1830s house renovation into a colourful and funky family home

Interior designer Anouska Lancaster has transformed a run-down 1830s house into a funky family home brimming with colour and personality.

Bubbly interior designer and QVC presenter Anouska Lancaster, best known for her colourful and flamboyant creations, believes your home should reflect your style.

She shares the rambling 1830s property in Boscastle on the north Cornwall coast with husband Greig Scott, a specialist printer, and their blended family – not to forget their two dogs, Otto and Stanley.

Interior designer Anouska at the kitchen island in their 1830s house renovation
Anouska discovered Woodchip & Magnolia’s fabric and wallpaper designs when scrolling on Instagram.

Finding the 1830s house

Anouska and Greig spotted the house online in the spring of 2021 and immediately arranged a viewing. “The asking price was £995,000 and we thought ‘what’s the catch?’,” says Anouska. They decided to go for a sneaky peek, and it was love at first sight.

“As we approached the house we saw an amazing carpet of bluebells,” Anouska recalls. “We walked around and our jaws dropped. We followed the coastal path to glance back and it was just beautiful from every angle. It was like something out of a Disney movie.”

1830s house renovation of a Grade II-listed manor
Anouska Lancaster and husband Greig Scott’s Grade II-listed 1830s manor house.
The pink hallway of the 1830s house renovation
Let’s take a peek inside the redesign of this stunning 1830s house in Cornwall…

The following day they went to the official viewing and were dismayed to find out there were several interested parties. “We walked around the house with our best poker faces,” says Anouska. The agents asked everyone to make their best offer and, unusually, to provide a written explanation of why they wanted to buy the house.

Anouska spent hours researching Penally House and its history. They made an offer just over the asking price and described their vision: to once again make the house a family home and protect it for generations to come.

They were delighted to receive a phone call the next day saying their bid had been successful.

Green sitting room with floral wallpaper, cushions and sofa, with striped ottoman and matching cushions
The sitting room is a delightful mix of stripes and floral patterns.

The 1830s house renovation

Set in three and a half acres in the fishing village of Boscastle, the three-storey, six-bedroom Grade II-listed house was built in 1836 for William Sloggett, a local merchant and, according to Cornish rumour, a smuggler.

Anouska and Greig wanted to respect the heritage of the house but were also mindful it needed to be a family home.

Bold and colourful dining room with underwater wallpaper
In the dining room, Anouska and Greig decided to go for an unusual underwater theme. Greig worked with his specialist printer firm The Logical Choice to turn artist Kristjana Williams’ 3D creation into a unique and very colourful design.

As the property is Grade II listed, they had to be very careful about their design choices and couldn’t simply rip anything out. They even had to consult about removing the 90s radiators and fake stained-glass windows.

Sadly, squatters had moved in during the early 1990s and stripped out many of its original features – including cornicing, ceiling roses, cast iron radiators, and many of the marble fireplaces.

Anouska used as many local craftspeople as possible – including Cornwall-based Lee Vanstone, a plaster mouldings specialist who restored and created mouldings, ceiling roses, and cornicing throughout.

The interior design process

Her starting point for the interior design was a dusky pink Everhot range cooker for the roomy kitchen. “I’d always wanted one and everything else just revolved around it,” says Anouska.

“Everyone told me to go for a neutral shade, but I just love it. Pink is such a happy colour.” Luckily for her, Greig shares her love of bright colours and vibrant patterns.

Shaker blue kitchen in 1830s house renovation
The navy blue Shaker-style kitchen was handmade by Wiltshire-based John Turner.
Pink Everhot range cooker with dark blue cabinetry
The pretty blush pink Everhot range cooker was interior designer Anouska’s starting point for the bright and colourful kitchen scheme.
Blue shaker kitchen with floral wallpaper on the walls and metallic bar stools
Floral wallpaper dresses the kitchen walls.

Click here for kitchen island lighting ideas

The final design

Anouska and Greig have breathed sympathetic yet vibrant new life to their home but have made no structural changes. The renovation of the kitchen, living room and master suite was featured on Channel 4’s Renovation Nation.

Now, the house has five bedrooms, with the sixth turned into a dressing room.

The colourful and flamboyant bedroom in the 1830s house renovation
“I always start a project with a piece of art, fabric or wallpaper to make a design interesting and flamboyant,” says Anouska.
Pink bath in a colourful and funky master bedroom
The striking bright pink bath in the master suite is from BC Designs. Anouska sourced many of the antiques for the master suite in Sunbury Antiques Market.
green shower design with antique vanity unit, patterned basins and floral wallpaper
Anouska used the same wallpaper in the ensuite as in the master bedroom.

“The design of Penally House has been about experimenting with so many different ideas and colours,” says Anouska. She trained as an artist and started out by designing night clubs for her first husband.

When they split up, she designed a tiny but beautiful rental cottage for her and their two children. After that, she was asked to do up some houses for school mums, and her career snowballed from there.

bedroom of the 1830s house renovation with dainty floral wallpaper, velvet bed and classic furniture
Following the renovation of the 1830s house, the property now has five bedrooms.
Bathroom design with exotic wallpaper and striking bright blue freestanding bath
The wallpaper in this bathroom, from Cole & Son, complements the striking blue bath, from BC Designs.
Colourful bathroom with blue bobbin mirror, freestanding washbasin stand and pink, floral basin
The mirror, from Pooky, along with the pink basin, from The Way We Live London, complete the colourful bathroom.
pink dressing room
The sixth bedroom was transformed into a beautiful and incredibly spacious dressing room.

“I began by doing a lot of beige schemes, because that’s what clients wanted at the time, but now people come to me for my colourful style,” smiles Anouska. “For me, interior design has a lot to do with gut instinct. l love to mix colours and patterns together, but a house is only a home if it reflects your personality.”

Photography: Darren Chung

Planning a project? Click here for renovating advice

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