When Sally Worts and her husband bought their barn conversion near Skipton 10 years ago, it was the building’s heritage, huge garden and sensational rural views that sold it to them.
The interiors, however, were less than ideal. “It was dark and gloomy inside and you couldn’t see the views from the windows in the house because of the bushes and trees outside,” says Sally, who adds: “The kitchen wasn’t right, plus, there was orange pine everywhere. It was like living in a sauna without the heat but I could see that the barn had potential.”
While the need for major revamp might sound like a negative, it was anything but. It gave interior designer Sally another chance to showcase her talent with no holds barred and it has also earned her a huge following on Instagram, where she has documented the property’s journey from dated to drop dead gorgeous.
Sally, who posts as sallydoessassy on Instagram, has over 75,000 followers and counting thanks to her original ideas and her incredible eye for mixing pattern and colour. Her leopard print stairs carpet is just one element that sets hearts alight on the social media site and you can bet your bottom dollar that no other barn conversion has one. “I started posting on Instagram five years ago. It’s such a nice community and I’ve made so many friends there,” she says.
She sums up her property’s new look as “country living with a rock ’n’ roll edge” and “cosy, captivating spaces with maximal vibes” and adds: “It’s taken 10 years to get to there is House of Hackney wallpaper, sofas sourced from eBay and a lamp and cheetah cushion from Olive & Sage.
The bar area beyond includes a wooden bar found on eBay, a glass cabinet that cost £3 from a second-hand store, another Olive & Sage lamp and leopard print wallpaper that Sally found for £10 a roll. “That wallpaper nearly made the decorator cry, it was so difficult to hang but it was worth it,” she says.
Upstairs is another triumph. The master bedroom features Anna Hayman wallpaper, a bed from Barker & Stonehouse and two vintage walnut wardrobes and a cabinet bought for a song as they are too big for most modern homes. The piece de resistance is the feather light from Coldharbour Lights. The tulips artwork is by Polly Fern and the circular Isola wall art is by MM Linen.
Outside, Sally designed a verandah and a courtyard with an outdoor kitchen. There’s a pizza oven and a barbecue plus a fire pit to keep everyone toasty when the Yorkshire weather blows a chill wind, as it often does. This area acts as an entertaining space and an outdoor room and conveniently leads into the indoor bar.
The colour palette outdoors matches the house’s interior and the standout feature is the huge Edwardian farmhouse table, which was sourced from Harrogate-based Rob Cain, aka the English Polisher.
“It’s a great party area and the table was key because we are a big family and I needed a long table that could seat lots of people,” says Sally, who also upcycled an old Ikea unit for storage. The gold, classical face planter is from Rockett St George and the gold and black disco balls add extra pizazz. The garden sofa and chairs are from Made.com.
The final project, turning the attic into a new design studio for Sally, is almost complete. “I’ve finished what I wanted to do here so I’m opening my books up to take on more work so I can help other people with their interiors,” she says.
Sally Does Sassy Interior Design, www.sallydoessassy.co.uk. You can find Sally on Instagram at @sallydoessassy. Picture of Sally by Heidi Marfitt