Do you ever find yourself scrolling through your Instagram feed absentmindedly when a picture jumps out at you, and your index finger immediately double taps without a second thought? Well Kasie Barton’s one-of-a-kind home interiors account, with its fresh, kaleidoscopic squares that just scream ‘like me’ makes me do just that. Not one to shy away from all things bright and bold, her interior is stylishly fun and packed full of innovative and budget friendly DIY ideas, and somewhere you just want to wholeheartedly embrace, colour lover or not! Here she is, talking about her own home, and also her amazing DIY tutorial page ‘For the Love of Colour’ which is coming soon…
Hey there! I’m Kasie Barton, I’m 39, and I have two scrummy children – Bo who is 6 (the kindest person I’ve ever met), and my sassy little girl Coco, who turns four in July. I’m married to Charlie, 37, who is also my best friend in the world.
I was a journalist for twelve years and have worked for a number of national magazines and newspapers, including the crazy beast that was News of the World, celebrity magazine NOW, and fashion monthly Marie Claire. It’s a chapter in my life that I’m incredibly proud of and worked hard to achieve. But it’s like this: I never really felt that passionate about journalism. I was pretty good at it because I worked hard at it, but there was never any fire in my belly – not like I feel now! I think when you get older that classic cliché really makes sense: ‘It’s now or never.’
This summer I will be launching my own DIY and lifestyle brand, ‘For the Love of Colour’.
For the Love of Colour is a bit like a one stop for fun DIY – a hub of home inspiration and tutorials. The idea is that I don’t just give people tips and tricks on how to style colour in their homes, I give them the actual skills and confidence to make and create what actually goes into their homes.
I bring out a video tutorial once a week on Instagram, and am about to launch a blog and YouTube channel that will include even more projects, videos, tutorials, interviews, product news and styling tips – all relating to colour and having fun with DIY and interior style.
I’m particularly passionate about video. From a creator’s point of view, it’s an awesome way to communicate. It instantly brings projects to life and carries the message that DIY can be fun and fresh. Video is already a huge part of what I do at For the Love of Colour and is only going to become a bigger part of how I speak to my audience.
Kasie setting up for an Instagram video shoot
It’s incredibly exciting starting a business and building it into something special. It’s also terrifying, overwhelming, exhausting and often financially draining – but I choose to hold onto the ‘exciting’ bit. Sometimes you’ve just got to push the boundaries. After all, that’s what they’re there for.
Weirdly, I’ve not always loved colour as much as I do now. When I worked in London, my house looked like one of The White Company stores – everything was white and grey, with pops of black. Hardly a speck of pink or yellow in sight. It’s strange to think that now.
I fell in love with colour whilst pregnant with my second child. She was overdue so I started up- cycling the family furniture with colourful paint as a way to get her head engaged! That’s when I discovered my love of colourful paint and its ability to transform a piece of furniture, wall or floor.
I started to look online for other bright and stylish furniture pieces (particularly for kids and family homes) and realised there wasn’t much out there. Everything was white, grey or just pine coloured. So I began to perfect my skills as a painter and designer so I could create my own.
Upcycling some old bar stools bought for £5 each, with turquoise paint
I decided at that point that I wanted to create home for my family that was bursting with the sunniest yellows, pops of pink and beautiful grassy greens. Happy shades that would stick in their memory and always remind them of home.
We are currently renovating the whole of downstairs and adding on a large, sunny kitchen, diner and snug, so I know this will be the space I love the most once it’s completed. For now, however, I would probably say my favourite room is my bedroom with its ombre wall. It’s so peaceful and pretty – like a botanical pastel sanctuary for me to recover from the crazy days of being a working mum.
A relaxing ombre effect wall in the master bedroom is one of Kasie’s proudest decor achievements
I also love my hallway with its yellow airing cupboard door. It gets flooded with sunlight and is just so good for lifting my spirits!
Along with this sunshine yellow airing cupboard door
Colour definitely impacts my mood and reflects in the colours I choose for each room. I really didn’t know how much I loved sunshine yellow until I started renovating our house and styling the rooms. It just sort of happened. And that’s what’s so important when styling colour in a home – you almost have to let the colour choose you. You need to live in the space for a while, imagine how you’re likely to feel in that space (or maybe how you WANT to feel) and then play with different hues and combinations until the vibe is right.
Yellow always makes smile. I feel fresh, positive and motivated every time I walk past our sunshine airing cupboard door.
Pink makes me feel a little quirky and cute.
Bright grassy green makes me feel ‘boho’ and kind of trendy (even though I’m not!)
And black accents bring everything together.
One important trick to styling a space with lots of colour is to limit yourself to two main shades, and then a third less prominent one that might pop up in cushions or lamps etc. Then anchor the whole thing with pops of black, dark grey or dark blue to ground it all. This might be in the trim of a rug, a vase on the table, black frames on the wall. It’s really important to anchor a space when colour or white is involved.
Kasie has painted her wooden handrails black to ‘ground’ the space
Pinterest used to be a major source of inspiration for me, but now – since getting to know so many Instagram influencers and their homes, I would say I turn to Instagram so much more than I used to. I gain a lot from knowing the people behind the decor, what makes them tick, where they source and how they source.
Even though print journalism is a dying breed, I still love to flick through glossy magazines for ideas and creative layouts too. There is something so indulgent about that experience. And not just interior magazines – fashion and beauty magazines like Vogue, Elle, Tatler and Harpers churn out amazing style layouts. Their treatment of images and their concepts for shoots are always so much braver than what I see online. My desk is full of ripped out fashion pages from these titles.
