When Katy and Tim Barraclough decided to sell their home in Bingley to move 10 miles down the road, they knew they would have to settle for somewhere smaller.
Their preferred location was Ilkley, one of the most desirable towns in Yorkshire with property prices to match. So they swapped their home and 100ft garden for a two-bedroom terrace house with a small courtyard.
“We visited Ilkley a lot and it’s somewhere we had always wanted to live,” says Katy. “It’s got everything from lovely shops and restaurants to great countryside and walks, so we were prepared to make a sacrifice to be here.”
The house they settled on is tucked away off the main road just a few yards from the riverside and woods, which is perfect for walks with their pet springer spaniel Boris.
“We love where it is and the neighbours are fantastic. The only thing we weren’t so keen on was the interior, which wasn’t to our taste. It was very much a bachelor pad before and didn’t have much soul,” says Katy, who has completely redecorated the property to reflect her love of simplicity and colour.
She began with the sitting room, which is painted in a backdrop of neutral grey and yellow with pale pink curtains. Extra colour comes from furniture, art and mementos from travels.
The abstract map of San Francisco is by Jennifer Maravillas, an artist they found online then went to visit when they were on holiday in America. It has pride of place above the fire.
The stone fireplace is a focal point and was already there when they bought the property. The beanbag in front of it belongs to Boris who loves to lie in front of the wood-burning stove.
Tim, an investment manager, made the beanbag from old grain sacks he found in an antique shop. He also made the mantelpiece, the book shelves and is a dab hand at upholstering.
“Tim is very handy. He also loves reclamation and salvage and buying from auctions and antique shops, while I prefer a more contemporary look and buying from designer makers, so we compromise on the interiors,” says Katy.
They do have a shared interest in lighting. She sourced the statement pendant light in the sitting room from Covet in Ilkley, while Tim found three industrial metal shades at an antiques fair for £5 each. He fitted them with fabric cable from Urban Cottage Industries in Mytholmroyd and strung them in a line down the kitchen ceiling.
Rather than replace the existing units in the kitchen, which were relatively new, they updated the look by covering the walls around them with white metro tiles. A framed tea towel from Ilkley shop Nora’s, hangs above the tiny fold-down table for two from Ikea.
This was essential as the dining room downstairs in the converted basement has been requisitioned as the headquarters of Haykin, Katy’s online store.
A successful public relations consultant with an interest in art and design, she was keen to fulfil an ambition to have her own shop.
“I was settled and comfortable with my career in PR and the idea of having a shop felt like a pipedream for a long time but then I thought that if I didn’t try it I would regret it. I took the plunge a year ago,” she says.
The name of her store is an anagram of Harry Wilkinson, her grandfather’s name. He was an industrial designer and keen artist and had a big influence on her early years. When he passed away, she chose some furniture, a cocktail cabinet and old railway bench, from his home to remind her of him.
“The bench needed restoring so we took it to Machells in Guiseley and they replaced the wood. I love it,” says Katy.
It also comes in handy as seating for when she and Tim have friends round to eat, as the office desk in the basement also doubles as a dining table. Guests have grown used to being surrounded by stock now that Haykinshop.com is attracting orders from all over the country and beyond.
It’s minimal but colourful style, timeless aesthetic and commitment to supporting designer makers and small enterprises are all part of its appeal.
It specialises in “goods of colour and simplicity” including homeware, fashion accessories and stationery from all over the world.
One of Katy’s favourite finds is the ingenious magnetic wooden framing sticks. You simply stick metal drawing pins in the wall and the frames attach themselves along with your print.
“They are brilliant. My friend has just bought some for her children’s rooms because they allow you to change pictures very easily,” she says.
She is also a fan of Yorkshire maker Jacob Pew, who runs Splinter Designs in York. One of his walnut birds sits on her mantelpiece.
Cushions are a big feature on the site and she loves those by Kitty McCall but also designs some of her own, which are made by her neighbour Moya, who also sewed most of the curtains for the house. They reflect Katy’s love of pared-down design and pops of colour, although this approach is best expressed by the bright yellow armchair in her sitting room, which is from Made.com.
She is considering following Made.com’s lead. It recently decided to boost its online sales with showrooms in London and at Redbrick Mill in Batley.
“I’ve got a community of customers online and as that grows it would be great to have a bricks and mortar shop too,” says Katy.