Interior stylist Rebecca Appleyard and her Harrogate home

Rebecca's home is a blend of vintage and new buys

Rebecca Appleyard’s apartment home is a showcase for her love of interior design and her talent for delivering style on a budget. Sharon Dale reports. Pictures by Gary Longbottom.

It’s an understatement to describe Rebecca Appleyard as multi-talented. She is a remarkable woman with many strings to her bow – or perhaps we should say, her tennis racket.Super-sporty, she is a well-known part-time tennis coach and combines this with a career as an interior stylist.Most of Rebecca’s endeavours over the years have been creative and people- focused.After studying textile design and graphic design at university, she made her living from painting Batik wall art and T-shirts that went down a storm at festivals, including Glastonbury.A spell in psychiatric nursing, training in garden design and then interior styling, working for a Danish furniture specialist and a long period renovating and decorating numerous houses equipped her with the skills she needed to deal with a diverse array of clients and their properties.She has worked on show homes, shop windows, bars, boardrooms, dressing property for sale and private homes, including her own two-bedroom duplex apartment in Harrogate.

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Style on a budget

Rebecca in her kitchen-diner

When she first moved into the Georgian property it was empty and freshly-painted in Farrow & Ball neutral shades.“It had a great feel, lots of natural light and it was really a blank canvas, which was perfect for me,” says Rebecca.Top of the “must-keep” list when she moved from a “bigger, more bling” apartment to her present home was her collection of art, which includes work by her friend Yorkshire-based artist Richard Gee.

The dining room table doubles as Rebecca's office

Furniture is subject to change depending on whether she is restyling or moving home and she is adept at “style on a budget”.Vintage items and design classics play a big part in her schemes and there have been some great bargains from her favourite hunting grounds, which include Pool Bank Vintage Interiors, near Otley, eBay, second-hand shops, the Ripley car boot sale and Thompson’s auction house in Harrogate.

Designer maker

The rug made from carpet samples

Rebecca’s training in textile design and a talent for making has also been put to use, most notably with the multi-coloured rug in the sitting room.It looks bespoke and expensive but is, in fact, a collection of colourful carpet samples sewn and glued onto a hessian backing.The sitting room is a blend of contemporary and mid-century with original String shelving providing storage, as does the 1960s sideboard, which she found in a charity shop for £25. The coffee table is from Ikea and the multitude of mirrors bounce the light around and make the room appear bigger.

The fireplace is now dressed

The room is multi-functional and a vintage, chrome trolley makes the perfect bar cart now that it has been styled by Rebecca. The dining table is from Barker & Stonehouse via eBay and doubles as an office. It is piled with plans and drawings for her latest projects, which are diverse.

Fresh ideas

“I love what I do because no two commissions are ever the same,” says Rebecca.“I’ve just done a decorative moss wall for a contemporary boardroom in Harrogate. Buying them ready made is expensive so I made my own.

The moss wall made for an office boardroom

“I bought the moss separately and glued and pinned it into place.“I had a tight time scale and that took me hours but it was worth it because it looks great and the client is really pleased with it.”Her kitchen has just enough space for an original retro Nathan table and chairs and a vintage light from a film set.The walls are a tribute to two of her favourite artists, David Hockney and Vladimir Tretchikoff. The Hockney prints are from Salts Mill and the Tretchikoff is from Pool Bank Vintage Interiors and has been reframed.

Favourite things

A few of her favourite things

There’s also a “tribute shelf” with ornaments and images that showcase her love of Barcelona.“I really like the Marie Kondo idea of only keeping things that spark joy and that is what that shelf does,” says Rebecca, whose favourite shops for accessories include Anthropologie in the Victoria Gate centre in Leeds and HomeSense.

Chairs also spark joy but space prevents her from buying too many so instead she has put up a poster of iconic chairs in the hall.“I look at it and dream of what I’d have if I had more room,” she says.The bathroom has been given a makeover and made cosier with a faux fur rug while the walls feature more paintings by Richard Gee.

Bedroom styling

Rebecca’s bedroom was treated to an original French armoire, a Kartell chair and a collection of cushions from HomeSense.The bed was salvaged from an old barge and was a present from her father and the bedside tables are flea market finds.“I have had the bed for years. It’s in Farrow & Ball blue at the moment and it is one of my favourite things,” says Rebecca, who now has the apartment exactly how she wants it.

Rebecca's bedroom

“It’s done. I don’t have to think about making changes and that’s very helpful because I am busy but I like being on the go. I’m bored if I’m not.”You can find Rebecca on Instagram at r.appleyard_interiorstylist. She uses Instagram to posts “how to” videos on everything from styling a bar cart to creating a great looking coffee table.For more details on her work visit her website – www.rebecca-appleyard-interior-stylist.co.uk