EVERY MONTH we step into the home of a Sunderland resident to find out more about how life in the city suits them.

This month, Ashbrooke resident Louise Bradford shows us around her 1930s semi.

“It’s not a huge house, but it was a big project for me and my husband.

“We wanted to make this a proper family home, so when we bought it, we decided to work our way through the house, bit by bit, and fit it out properly.

“In our first home, we bought cheap and cheerful furniture, and while it looked nice at first, we felt like it just didn’t last, so with this house, we wanted to buy things that would last a long time. I’m really glad we did.

“We tried to get unusual items for the house.  I bought an amazing dining table, that I had made by a super-talented guy who used to have a shop in Ford Estate.  He used an old PE bench that he got from Shotton Colliery School, for the table top and the wood is about 100 years old, and it has lots of markings and students’ names etched into it.  It’s a real feature and I love it.

“I also got an amazing lamp that stands on the dining table, that I picked up in Tynemouth Market.  It’s so different.”

With dark wood flooring running throughout the downstairs, Louise has stuck to neutral colours, but added distinctive wallpaper to give the property some personality.

“My old house had an electric blue hallway, so I think I was ready for neutral by the time I moved out.  I went to B&Q and bought about 30 tins of Dulux’s Vintage Chandelier paint, and the house was literally painted from top to bottom in that colour!  The feature walls stop it from being too boring.”

Carpets upstairs stick to the neutral theme and the furniture is light and bright too.

“I think my favourite room is my little boy Flynn’s nursery.  I chose a beautiful wallpaper, that just so happened to be blue… picked long before he came along, and without knowing I was having a son.

“I wanted to make a room that felt a little bit magical. Somewhere peaceful for him to sleep, but with little pops of colour to catch his eye.

“The wallpaper became the main focal point of the room, and from there, I bought things to fit in with that theme  A feather lightshade, that reminded me of a cloud, and some hot air balloons that I thought might make him feel like he was flying!”

Louise’s home is a few minutes’ drive away from the city centre, something that suits her work-life too.

“I work in the city centre, so the drive into work is brilliant.  It takes about five minutes to get to the office, so I am one of those lucky people who can roll out of bed at 8am and be in work on time…. not that I usually do get there on time!”

So what does Louise like about living in Sunderland?

“My absolute favourite place is the seaside in Sunderland. It’s so beautiful.  I go there a lot. On a sunny day, it’s so pretty, but I actually love it on a wintery day… sitting in Let There Be Crumbs, looking out at the sea and feeling warm when it’s freezing cold outside… there’s something pretty special about that – especially if I am doing it with a mug of hot chocolate in my hand and a slice of cake in front of me!

“The seafront is a special place for me and my husband and hopefully, one day, we will move closer to it, so the sandy beaches of Sunderland will become our backyard! That’s the dream, anyway.”