Simon lives with his husband Steven and their two cats Theo and Harper in Nottinghamshire, purchasing their new build home just one week before Christmas in 2020. Originally from Stoke-on-Trent, Simon first moved to Nottingham for university and has since stayed. Nottinghamshire is Steven’s home.
“We’ve been together for 14 years. We got hitched in Las Vegas 5 years ago now, which was just amazing.”
Simon currently works in the premium beauty industry, while Steven is a manager at a local hospitality venue. The pair love to socialise with friends & family and enjoy holidays abroad, especially The United States. The national lockdown has presented the opportunity for both Simon and Steven to focus on making their new house a home, with a modern and bold flair.
Previously, the couple lived in a 1930s semi-detached home and whilst it was a fantastic house, it had various limitations.
“We wanted more space; we wanted a blank canvas and we needed a bigger driveway. A new build offered all of these things!”
After just 48 hours on the market, Simon & Steven accepted an offer on their previous home and then proceeded to reserve their new home. Moving home in the middle of a pandemic was a concern, however they have now had time to enjoy being locked in their new home.
“We really wanted to put our stamp on the property. We took each room and designed it from the flooring up!”
During the weeks after reserving their new home, the pair were buying all kinds of wallpaper, paint, furniture and beds. Having spent so much time on websites and house Instagram pages, they were able to discover lots of new and exciting things that they could use as inspiration for their home. Most of their products have come from small independent shops, for example they stumbled across a lighting specialist called Rockett St George that stocked a gold parrot holding a light fitting from its claws which Simon had to have.
“That’s how most of our house pieces were found. I’ll admit we are impulse buyers, but it’s done us well so far, no regrets as of yet!”
Simon’s favourite part of their home is the kitchen. With it being a new build home they were able to choose the kitchen design prior to installation, and they fell in love with the kitchen in the local show home.
“It was a modern yet traditional design with a thick wooden worktop all in a sage green colour.”
Once they had chosen the kitchen, it was then about matching everything else.
“We have always wanted a big kitchen table as we were restricted in terms of space in our last house, and we found this perfect one at ManoMano – which is a hidden gem might I add.”
Having found the table, Simon & Steven then had to find a light to hang over it. They came across Iconic Lights and were stunned by the quality and price of their lighting. Of course, the style of choice would be bold which would need an equally bold backdrop, which led to them wallpapering the back wall of the room a striking red from Wallpaper Sales. Last touches included gold hexagon tiles from Luxury Tiles U.K, high gloss floor tiles from Wickes, a modern brass cuckoo clock from MADE and a Warhol print from King & McGaw.
“I love art, it’s a passion of mine. I love drawing and designing anything on paper. I studied graphic art and design at college, and then also at university here in Nottingham.”
Alongside his passion for art, Simon loves classic movie prints which can be seen all over their house. Within their home there is also a great mix of classic and modern design, one example being the geometric painted walls.
“I am also obsessed with wallpaper, so as you can see, we have plenty!”
Simon’s creativity can be seen in the way they have elected to paint their home, with angled wall painting in the living room and only part painting the wall in the bedroom.
Simon has always had a passion for interiors, having constantly been obsessed with how his own living arrangements look in both a creative and visual manner.
“I remember converting my university halls bedroom into quite the art gallery.”
After hanging IKEA LED blue lights from the ceiling and with various prints and art pieces dotted around, Simon was able to transform his bedroom into a space that he loved and one that reflected his passion for design.
Originally, @husbands_at_the_hatfield was started as a place for Simon & Steven to collate furniture styles and colour combinations. Then having followed some incredible house accounts, they decided to launch their own.
“It took me a few days to come up with a name, and then I remembered our Persimmon house style is a Hatfield, and of course we were husbands, and just like that Husbands at the Hatfield was born.”
The account took off, growing at an alarming rate. The profile now has over 6,000 followers who want to know their latest house updates, which Simon has said can be quite overwhelming but also humbling. The couple were also lucky in that they were able to meet a lot of their new neighbours through the platform, some of whom had come across their account.
“It’s now a community who are all incredibly supportive.”
Simon would recommend to anybody to start a home account as it offers the perfect opportunity to document your journey and connect with other like-minded people.
Having heard the negative things that are said regarding new build homes, Simon & Steven knew that there were going to be bumps along the road. They understood that the property has been built from the ground up and so there are bound to be problems. However, once their home was complete and they were able to step inside their ready-made home, it was well worth it. Simon mentioned that being able to design your home as it is being built is a huge bonus, it meant that they could have every room ready to go as soon as they moved in.
“As a good tip, I would look for quotes on flooring, carpets, gardens or tiling yourself. It’s often much cheaper and much more flexible in terms of choice.”
If you are not able to negotiate and get flooring included within the price of your home, it may be worth organising your own flooring separately from the builder, just to make sure you are getting the best value for money.
“Our flooring is something that gets commented on the most, especially the patterned tiles in the hallway and bathroom.”
When thinking about making your mark on a new build home, the fact that every room is a completely blank canvas can sometimes be daunting and overwhelming. Simon initially began by looking at furniture and how the rooms would be designed, however he says that it is important to resist the temptation to buy lots of things and take it slow.
“I came to the realisation that less is more. One or two statement pieces in a room are far more powerful than filling it with lots of things.”
An alternative approach is key for both Simon & Steven, often finding it more impactful to wallpaper one wall or just paint a section of a wall. With the blank canvas that their new build home provided, there are always improvements to be made in order to make their property more feel homely and reflective of their personality.
“There is always a weekend project to be done whether that be in the garden or changing rooms around, it keeps us super busy!”