You know that feeling when you find an amazing pre-loved piece that’s exactly what you’ve been searching for? Content creator Anna Keen is all too familiar with it.
A brief look around her stunning house – which you can find well-documented on her Instagram account, @theinteriorframe – and the pristine appearance may have you believing that everything was purchased brand new. But it’s Anna’s knack for secondhand bargain hunting and transforming pieces to work for her space that’s the key to her envy-inducing interiors.
Describing her style as “your nan’s house but make it fashion”, Anna expertly combines pre-loved pieces, a neutral colour palette and personal touches – mixing traditional with modern accents to make a unique, light-filled family home.
“Almost every item of furniture in the house is secondhand. We’ve used a real mix of items – high and (mostly) low-end stuff,” she tells Stylist. “All the wallpaper in the house has been leftover rolls of House of Hackney wallpaper that I got on eBay.”
Here, she tells lets us in on the details of her four-year house transformation – from moving in and beginning the process with a 3-month-old and a 19-month-old to her favourite DIY hack and where she sources all her secondhand pieces from.
What was your biggest décor inspiration when starting your renovation?
“I love old buildings and traditional design, so I was always going to lean towards that type of interior. I also got inspiration from Pinterest, interior design books and the wonderful interiors community on Instagram. A lot of the items I use are secondhand (via eBay, Facebook Marketplace, etc) so I often start with a secondhand find and then design the rest of the room around that.”
Which DIY hack are you most proud of?
“Probably the vintage washstand that our bathroom sink is on. Our last home had very little worktop space in the kitchen, so I bought an Edwardian marble top washstand on eBay for £30. It was the perfect height for little ones to ‘cook’ on. But when we moved here we didn’t have a place for it, until we re-did the bathroom and repurposed it as a vanity unit for the basin. The best pieces of furniture can follow you from home to home, adapting as your space and needs change.”
Which room is your favourite and why?
“My favourite room is the kitchen. It was an extension, so it’s the room where we’ve had the most design input. I love the light you get in there and it’s just a great room to cook and hang out in.”
What has been your biggest renovation challenge?
“The early days were tough as our babies were so young and the house needed so much work. I remember so many nights stripping wallpaper till the early hours and then (when I was halfway through and covered in bits of woodchip) a baby waking for a feed. We moved in right away and the house needed a lot of work, including a full rewire, new boiler and work to the drainage system.”
What do you wish you’d known before starting your renovation?
“How much of our time (and money) it would take. I also wish I knew to enjoy the journey a little bit more. Embrace the chaos of the renovation. But I suppose that’s easier to say now we are mostly finished.”
Anna’s favourite home Instagram accounts
“Hannah’s sense of style is just gorgeous and I love her home.”
Kit and Co
“Megan’s style is really beautiful and following her account has encouraged me to experiment more with colour and pattern.”
“Paige is based in the US. She uses a lot of secondhand furnishings and did an amazing kitchen renovation on a serious budget. Love her account!”
Photography: courtesy of Anna Keen