Home renovation tips with Maxine Brady
Maxine Brady is an interior stylist and award-winning interiors blogger. After a career as a Style Editor for consumer magazines and TV, and various worldwide travels, Maxine came to Brighton to find her forever home, only to embark on her own home renovation project. She founded her blog to chart the renovation, as well as to share behind the scenes of her styling work and the latest ideas and styling tricks to inspire people within their own homes.
In the past three years alone, Maxine has attracted over 16,000 followers to her Instagram page and regularly receives 2.2 million hits on her Pinterest. We caught up with her to talk all things home improvement, styling and trends.
Why did you start We Love Home Blog?
When I bought my house, I was looking for inspiration for my ideas and I couldn’t find anything that really summed up my style. I thought I would use the renovations on my own home as starting point, and I wanted to show that doing up your home doesn’t have to be scary. My blog is designed to inspire – and I’m upfront about costs too, as knowing how much things cost to do is very important before you start a project.
The blog has grown from there. I’ve been nominated for 14 awards in three years – and made a huge network of new friends. In December last year, I ran a bloggers’ meet up called #BrightBlogGang where female creative bloggers and instagrammers could come together over a glass of fizz to support each other.
With your home renovation, what made you decide to take on such a big project?
I had no choice! House prices in Brighton can be insane and I could only afford one that was a wreck and needed working doing to it. After living in a flat for 10 years, I really wanted a house with a spare bedroom, so I made sacrifices to own the house of my dreams.
My first home had been ‘done up’ by the previous owner – but as soon as I moved in, I could tell that everything had been botched. It took me 10 years to undo all the damage. With this house, I could start from scratch and make sure everything was done properly and to my taste.
How did you know where to begin?
I got a builder to come and give me a full costing for everything that needed doing. I started working through the list, making my home warm, lighter and water-tight as a priority.
I started with the windows, then the central heating system, then the bigger, messier projects like a new bathroom and kitchen, and knocking through the lounge.
Do you have any tips for first-time buyers considering taking on a project?
Don’t rely on a full survey. Pay for experts, like builders and electricians and plumbers, to come in before you buy and give you a quote for the works. You need all the information before you start. Then, you can make sure you are paying the right price for your property – and have money left to do the building works.
How important is it for you to change up the style of your home?
I’m a stylist so I love to change my home all the time! I’ll actually set aside time to restyle my shelves or an entire room. With my blog, I shoot the interiors of the space myself so it’s a good excuse to change up the look of my space.
But when it came to the design of the kitchen and bathroom, I went for a classic look with a layout that made the most of the space. My living rooms and bedroom are neutral, and I have added colour with accessories which I switch around every so often.
What’s next for you and your blog?
In January, I launched interior styling workshops called The Secret Styling Club with fellow stylist Laurie Davidson. We host fun, interactive evenings in and around Brighton and London. We love empowering people to style and decorate their homes with the things they already own. We’ve had some great times hosting these events – we’ve met some lovely people and seen their confidence grow within themselves and their homes.
You can find out more about Maxine’s Secret Styling Club workshops on her blog, as well as a whole host of tips, guides, inspiration and decorating trends. You can also find her on Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
If you’re looking to buy a property in the Brighton and Hove area, whether it’s your first home, a property that requires some renovation work or a bigger home, get in touch with our experienced team today. We’ll be happy to advise you on where to start and provide support throughout the buying process.