Our Nest: Millennial modern styling in Emma and Dom’s Bellway Tailor home

Our Nest
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In the latest edition of Our Nest, meet Emma and Dom, a first-time buyer couple who gained more than just their perfect home when they bought their 3-bedroom Bellway Tailor back in 2021. They also became part of a blossoming community, and forged lifelong friendships with their new neighbours!

Documenting their home journey on Instagram at @tailorhome_39, Emma and her husband have embraced the process of personalising their new build Bellway home in Manchester with a sleek contemporary interior design, heavily inspired by the iconic style of New York industrial apartments. As former renters, the appeal of a brand-new home was not only that they would be able to decorate, but that they wouldn’t have to worry about expensive surprises after they moved in.

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“We’ve always loved the idea of having a ‘blank canvas’ to start with, so a new build home was perfect for us as first-time buyers,” explains Emma. “We liked that we could personalise our Bellway home and put our stamp on it from the beginning, by picking out Options such as our kitchen cabinets and bathroom tiles, and making Additions upgrades where we wanted them.

“Buying a new build home felt like a comfortable step up for us from being in rented accommodation, as we knew everything was new; the boiler wouldn’t suddenly break, and we wouldn’t be hit with a scary bill for a new roof! We also loved that we would be looked after by the Bellway Customer Care team, for a long time after we moved in.”

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When choosing their new home, space was the first thing on Emma and Dom’s mind: space to entertain, space to work, and space to grow.

“We viewed quite a few different house styles, but we particularly liked the layout of The Tailor, which is part of Bellway’s Artisan Collection. We loved the open-plan kitchen and dining area for entertaining, and the large living room with big windows that let plenty of sunlight in.

“We liked that the bedroom had plenty of storage, plus an en-suite bathroom – something we haven’t had before! The Tailor is big enough for us both right now, and as Dom and I have hybrid working arrangements we’ve converted the smaller bedroom into a home office. That still leaves room if we were to grow our family, and have any children.”

Building personality onto a perfect blank canvas

Emma describes their striking interior style as “modern, with a touch of New York industrial”, and she spends a lot of time scouring Pinterest, and looking at her fellow homeowner accounts on Instagram to find inspiration.

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“We started decorating our new home one room at a time, but wanted to ensure there was a consistent flow throughout the house. The industrial aspect of our décor was actually inspired by our kitchen, as we had chosen matte grey handle-less cabinets at our Options meeting.

“Dom and I have a lot of furniture that’s made from reclaimed wood with contrasting metal frames in a dark finish, such as our dining table and bookcase, which adds to the industrial vibe. Although I’d say that the jewel-toned colours of our furniture and paint choices make our home quite ‘millennial modern’!

“I actually had an image of a bright and airy living room with a green sofa and a blue sofa saved to my Pinterest account for about two years before we bought our Bellway home, so I knew that’s what I wanted. We deliberately chose velvet sofas to soften all of the wood and metal in our décor, and to add plenty of our own personality, we have our wedding photos everywhere in our home and a gallery wall with pictures from our favourite holiday destinations.”

Sharing the journey to a new home – and new friends

The couple reserved their new Bellway home during lockdown in early 2021, and so Emma decided to set up an Instagram account to share their journey as a hobby, and a way of seeing inside other Tailor homes while they waited for their own to be completed. However, Instagram provided more than just interior ideas – the couple were also able to meet their future neighbours, who later became their close friends.

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“Setting up the account was a way for me to document our home buying and decorating journey, and as there weren’t many other Bellway Tailor accounts at the time, I hoped that mine could offer inspiration to fellow Tailor buyers too. Even to this day I still receive lots of Tailor-specific questions, and it’s nice to know that other people have found my account helpful.

“But I’m most grateful for my account as it’s how I met our neighbours. Since moving to the estate we have all become really good friends, and I’m even going to be a bridesmaid for one of them!”

Having amassed thousands of followers on her home account, Emma has some useful tips for other homeowners hoping to share their own journey on Instagram, and how to create great social media content and build engagement within the community.

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“My advice for keeping content interesting and fresh is to post what you’d like to see yourself. There can be a lot of pressure to keep up with interior trends, and to keep buying new things, but I guarantee your followers will just want to see your home and your personality!

“I post a lot of content with my cats too, because don’t pets just make any picture better?”

Speaking of pets, Emma and Dom have considered their two cats, Tilly and Teddy, when designing their interior. All of their indoor plants are either pet-friendly or artificial – “this is a must as our cats love to chew on leaves!” says Emma – and there are several scratching posts around their home to distract the cats away from their furniture.

Pinterest, pink walls and patience: Emma’s tips for decorating a new build home

Three years after moving in, the couple are still just as thrilled with their Bellway home and how it fits their lifestyle, as well as the unique touches they’ve added to its interior.

“My favourite room is our kitchen and dining area,” says Emma. “It’s great for entertaining as it’s nice and bright, we have a large table that can fit everyone around, and it’s super handy to have the large patio doors that open onto the garden – perfect for summertime.

“It’s also my favourite room because of its pink feature wall, which felt quite innovative and I haven’t seen anyone else do before. This is the aspect of our home that I’m most proud of; it could have been executed very badly, but came out exactly as I imagined. I get a lot of compliments on it!

“While the kitchen and dining space is open-plan, we wanted to ‘zone’ the dining area so it felt like its own room. It adds interest to what was a plain white wall, and the pink contrasts really well against our dark cabinets and industrial-style dining table.”

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Emma’s favourite part of decorating a new build home was finally having the opportunity to dive into her Pinterest boards: “It was really nice to see what I had been manifesting for years, become reality! I’ve always wanted herringbone wood floors, wall panelling, and brightly coloured sofas.”

However she has some wise advice for other new build homeowners who are eager to start painting or wallpapering, as it’s important to be patient before you get stuck in.

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“I would definitely recommend waiting a year before decorating, just to allow the house to settle and so you can fill any small cracks that might appear during this process. A year sounds like a long time, but it does fly by and it also allows you time to figure out what colours you want in your home.

“There are also apps and websites that enable you to see what certain furniture or design features would look like in your home. I used these to visualise the flooring, and also to check if furniture would fit in our space.

“I’ve really enjoyed seeing my vision come to life!”

You can follow Emma and Dom’s Bellway home journey on Instagram at @tailorhome_39, and for more inspiration from real Bellway homeowners, take a look at some of our previous Our Nest features – such as Abbi and Jack’s delightfully eclectic Bellway Misbourne, and Savannah and Tristan’s characterful Bellway Dingley.

If you’d like the chance to be featured in a future edition of Our Nest, share your interior style with us @bellwayhomes using our dedicated hashtag #mybeautifulbellway.

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