home reno

Renovation journey: Alex Stedman’s sympathetic Edwardian home ticks off big interior design trends

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Alex Stedman, editor of The Frugality, tells Stylist.co.uk how she made the most of her London home’s Edwardian details while nailing trends like a statement staircase and tiled bathroom.

Over 250,000 people would no-doubt agree: Alex Stedman, has some serious style. 

This former fashion editor and founder of lifestyle website The Frugality has garnered a cult Instagram following thanks to her ability to make anything she puts together, whether it be an outfit or her living room, look effortlessly cool. 

And with an enviable collection of mid-century furniture, artsy prints and just the right accent hues, Alex makes it look like anyone could copy the on-trend style of her ongoing renovation. In reality, though, it’s a skill few are blessed with. 

“We weren’t looking for a renovation project,” says Alex to Stylist.co.uk. “But, as we really wanted to scale up from a flat to a house we had to get creative. 

“This was the only way we would have been able to afford a space of this size.”

Filled with the type of original features property magpies dream of, Alex’s home boasts an original Edwardian stone tiled floor, gorgeous fretwork and stained glass. 

“The fireplaces are huge – they all come up to my shoulder! It was such an amazing size, we just knew if there was any way we could get this house, we should try,” she continues.

Over a year later and Alex’s renovation is a beautiful fusion of period details, contemporary comfort and thoughtful styling. Here, we attempt to learn her ways and get the inside scoop on how she did it.


What has been your biggest source of decor inspiration?

“The main thing for us was preserving the bones of the original house. We have restored and kept all of the lovely details such as high skirting boards, ceiling roses and most of the fireplaces. So, the starting point for decor was to work around that. 

“The colour palette is simple. I’ve chosen to combine dark colours with off-white to let artwork and furniture be the real pops of colour.”


Which DIY hack are you most proud of?

“I’m a big lover of paint. It’s such an easy and affordable way to change a room, whether it’s painting an old cupboard, walls or sanding and repainting floorboards.

“We painted our side alley with a Farrow & Ball colour match (‘Cornforth White’) and it made such a difference. I’ve also just discovered Frenchic paint which works on most surfaces and has such a lovely finish.”


What has been the biggest challenge?

“We moved in January and had no heating or water. We slept in coats and had to fill a bucket from outside to brush our teeth or fill up the cistern of the toilet every time we wanted to go. It was a really grim time but one you thankfully forget once you move past it.”


Can you pick a favourite room?

“I love our bedroom. It’s such a calming space with big windows. It’s also south facing, so the sun streams in throughout the day and runs through the entire upstairs via this room.”

Alex’s favourite follows for interior inspiration:

  • Claudine. Reno’s & Interiors

    “Claudine is another Edwardian home renovator so I love looking at what she’s done with her home. Plus, her stories are hilarious, so you should follow her for those alone.”

  • Hannah and Josh, 43 By The Sea

    “These guys’ sheer determination in doing up their house by themselves (they even installed their own ceiling) is amazing to watch.”

  • The Vitamin D Project

    “Africa has the most amazing taste, I love the colour palette of her home. Even all her simple everyday objects are beautiful and considered.”

Alex’s go-to homeware brands:

  • La Redoute

    “Most of my favourite items in my home are from La Redoute, and it’s always great quality.”

  • Wayfair

    “I am bit addicted to Wayfair lately and not sure why I have only just discovered it! We just treated ourselves to some green pans and they make me so happy.”

  • Host Home

    “I’ve been trying to spend my money with independent stores lately and everything Host create makes me want to open my wallet! My mum is getting me the rattan planter for my birthday.”

Images: Alex Stedman / Instagram

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Megan Murray

Megan Murray is a senior digital writer for stylist.co.uk, who enjoys writing about homeware (particularly candles), travel, food trends, restaurants and all the wonderful things London has to offer.

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