A corner of Kasie’s beautiful, yet functional home office
Art and architectural journals are also a favourite for experimenting with new colour combinations and ideas.
I’m launching my You Tube channel in the next couple of weeks which will feature much longer videos where I speak more to my audience. I like doing this as it makes everything feel so much more real and in touch. Of course I love my one-minute long Instagram videos and I put a lot of time and thought into creating them. But in many cases I feel there is a need for more explaining and interaction between me and the viewer, which is where You Tube is so good. This is something I intend to grow and grow when I launch For the Love of Colour this summer.
The mum market is a huge chunk of my demographic, so I will also be launching my content on Facebook at the same time as my You Tube channel. I’m yet to find out which will be the most helpful and engaging, but I suspect they will offer different things. You Tube will provide greater creative scope; Facebook will offer greater potential for engagement. But time will tell!
Is my decorating style also reflected in my wardrobe choices? Haha – yes and no. I’m a bit of a tomboy when it comes to my clothes. Anyone who follows me on Instagram will know that. I don’t really wear bright pinks or yellow when it comes to jumpers, shirts etc. The colour tends to come from pops made by accessories such as hats, gloves and socks. My audience knows that I don’t really do anything without my finger-less gloves. I’m also known amongst my friends for having a gallery of bright beanie hats and baseballs caps. You will never catch me wearing a skirt (unless, perhaps, I’ve teamed them with sneakers!)
Wearing her famous finger-less gloves whilst making a jazzy wall-hanging
My DIY skills come from reading books, going on courses and a lot of self-teaching on YouTube. I learnt how to use an electric drill, sander, jigsaw, tile cutter – basically everything that was in the family shed that had previously baffled or scared me. I learnt how to restore, prep, paint and seal furniture. I wanted to know everything!
It’s not all been plain sailing though and I’ve certainly had things that didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped. But that is what the practice runs are for. Each project I do has at least two dummy runs before I start setting up the camera and lights to film for a blog.
When it comes to painting projects, you never really know how well it’s going to turn out. You just have to perfect your skills the best you can and give it a shot. But one of the best things about paint is it can be painted over! Once you remove any fear you might have about paint and things going wrong, you become along more daring and brave with projects. And its then that things get really exciting!
Painting her children’s room door, taking inspiration from fruit salad chews she loved as a child
All projects are meticulously planned in terms of what I’m doing and when, as well as the mix of skills and difficulty levels I tackle in projects. I have a master schedule and forward-planning list so I know exactly what’s coming up, what needs buying, how many dummy runs are needed and how long the editing process will take.
I think a content creator should give the impression that everything is spontaneous and reactive, but in reality it has to be planned and thoroughly thought through if you want it to look slick and well put together. Or maybe I’m just not that good at living hand-to-mouth!!!
My most successful make? Well, my paper deer head that hangs above my stairs was my first DIY project and makes me smile every single day. I love her because she cost £5 to make and can be achieved by anyone who possesses patience and nimble fingers (particularly for the antlers!) I’m very proud of her.
A favourite make
My ombre wall is another celebrated DIY of mine on Instagram. Another cheap and easy creation (I used the least expensive emulsion paint I could find), that can be done by anyone who owns a roller, paintbrush and empty wall.
DIY is honestly my hobby. That’s exactly why I decided to turn it into a business. I came to a stage whilst I was working in London when I thought: I’m tired of living for the weekends and counting down the days until it’s ‘home time’. That’s no way to live. I was determined to do something that genuinely made me get out of bed in the morning. It took a while to identify what that thing was, but I knew as soon as it happened.
I love my work. I can’t wait to get started every day. I’m coming up with video concepts and project ideas all the time – when I’m driving, when I’m feeding the kids, when I’m on a jog, when I’m falling asleep. My work makes me crazy happy and I feel very lucky.
I think my family share my décor tastes. I don’t know actually – I’ve never asked them! Maybe I should but I’m a little worried about the answer!
Bold statement pieces like this vibrant red bench can be found all over Kasie’s home
The most important message in my videos and blog posts is to have fun. That’s really important to me. My whole brand is built on the concept of smiling more and having fun. We have enough moments in our lives that require us to be serious. You’ll never find me talking about what a bad day I’ve had or how tired I am. You can bet your life I have them – but that’s not what I choose to talk about on my platforms.
My role is to very simply inspire and provide uplifting escapism and feel-good content that pulls people away from all that stuff. Even if it’s just for the 60-seconds it takes to watch one of my videos. Hopefully that will be 60 seconds where they don’t think about anything else other than what I’m making to an upbeat song.
People want to smile more. They need to smile more.
Another key message I hope to get across is the whole idea that anyone can do this stuff. You don’t have to be artistic, or experienced or even that knowledgeable to nail one of my DIYs. Anyone can do it. I use the hashtag #becauseyoucan on my Instagram feed because it perfectly encapsulates this sentiment. What are you waiting for?
A simple, yet extremely effective ‘gallery wall’ idea – faux flowers stuck onto the wall using washi tape and a glue gun
What drives me? Well, I’m a pretty motivated person and am driven by my own enthusiasm. Probably too much enthusiasm if I’m honest. My biggest downfall is never knowing when to stop. I will happily work through the night on something and think nothing of it, until my husband walks in at 4am and orders me to go to bed.
I have some big plans and projects for the future, which are so exciting. Sadly, I can’t share them with you just yet – but the plan is to really make a difference to the DIY industry.
Check out Kasie’s Instagram home interiors page @kasie_barton and her DIY tutorial page @ftlocolour.