Southsea Lifestyle – Free Magazine for Southsea, Old Portsmouth, Eastney & Gunwharf Quays

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In the tradition of Through the Keyhole, we are encouraging residents with beautiful, different and downright quirky abodes to throw open their doors to Southsea Lifestyle readers and share how they have made their mark on their home.

Words by Kate Thompson

“Ihope you don’t mind – I’ve baked some cakes for us to have with our tea while we chat,” said Steve Guthrie.

Clearly there’s no need to apologise for going to all that trouble – and I can report the rock cakes were indeed delicious.

Steve let us know about his home via a skilfully penned email that included the following enticement:

“I wonder if you might be interested in featuring my quirky little seafront apartment? It’s in one of the converted hotels opposite the Italian Gardens on South Parade.”

With such an intriguing introduction, it was a delight to hotfoot it round to his seafront pad.

Steve isn’t afraid of colour and his compact flat is testament to a confidence with a palette of hues that some wouldn’t dare apply to their walls.

“I need colour,” emphasised Steve. “There is a hell of a lot of blandness around isn’t there? So much beige…

“Too many people are decorating their houses for the people that might live in it after them – they are not doing it for themselves.”

Steve previously renovated a cottage on the corner of Stanley Street, giving it a cheerful nautical theme and sold it last March. Following the unexpected death of his father, Steve decided to take stock and have some time out of the rat race.

“I decided living small would set me free, and I set about refurbing my investment apartment so I could move back into it.

“Most of the apartments in these converted hotels are very similar, so I set about turning it into something more unique,” he said.

The gun metal grey kitchen cupboards are lifted by the riotous colour contained in the Mexican Talavera tiles.

“I like Mexican culture and because the kitchen doesn’t have any natural light, I wanted a big bold splash of colour, creating an industrial Mexican cantina type vibe,” said Steve.

“I’m pleased to say that apart from some pieces that I picked up on my travels, nearly all of the furnishings have been sourced locally.

“The kitchen and the bedroom furniture is by Victoriana; the sofa, the chest of drawers came from The Design House; a Southsea carpenter Tim Payne turned a window ledge into a dining table using a piece of oak he had lying around; and the carpets came from Carpet Right,” he said.

Posted in: Articles, Home & Garden