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 ...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

  • Claire Douglas

Real Home Tours: Designer Kate's Awesome Abode

Updated: Jun 25

Real Home Tours: Week 4

lady standing with arms folded
Image credit: Kate Moorhouse

Welcome to week 4 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, who gave us a tour of her beautiful home and last week we popped over to Lauren's beautiful home in Essex.

This week, we are having a cuppa with Brand designer Kate Moorhouse. Kate and I have a shared (if slightly unorthodox) love of using tubes in interior design! I'm in awe of her beautiful headboard and DIY tube side table. Kate's home is awesome; it doubles up as a shoot location and is the perfect mix of style and homeliness. Get ready to feel seriously inspired...

Tell us a bit about yourself.

open plan kitchen
Image credit: Kate Moorhouse

"Kate Moorhouse, a brand designer and owner of Solo Design Studio. Offering branding to businesses, particularly small businesses, starting a passion project. Before starting my own studio, I previously worked on interior room set photoshoots and loved that side of design, so now use my art direction skills helping makers and artists photograph their work in my home. I also hire my home out for TV and film."

Tell us a bit about your lovely home.

modern kitchen
Image credit: Kate Moorhouse

I live in a "recently renovated 1930s semi-detached property in Manchester. I live with my husband Craig, my son Herbie and cats Teddy and Doris who just love to get on my instagram pics. We’ve lived here for 15 years and renovated 3 years ago."

Describe your interior style.

wooden dining table in dining room with panelled wall and chandelier
Image credit: Kate Moorhouse

"I think my style is simple and considered. Both my husband and I are designers so we are quite particular over paint colours and textures. My husband is a floor designer so we were covered with those decisions in our reno. And luckily we have the same tastes. We are both trained in the NCS colour system so can communicate easily over colour choices. We never argue over colour luckily! "

cosy dark colours living room with fireplace
Image credit: Kate Moorhouse

"Although our home is considered, I like to mix things up and add texture on surfaces and bring some bold DIY elements. I have upcycled furniture in the past and have a keen interest in interior trends. Our slat wall was created by a joiner before the panels were available to buy so I feel I was a bit ahead of the curve on that trend - I still love ours and have no plans to change it yet."

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

modern powder room with funky honeycomb style tiles
Image credit: Kate Moorhouse

"What started as just a small update (I just wanted a downstairs loo and utility at the start). Changed to a significant update. We now have a side extension which includes my studio office, downstairs loo and utility. And the back of the house is now a light and airy open plan kitchen, living and dining area with a modern scandi feel. The front of the house includes a cosy snug living room so it’s an eclectic mix of traditional features and quirky accessories."

Have you done any DIY or upcycling?

slat wall with tube side table
Image credit: Kate Moorhouse
modern green tubular headboard
Image credit: Kate Moorhouse

"I love to do random DIY projects! My latest one was a tube wall in my bedroom. It was created using large packaging tubes cut in half lengthways and added to the wall to create a huge headboard. I woke one morning and said to my husband - we need to put tubes on that wall. It nearly caused a separation but we got there in the end and I love it. It adds a cosy boutique hotel feel to the room. I have also made a table from a cable reel and some tube plinth tables. My love for tubes goes on!"

What are your favourite features in your home?

"I like the mix of traditional features at the front of the house together with the contemporary open-plan area. Somehow it really works and keeps the house feeling interesting but homely. I also love adding lots of plants to give an inside/ out feel to our home. Storage is a big consideration for us and our under-stairs storage from Clever Closet has been invaluable. We also have a great utility tucked away from the open plan area so it can become a dumping ground that gets closed off."

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

hallway with large circular mirror
Image credit: Kate Moorhouse

"We definitely need to do the front of the house at some point, including front garden and driveway. It would give the house more curb appeal. The dream one day would also be a loft extension to give a big studio space but with building costs being so high now I think that’s a dream that won’t happen. But one can hope!"

Where do you get your interior design inspiration?

modern studio office
Image credit: Kate Moorhouse

"I get a lot of inspiration from magazines. Real Homes is a favourite and I was lucky to get my home featured a couple of years ago. Plus Instagram is a constant source of inspiration. I know I could change my home every week if I jumped on every trend so I like to work out what works for us in terms of keeping with our style."

Anything else you’d like to share about your home…

landscaped garden with pergola
Image credit: Kate Moorhouse

"I’m working on my own range of designs including prints and fabrics. The designs show my love of bold colours and plants. I’ve just designed a tea towel which has had great feedback on Instagram so I’m starting a new collection and hoping to get into stockists soon - watch this space.

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.

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