Moving house stirs up a melting pot of emotions, including fear, dread and excitement. The dread is usually attached to the work you will almost inevitably have to do to make the place your own. Finding tradespeople, hunting for new furniture and agonising over colour schemes etc are all on the long to-do list that you fear you may never get to the end of.
None of the above were a concern for Jack March, who recently sold his flat in York to buy a double-fronted town house with his partner, Dave.
To Jack, moving was manna from heaven as he is a born creative with a prodigious talent for styling and decorating. He is also a dab hand at DIY and making bargain buys look like a million dollars.
Little wonder that pictures of his home have helped make him an Instagram star, sought-after stylist and, most lately, an author. Jack, aka jackdmarch on Instagram; Joanne Hardcastle, aka hardcastletowers; Marie-Claire Jackson, aka thegingerhareofyorkshire; and Wendy Simpson, aka the_yorkshire_homestead; were spotted by a top publisher after gathering a huge following for their Instagram hashtag collaboration “The Story of my Home”.
The result is a brilliant forthcoming book Story of My Home, published by Studio Press. It is full of inspiring photographs, advice and ideas on how to make a property look and feel great and has already attracted a huge number of pre-orders on Amazon ahead of its publication date on September 16.
Meanwhile, Jack’s social media followers are being treated to pictures and posts about his new home. The property is a dream come true for him: “I have always loved period houses and this is exactly what I wanted. It’s double-fronted and has high ceilings but it was decorated in neutrals and I love colour and drama.”
He has added both with his usual panache and mostly with autonomy, with the only exception being the large television set in the sitting room, which Dave insisted on.
“I hate TVs but had to compromise on that,” says Jack who, instead created the decorating equivalent of a disappearing act and made the TV unnoticeable by placing it on an alcove shelf with a black interior.
The shelving with storage cupboards below was made to Jack’s specification and is mostly painted in Farrow & Ball’s blue-black Railings. While this room had its coving, the ceiling roses had long gone, so these were reinstated and a Timothy Oulton-style pendant light from eBay was added.
The drawing room features Jack’s favourite Thibaut wallpaper in blue and white with matching cushions and curtains made by Loose Threads. One wall reveals his passion for blue and white plates and another has bespoke shelving holding his collection of teapots, made when he became a ceramicist after completing his degree in 3D contemporary design. While he loved “doing the teapots”, the income wasn’t enough to allow him onto the property ladder, so he now works in the family car business, though styling commissions are coming thick and fast so the future may propel him deeper into the interiors world.
His style is eclectic and he shops everywhere from the top-end stores to B&M Bargains. He also loves vintage and antique buys, like the drawing room rug, which is from a new antiques shop, the Devil’s Elbow in York.
Upstairs is Jack’s favourite room, the vibrant blue and orange bedroom, which began with wallpaper by Natasha Coverdale for Lickhome.com, and also includes new wall panelling, which he and Dave installed themselves. The bed is from Made.com and is topped with an orange throw from Christy and cushions in Linwood fabric.
Pondering what to do with the bathroom brought on a compulsion to paint stripes on the ceiling that contrast surprisingly well with the chequerboard floor. “The stripes were a whim and I didn’t know if they would work but they did and they were pretty easy to do using Frogtape. It was a lot easier than wallpapering,” says Jack, who added a shower curtain printed with lemons for extra zest.
The guest bedroom was a “quick fix” with DIY panelling behind the bed and walls painted in Farrow & Ball’s Bancha green. Jack also reupholstered the bed in burnt orange velvet. Outside, the backyard is now a splendid outdoor room with lighting, shelving for plants, tables and chairs.
“I’ve done five rooms so far and the kitchen is next. I’m going to be working with Moores on that,” says Jack, who, naturally, is looking forward to it.
*Story of My Home, £14.99, from Studio Press, is published on September 16 and available to pre-order from Amazon. Find Jack March is on Instagram as jackdmarch. His lifestyle blog, Life in a Teacup, is at www.jackdmarch.com.
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