top of page

As featured in...

As featured.jpg

Welcome!

 ...and thanks for stopping by. I'm Claire Douglas,  DIY and home interiors writer specialising in money-saving and creative home interior projects. I've spent years developing my 'bespoke on a budget' approach to DIY and home interiors and I love sharing all my tips and tricks in tutorials and posts here on my blog, in articles I write for some of the leading titles, in the press, on Instagram, Tiktok and my online course

Amy's beautiful home behind the Cream Front Door

Updated: Nov 25, 2023

It's week 7 of Real Home Tours & there's so much to see at Amy's beautiful home in Berkshire


Welcome to week 7 of Real Home Tours. In week 1, we visited Sandra in her Welsh seaside sanctuary. From there, we hot-footed it to Hythe to stop in on interior designer Lisa. Week 3 was all about Lauren's beautiful home in Essex and in week 4 we were treated to a nose round at designer Kate's location house. In week 5 we popped over to Suneiah's beautiful home in Australia and were back in the UK again, visiting Vicky in Brighton for week 6.


This week, we are over at Amy's beautiful home in Berkshire. Amy runs the popular IG account @thecreamfrontdoor and on her tour, she shares her brilliant DIY office wardrobe, her love of white, blue & grey and details of her fab home renovation all behind the cream front door. I highly recommend checking out Amy's lovely page on Insta, it's full of home inspiration, lovely ideas for home styling, storage & organisation tips too.


Tell us a bit about yourself



Amy tooley
Credit: Amy Tooley

I am Amy, I live with my husband who I met at university and our three lovely children. I am a Product Director for a retail company and have worked for lots of brands over the years both high street and luxury. My work and my little ones keep my life very busy, there is definitely never a dull moment, so my aim is to always to try and create a home which is calming and cosy, yet also functions efficiently to meet our needs.





Tell us a bit about your lovely home


conservatory with styled shelves
Credit: Amy Tooley

We live in a Victorian, semi-detached house in Berkshire which we moved into 11 years ago. After stating that we were wasting our time on the way to the viewing as I vowed to never live in a pebbledash house, I fell in love with this house as soon as we walked through the door and we put in an offer straight away. We loved how light and bright the rooms were even though most of the walls were painted in dark reds and purples. They say don’t combine big life events together but we moved from our one-bed flat in London with very little furniture, no car and a hospital bag packed as I was due to have our eldest daughter any day, 5 minutes after getting the keys I was heading out to find a new midwife to sign up with. 


My favourite part of the house is definitely the back of the house which is open plan but is also zoned so that we have space to do separate activities while still being together. I love that I have the space to cook, my eldest do her homework, my son play with his toys and my youngest draw and not separated by walls. 


 

Describe your interior style.

Grey styled dresser
Credit: Amy Tooley

I don’t think I have one style per se; I love scandi, coastal, modern country and New England/Hamptons style. I think the two things that all of these styles have in common and is definitely what I try and emulate in my home is that they are all casual rather than formal styles and they all radiate a sense of calm. I love natural materials such as white-washed woods and rattan. Colour-wise, I mainly gravitate to whites, blues and greys, and add pattern and accent colours through textiles. Although

the lovely thing about having children’s rooms to decorate is that you are free to be crazier with your colour choices.


Have you done any work to the house since moving in?



Yes, we did a big renovation project about 4 years ago where we added another toilet and a boot room downstairs and changed the kitchen and then reconfigured the upstairs by moving walls and removing chimneys in order to make two double bedrooms in the attic space. This changed our home from a bed (one box) to a 4 double bedroom house. We have also retiled the bathroom and painted every wall, ceiling and door so I don’t think anything is same as when we moved in. I am glad I was naive to the chaos of living through a renovation with two very little children as I am not sure I would have been brave enough to have gone ahead with it if I had known what it entailed. 


Have you done any DIY or upcycling?


DIY coffee station shelves
Credit: Amy Tooley

Yes lots, I think creating and upcycling is my method of self care, your head and hands are full of creating something beautiful so for those moments all other thoughts or worries don’t have space to exist. It is rare that I buy a cushion, I fall in love with beautiful fabrics and make them myself on my sewing machine. I have made shelves for our kitchen when I could not find any to buy to fit the space and upcycled lots pieces of furniture, my favorite being my dresser that I painted in chalk paint. I have recently sanded back and then treated our oak worktop with Neptune chalked oak isogaurd and I am so pleased with the result. The beauty of having painted furniture is that if a child accidentally rams a toy into it and anything chips it is simple to patch up. 


What are your favourite features behind the cream front door?


Office wardrobe
Credit: Amy Tooley

My favourite feature in the house are probably the built-in shelves in the conservatory. Some were there when we moved in but we have added to them to make them bigger. When the house is a mess and there are toys all over the floor, being able to look up at those shelves styled with items that I love, allows me a moment to take a breath and reset. 


Another feature I love is my office . I started to work from home during Covid and I still work from home two days a week. As we didn’t have a spare room my husband suggested that we turn one of our fitted wardrobes into an office for me and it worked perfectly.


Are there any features that you don’t like or would like to change in the future?


There are things I would love to have such as a utility room or a bigger hallway but they are not possible in the layout of our house, however, there are three things on my to do list for the future; a bigger shed/summer house the bottom of the garden, repositioning the radiator in the conservatory so we can utilise the furniture in the space better when it is no longer needed for toys and totally redoing the bathroom.

 

Where do you get your interior design inspiration?

styled modern scandi shelves
Credit: Amy Tooley

I used to subscribe to interior magazines but now I get a most of my inspiration from Instagram and Pinterest. I also love visiting shops such as Neptune which can give room layout and styling inspiration. I don’t follow one particular style and I am not someone who necessarily follows trends. Most of my inspiration comes from living in the space, noticing how it is used and then making decisions about what it needs or is missing. Colours are important to me but these tend to come from textiles or art that I fall in love with rather than a trend or the Pantone colour of the season. I have one of my Grandad’s paintings in my conservatory and that has definitely shaped other art and colours that I have in my house for example my Watergate Bay print by Becky Bettesworth. 



Where next?


Click the underlined words to go straight to the relevant page!


Shopping Page - Curated shopping guides and shoppable mood boards.


DIY tutorials - Step-by-step tutorials on DIY projects for your home


Seasonal Styling - Interior styling tips and tricks to get your home looking its best, whatever the season.


Online Courses - Self-paced, affordable online courses on DIY, Home styling, upcycling and styling with flowers and foliage


Foraging - Guides to help you save money by foraging for flowers and foliage to style your home


IKEA hacks - transform basic IKEA flatpacks into bespoke-looking furniture to elevate your interiors


DIY Kitchen makeover on a budget - money-saving DIY and styling ideas


Real home tours - take a tour of a beautiful home and get inspired by reading the owner's story.


Home organisation - tips and tricks for organising your home with minimum fuss & maximum impact.


DIY tips and tricks - Advice to save you time and money and reduce the chance of mistakes on your DIY projects.

Comments


Kitchen recommendations - click to shop 

cereal.jpg
Milk frother
Screenshot 2023-11-12 at 20.52.40.png
Screenshot 2023-11-12 at 21.00.59.png
Screenshot 2023-11-12 at 21.27.29.png
Screenshot 2023-11-12 at 21.33.18.png
Screenshot 2023-11-12 at 21.37.32.png
Screenshot 2023-11-12 at 21.43.07.png
bottom of page