A FIRST-TIME buyer has revealed how she’s done up every inch of her grey house using inspiration from home decor accounts on Instagram, including Mrs Hinch.
Charlotte Wilkins, 23, from Colchester, Essex, has followed Sophie Hinchliffe since she had just 1,000 followers (she now boasts 3.5 million).
The communications manager, who lives with boyfriend Alex, 24, has spent hours trawling social media to find on-trend grey furniture for their first home – and says it's not as easy as it might seem.
Speaking exclusively to Fabulous, she tells her story…
Alex and I met five years ago when we were both studying at University of Essex and moved into our first house together, a two-bed, in May last year.
We reserved it in January, when it was only a couple of bricks high, and watched it being built while we were living with our parents.
For six months, we’d come most days and see the progress.
I’m a big fan of Mrs Hinch, she’s lovely. I’ve followed her since she only had 1,000 followers and she follows me too.
Before buying, I wasn't that into home decor, but I set up my Instagram @TheGreyPad and started using it to find inspiration.
The home account community on there is lovely – I didn't think I'd get so addicted but it's become a really big part of my life.
All my furniture is new and stuff I've bought after seeing it on Instagram. My sofa, bed, all my cushions, the bedding, everything really.
I spend hours on Instagram every day, looking for inspiration. But it's sometimes hard work, with Mrs Hinch all her links sell out straightaway online
I like Home Bargains, B&M, Dunelm, The Range and Argos, then my bed is from the Luxury Bed Company.
I spend hours on Instagram every day, looking for inspiration.
But it's sometimes hard work, with Mrs Hinch all her links sell out straightaway online.
She's got this sheersucker bedding which I've wanted for ages. Her's was from Matalan, I went onto the site about five times when they restocked but every single time it had sold out.
Then it got discontinued, so I never got my hands on it. I've spent numerous hours searching for things that have eventually sold out.
I have Mrs Hinch's B&M egg chair too. Everyone seems to have it now, but I first saw it on her page.
It’s a really reasonable price, they’re normally very expensive but mine was only £150.
I love Mrs Hinch’s new kitchen so I’m thinking of getting some white Herringbone tiles like her's.
I have all Mrs Hinch’s minky cloths and other cleaning products.
I love Mrs Hinch's style and I have used her recommendations, but I wouldn't say I've tried to copy her house
My wallpaper downstairs is a really similar style to her’s, a stripy grey, that was inspired by her although it wasn't from the same provider.
I love Mrs Hinch's style but I wouldn't say I've tried to copy her house.
I feel I've done everything to my own taste, although I have used her recommendations.
I follow lots of home accounts on Instagram and get my inspiration from all of them, not just her.
We also have the same dog – although it's just a coincidence – I grew up with cocker spaniels and recently got a golden puppy called Barney.
Mrs Hinch replied to my stories of him saying 'oh my God he's so cute', because he's like a mini version of her dog Henry.
Our house was just an empty shell when we moved in, we had no carpets, flooring, kitchen appliances, garden turf or patio.
We’ve done everything ourselves and get most of the materials from Ikea, B&Q and Homebase.
Alex did the garden, he had to pull out all the weeds, put the topsoil down and then the lawn.
We painted the fence outside and put in a nice grey sandstone patio – and we're doing some on-trend wooden panelling next week.
We recently changed our sink which was a bit of a nightmare, everything which could go wrong did.
It’s fair to say we’ve had some DIY disasters, that’s one thing I always explain to my followers, because a lot of people think Instagram’s a reality when it’s not.
Home decor accounts will always post perfect photos on their grid, but it’s important to remember homes are lived in and do get untidy.
I think it’s important for people to realise not everything is as smooth as it seems, things can go wrong.
We spent way more than we'd planned to, about £15,000 to £20,000 in total doing the place up.
I just love making the house look nice, so that's really my thing
A big way Mrs Hinch has influenced me is with cleaning. When I lived with my parents, I never did any but she makes it seem fun.
Now I love Zoflora and Hinch Lists, I make sure the house is always spotless and use all the products she recommends.
I work full-time but spend an hour to two cleaning every day. I get up at 6am to clean the kitchen and hoover before work.
I clean on my lunch break, too, then if there's anything left I'll do it as soon as I finish work.
On a weekend, I do three to four hours of deep cleaning. I'll get up at 8 or 9am and spring into action, cleaning until midday.
I don't let Alex help, if he did I'd only find faults with it, because his heart wouldn't be in it. I think if you want a job doing, you've got to do it yourself.
We split the cooking and other chores, but I just love making the house look nice, so that's really my thing.
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