Charles Church


29 January 2022

A mum of two studying interior design is putting her new-found skills to good use by styling out the family home in West Sussex.

Alexandra Diamvutu is our latest Charles Church Instagram Ambassador, and her @beforeandafter65 account shares design tips and wins with more than 1,200 followers.

Married with two daughters aged three and six, Alex said: “I’m currently studying interior design where I learn a lot about design principles, colours, materials and spatial planning and am absolutely loving it. I’ve been drawn towards interior design since my childhood but haven’t pursued it until now - I used to reshuffle the furniture in my room all the time from the age of about nine, and it drove my mum crazy.”

The family moved into their 4-bedroom detached Carnaby home in Burgess Hill in January 2018.

Alex said: “When we were looking to buy our first home, there was always something we didn’t quite like, such as no dining space in the kitchen, almost non-existent gardens, the location, the views… until we visited our Charles Church development! The location was perfect, close to both nature paths and to the town centre, in a nice area, with lots of preserved mature trees. The houses are well spaced and are good in size, as are the gardens.

“When visiting the show home our toddler daughter took off her shoes and was ready to stay, and to be quite honest, so were we!”

Alex describes her style as minimalist, edging towards Boho Chic: “I always think that less is more – I like my home to be functional and not cluttered with décor.”

And her top tip for anyone starting their style journey is one she adhered to herself: “Just live in your new home for a while and figure out how you and your family work in that space.

“Look at how much light there is in the space you are going to decorate, as this is very important when choosing your colours. Remember the dark colours can look very stylish on Pinterest, but they also absorb light and make the room look smaller, so make sure to use it in a bigger space with lots of natural light. Save pictures you like on Instagram and Pinterest: you’ll soon see the styles that repeat the most in your folder are the styles you’re probably most drawn towards.”

Alex started her insta home account mainly to keep all her before and after images in one place.

“I was fed up searching for my transformation pictures in my phone gallery so decided to have it all in one place and create an Instagram account. I really love flicking through a good before and after, it shows me how much progress I’ve made; but then I realised there are actually people who enjoy looking at them with me! It still surprises me as I mostly do very small and cost-efficient makeovers.”

And what’s next for Alex and @beforeandafter65?

“There’s only one room that hasn’t featured on my profile yet - and that I close the door on when expecting visitors - and that’s my husband’s office. I can’t wait to work my magic in there.”

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