Instagram star Katie Woods is selling her picture perfect home in Leeds
One of Instagram's favourite Yorkshire homes is now for sale as downtothewoods moves on
When Katie Woods bought an Edwardian home close to Roundhay Park in Leeds, she had no idea that the property would change her life and put her centre stage on the world’s largest photo and video sharing network.
The dentist who discovered a talent for interior design is now a much-loved Instagram star, posting as comedowntothewoods and is renowned for her great ideas, sense of fun and sound advice on everything from feature walls to fireplaces.
Her picture-perfect, six-bedroom house, Summercourt on Elmete Avenue, is now for sale with Manning Stainton Fine and Country estate agents for £1.25m as she is preparing to say “goodbye” to her family home and “hello” to another project.
She will leave with many happy memories and a busy new career as an Instagram content creator, which means she is now a writer, stylist, editor and photographer while still having a hand in the family dentistry practice.
“We’d lived in the same house in Chapel Allerton for 10 years and I was pregnant with my fourth child, which meant we needed to upsize. When I saw Summercourt, I fell in love. Its owners had also clearly adored the house and it was very well cared for but it needed updating, which excited me.
“I’d never done a big project before and I had no idea it would give me a taste for renovation and a new career,” says Katie, who bought the property in April 2017 with her husband Chris.
She turned to Instagram to look for interiors ideas and advice and began documenting her own renovation journey. The response was phenomenal and she now has 197,000 followers.
The picture-led social media platform also gave her confidence to be more bold with her decor. “I’ve always been creative but my choices in the old house weren’t so colourful or clashy. Instagram encouraged me to be braver.
“I have filled this house with pattern, colour and fun, although there was a lot of dust and mess to endure first,” says Katie, who managed to complete the renovation within four months and on budget. She credits her “brilliant builders”, About the Build from Baildon, for their help in making that happen.
The biggest job was the addition of the glazed extension with a living roof, which now houses an open plan living kitchen and dining space. Other changes involved turning one of the seven bedrooms into a large house bathroom while the old bathroom was transformed into a dressing room . The Woods also had a new garage with a utility room built.
The most unusual idea was turning a former pantry into a secret room with a door disguised as a bookcase. It is now a study decorated in Palm wallpaper by Woodchip & Magnolia, a desk from eBay and a chair from Made.com. “I like mixing old and new and think there should be something old in every room,” says Katie, who also has a passion for houseplants.
Other rooms that have attracted thousands of “likes” on Instagram include the sitting room, which is painted in Little Greene’s Hicks Blue with Palmeral wallpaper by House of Hackney.
In the main bedroom, the wallpaper is House of Hackney’s Tulipa and the feather light is by Vita from Leeds-based Dowsing and Reynolds.
The bathroom has been much applauded online and has a bath from York-based Cast Iron Bath Company painted in Nancy’s Blushes by Farrow & Ball. The wallpaper is by House of Hackney and the sink unit is an upcycled chest of drawers.
The Woods are moving as they want another property project. “Renovating is a bit like childbirth. It’s awful at the time but then you get the itch, though when I leave this house I will weep as we thought it was our forever home,” says Katie, who is now renovating a holiday let in Devon and is looking for a “do’er upper” in Leeds.
Both will be documented on Instagram and her blog but if you feel a tinge of envy when you see her gorgeous pictures, she urges you not to. “I style areas for pictures but I also post what real life is like. I have four kids and a large dog so it’s chaotic and sometimes it’s a tip and that’s fine. It’s Insta reality and I like that.”
*For details on Summercourt, Elmete Avenue, Leeds, £1.25m, visit www.fineandcountry.com/uk/leeds
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