Grandma transforms home into pastel dream inspired by dolly mix sweets

For years, Heidi lived in a bland, beige house with her ex (Picture: @home_n_tidy_with_heidi_/ Mercury Press)

A question we often ask ourselves: Why go beige when you can go bold?

If you, too, hold this question dear, take note from Heidi Marler, 47, a grandma-of-two who has gone pretty out-there with the theme of her home.

When Heidi was with her ex, they lived in a home that was ‘bland’, with lots of whites and browns.

‘I wasn’t able to decorate or even hang things on walls, we were never able to compromise on decorations,’ the palliative care workers said.

Years of that gave Heidi a hunger for a living space that was a touch more fun.

And when she and her ex separated, she went all in.

How? By turning her home in Purleigh, Chelmsford, into a paradise of pastel shades, all inspired by her favourite dolly mix sweets.

Take a look around the place and you can’t help but smile – just look at the retro pink appliances, the vintage flamingos, and the shades of sherbet blue.

 Heidi's living room before its makeover

Here’s what Heidi’s home looked like before its pastel makeover (Pictue: @home_n_tidy_with_heidi_/ Mercury Press)

‘When we separated, I started decorating everything I could, it just became a mismatch vibrant space full of colours,’ said Heidi.

‘My style has constantly changed, and I’ve often found a lot of inspiration via social media.

‘Over the past four years, I’ve really fell in love with pinks and the colours you see in dolly mixture sweets.

‘My house now really matches my personality, and how I dress.

‘I love vibrant colours and will dress up as bright as I can, like wearing a pink velour tracksuit with a rainbow coat.

Heidi's bright and vibrant living room

And here it is now (Picture: @home_n_tidy_with_heidi_/ Mercury Press)

‘When I come home, it’s my happy place, it’s somewhere I can enjoy and forget about the bad parts of my day, and the colours are a really big part of that.

‘I go into my house, put my bright neon lights on, and the whole day just goes away from me.’

Along with sweets, another source of inspiration for Heidi’s home interiors is a bit unexpected: Del Boy’s flat.

‘I wanted to create a prettier version of that style in my home,’ she said. ‘I think I’ve finally managed to achieve that, and I couldn’t be happier.’

The nan gets a lot of joy from shopping for more pastel and brightly coloured items for her home, having picked up everything from vintage SMEG appliances to fake leopard heads.

She’s also a big fan of upcycling to keep costs low.

One of the rooms in Heidi's home full of bright and vibrant oranges

Heidi went all in with pastel and sherbet shades (Picture: @home_n_tidy_with_heidi_/ Mercury Press)

Heidi said: ‘My mum, Sandra, 75, had a brown three piece that I really wanted when I left home.

‘She let me have it, and I upholstered it with lilac material, and it just looked lovely.

‘I’ve also upcycled some other pieces like a dresser, shelves, and tables, but I have sold them since as my house changes so often.

‘I’ve collected quite a few pieces over the years and love a good bargain from car boot sales.

‘One of my favourite pieces that I’ve picked up was a decorative stand mixer that I wanted for as long as I could remember.

‘It now sits pride of place in living room in a little corner that was inspired by a boho café look.

 The bright pink kitchen in Heidi's home

She’s also a fan of vintage bits and upcycling (Picture: @home_n_tidy_with_heidi_/ Mercury Press)

‘I’m a lover of all things retro and try and pick up pieces whenever I can that would work well within my home.

‘Some people think I’m a maximalist, but I’d say I’m somewhere in the middle of the maximalism and minimalism scale.’

Heidi’s vibrant dolly mixture home has drawn in quite the reaction both online – she shares her place on Instagram here – and from family and friends.

She said: ‘My kids Harriet, 30; Frank, 27; Nancy, 21, will always roll their eyes and question “what’s she done now” when I tell them I’ve done a bit of decorating, but they love it really.

‘They love bringing friends over, and they love it just as much.

‘I’ve had lots of people follow me on my Instagram, and a lot of them are between 18 and 35, which I see as quite a compliment because it means I have quite a young style.”

‘My partner, Gary, 52, has always been by my side too, and he lets me decorate however I like, as well as gifting me a pink SMEG fridge which I love.

‘He’s also helped me to paint the high bits and re-do the carpets and flooring, as long as I don’t paint him pink, he enjoys how much I decorate and how happy it makes me.’

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