Creating a contemporary family home

Stacey Donnelly
Photograph by Phil Rigby

Stacey and Martin Donnelly and their children spent three years living in a caravan while they built their house in Witherslack. The result is a contemporary family home which makes an ideal backdrop for Stacey’s handmade light fittings.

The couple have created a light-filled family home with four bedrooms, three bathrooms and an office and workroom for Stacey. The house has large expanses of window and cedar cladding, which will turn silver over time. Outside there is a generous flagged area with seating, a barbecue and hot tub.

To make their budget go as far as possible, the couple realised they would have to do a lot of work themselves.

“We both knew the biggest expense is labour so we knew from the very beginning we weren’t going to employ people,” says Stacey.

Martin continued to work full-time on their business, Northern Electrical Contractors (NEC) and spent evening and weekends on the house. Stacey, who looks after company admin and assists Martin on jobs, was able to throw herself into the house build almost full-time. For jobs they weren’t able to tackle themselves, they used local companies and tradespeople.

Most of the interior has been painted white, broken up with sections of wood panelling and some bright yellow walls – yellow and pink are Stacey’s favourite colours.

The first glimpse of yellow is the front door, which Stacey made herself.

“If you’ve built your own house I think you should be able to have your front door whatever colour you like,” she says.

Throughout the house are examples of the light fittings which Stacey designs, makes and sells. The sitting room has a large cutout wooden light made from walnut veneer. Now the build is complete, Stacey intends to up production of the lights and develop the business.

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