a nightmare to clean,” says Mel. “We decided we were done with tiles because of the upkeep so we looked into alternative flooring for bathrooms. I saw these luxury vintage tiles from Harvey Maria and thought they’d be perfect for the look I wanted in the new bathroom. They’re a lovely neutral colour, classic design and soft and warm on your feet on cold mornings. But, best of all, there’s no grout to contend with!”
When it comes to the “soul” of the home, like many people Mel says this is definitely the kitchen. “We spend 75% of our time in the kitchen/diner. Although the kitchen layout and style isn’t exactly my taste and it will eventually get redone, we love that the space is so family friendly. Our favourite thing is to light the fire in the dining room and be together doing our own thing while meals are being prepared, homework being done, working on the laptop etc. It’s a really social space.”
Like what you see? We’d love a nomination for Best New Blog at this year’s MAD Blog Awards. Since we launched a few weeks ago we’ve been blown away by the support from people who’ve found us online and enjoyed our content, and a reward (although not the be all and end all) would be the icing on the cake! If you’d like to give us a high five by nominating Roost as Best New Blog then you simply need to pop over to the MAD Blog Awards nominations page and follow the instructions. Thank you!