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#PainthousePals - This Modern Life

This Modern Life’s Suzanne Harmer on choosing interiors in virtual reality and decorating for a family lifestyle

27 June 2019

As with any good ideas, This Modern Life - the blog and online shop founded by husband and wife, Danny and Suzanne Harmer - was born out of frustration. After struggling to find the products they wanted to decorate the bedroom of their first son, the couple created the site with the goal to help fellow new parents find items that look good and last long.

Since starting in 2011, This Modern Life has amassed more than 100,000 followers across its social channels, where Suzanne and Danny highlight kids and home products, which look as good in your baby’s room as they do in your lounge.

We were delighted to hear that Suzanne and Danny were recently featured on BBC’s interior makeover show Your Home Made Perfect, and chose Painthouse’s Bea colour to revamp their doors and living room!

We caught up with Suzanne to find out more about her experience in the show and decorating for a family lifestyle.

Tell us a bit about how you came to be part of Your Home Made Perfect and what was the experience like? The episode is about you and Danny choosing between two interior ideas in virtual reality, that must have been so exciting!

I emailed the BBC about a different show a couple of years ago, then I got a random call in 2018 asking if I'd be interested in taking part in a new one. We had a couple of meetings and filmed a little piece for the BBC so they could decide if they'd like to feature us.

We didn't find out about the virtual reality until a way into the process - we were so excited about it because it hasn't been done before and we wanted to see what it would be like. The VR day in London was amazing. We were the first couple to be shown the VR so the architects and the TV crew were all quite nervous! It was amazing and once we were trying to decide at home, we wanted to see it again!

You focus very much on how modern decor fits into your family lifestyle - how did Painthouse complement this?

I've always used a paint with low or no VOCs [volatile organic compounds] as it's important to me to keep our air as chemical free at home as possible. We also used a lot of plywood and we went with pure glue because it doesn't contain formaldehyde, so Painthouse instantly grabbed my attention because of its eco qualities. Our home is light and fun and I wanted to create a playful element with colour too. The Painthouse colours are just perfect for this. I got a few samples and ended up deciding to go with Bea, as coral pink is one of my favourite colours and it just pairs so well with the plywood and crates in our hallway. We have plans to use a few other colours throughout the house!

What is your favourite foolproof DIY tip or hack? Preferably one involving paint if possible!

If you're creating a shape or half-wall using tape (I use frog tape), then apply your tape and paint your base wall colour first along the tape (ours is usually just white). When that's dry, go over it in your feature colour, usually two coats, and peel off the tape just after applying your second coat. Applying the base colour first means that if there is any seeping of colour under the tape, it will be in your base coat colour and so it won't be noticeable.

My other top tip is when drilling a hole, tape an envelope or something similar just under your hole - it will catch all of the drilling dust and stop it from going all over your new paint! 

How important is paint and colour when decorating your home? Do you consider it the foundation of a room or do you choose the colour after thinking about accessories, decor and furniture?

Once we sort the practical elements of the room, we see how it pans out from there. There are so many amazing paint colours in the Painthouse range that one of them will definitely complement the room and the other elements that we've used.

Have you used Painthouse? We love putting the spotlight on our community and hearing your feedback. If you would like to see your story featured on our blog as part of our #PainthousePals series, slide into our DMs and tell us more on Instagram: @mypainthouse

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