Emma Louise Connolly and Oliver Proudlock reveal their cosy patio retreat â€“ perfect for entertaining12th Sep 19 | Lifestyle
The influencer couple have transformed their small urban garden into a stylish, social setting â€“ Gabrielle Fagan finds out how.
Oliver Proudlock and his fiancée Emma Louise Connolly are famous for rocking a stylish look.
Uber-cool and glamorous, the Made In Chelsea star and Scottish model Connolly both boast a huge Instagram following, with fans eager to check in on their antics, outfits and lifestyle updates.
They’ve now revealed their new home together, which – just as you’d expect – ticks all the fashionable decor boxes. Although, for the first time, they’ve also been honest about the “tough times” they experienced in achieving their dream.
Friendly, open and delighted to have finally moved in to their home, the couple are chilling and chatting in their ‘outdoor room’ – the final piece in their year-long renovation project.
Formerly a dull patio, located just outside the kitchen, the space was transformed with the help of online retail brand Wayfair – and they’re thrilled with the results. Connolly, 27, says: “We absolutely love it out here and haven’t been out of it all summer.”
She chose a modern bohemian vibe, with colourful kilim rugs and cosy throws for the compact sanctuary. Its sheltered and comfy seating area, barbecue and fire pit means they’ll be able to enjoy entertaining and relaxing outside long beyond the summer months too – something they’ve been making the most of already.
“It’s really changed the way we live, having such a great outdoor space to hang out in,” Connolly enthuses. “We’ve been constantly entertaining friends and family here, as it looks so good.
“The fences are our favourite as they’ve completely changed the aesthetics of the garden, which we didn’t actually expect,” she adds.
Indoors, the couple’s shared interiors vision was for a “cosy and snug, yet cool and a little rock ‘n roll” look, Connolly explains. They’ve achieved that with rooms featuring dark, moody shades, and luxe furnishings and textiles.
“We were a little scared to take the plunge on having a lot of dark colours in the house, but actually it’s become our favourite part,” she declares, “as it really adds a whole new dimension to the rooms.”
While the result inside and out has been a huge success, Connolly admits the renovation project wasn’t all smooth-sailing, and they battled to deal with some “serious issues” in overhauling the whole property, which had damp and uneven walls and ceilings.
“The renovation’s been a bit of a whirlwind journey! It’s the first home we’ve ever bought, so the whole process was slightly unknown territory,” says Connolly, detailing the challenges: Re-wiring, replacing plumbing, levelling floors and walls, and even dealing with a recent flood.
“But to be honest, we wouldn’t change a thing. It’s been the most amazing time of our lives, and we’ve learnt so much together,” she adds, smiling as she looks at her partner.
The couple had been dating for four years, when Eton-educated fashion entrepreneur Proudlock, 30, whisked Connolly away on a romantic trip to Gothenburg, Sweden, where he proposed last summer.
Now that they’ve got their dream home in order, they’re looking forward to making new memories in their space.
Steal their style
Inspired by the couple’s decor vibe? Here’s how to create a chic outdoor retreat of your own.
“Early autumn is the ideal time to bring in some cosy touches [to your outdoors space], so you can extend its life and continue using it as an entertaining space,” says Nadia McCowan Hill, Wayfair’s resident style advisor.
Here are McCowan Hill’s five top tips…
1. Invest in contemporary garden furniture in a neutral shade, as this will avoid it dominating and give the impression of a larger space.
2. Be inspired by nature’s autumn colour palette and use warm shades like rust orange, rich reds and mustards.
3. Oversized prints in chunky cushions and throws, and a contrast of textures are ideal, as they’re eye-catching and will ‘furnish’ the space.
4. Faux plants will fill the gaps when those summer blooms are over. Hanging ivy and pearl plants can be draped over benches.
5. Her essential special buy? A coffee table fire pit, whose glow can be enhanced by lanterns and candles.
© Press Association 2019