Home renovation

a vintage-inspired 1930s house in Oxford

You know that feeling when you find an amazing pre-loved piece that’s exactly what were you looking for? Content creator Anna Keen knows her all too well.

A quick look around her gorgeous home – which you can find well-documented on her Instagram account, @theinteriorframe – and the immaculate appearance can make you think everything was bought brand new. But it’s Anna’s talent for hunting second-hand bargains and transforming pieces to work for her space that’s key to her envy-inducing interiors.

Anna Keen's living room
Anna Keen’s living room

Describing her style as “your grandma’s house but make it fashionable”, Anna skillfully combines pre-loved pieces, a neutral color palette and personal touches – blending traditional accents with modern accents to create a unique and bright family home.

“Almost all the furniture in the house is second-hand. We used a real mix of items – high-end and (mostly) low-end items,” she said. Stylist. “All the wallpapers in the house are leftover House of Hackney wallpapers that I bought on eBay.”

Here she tells us the details of her home transformation over four years – from moving in and starting the process with a 3-month-old and a 19-month-old, to her favorite DIY hack and where she finds all her used parts from.

What was your biggest decorative inspiration at the start of your renovation?

“I like old buildings and traditional design, so I was always going to lean towards this type of interior. I also took inspiration from Pinterest, interior design books, and the wonderful interiors community on Instagram. Many of the items I use are second-hand (via eBay, Facebook Marketplace, etc.), so I often start with a second-hand find and then design the rest of the piece around that.

bathroom before, bathroom after

Which DIY hack are you most proud of?

“Probably the vintage sink that our bathroom sink sits on. Our last house had very little work space in the kitchen so I bought an Edwardian marble sink on eBay for £30. It was the perfect height for the little ones to ‘cook’ in. But when we moved here we didn’t have room for it, until we remodeled the bathroom and repurposed it as a vanity for the sink.The best pieces of furniture can follow you from house to house, adapting to the evolution of your space and your changing needs.

Which room do you prefer and why?

“My favorite room is the kitchen. It was an extension, so that’s the room where we had the most design input. I love the light you get in there and it’s just a big room for cooking and relaxing.

Anna Keen's bright kitchen
Anna Keen’s bright kitchen

What has been your biggest renovation challenge?

“The first few days were difficult because our babies were so young and the house needed a lot of work. I remember so many nights of wallpapering until the early hours and then (when I was halfway through and covered in woodchips) a baby would wake up for a feeding. We moved in straight away and the house needed a lot of work including a full rewiring, new boiler and work on the drainage system.

room before, room after

What do you wish you had known before starting your renovation?

“How much time (and money) would that take. I’d also like to know how to enjoy the trip a bit more. Embrace the chaos of renovation. But I guess that’s easier to say now that we’re almost done.

Anna’s favorite Instagram accounts

  • Pallet Notes

    “Hannah’s sense of style is just stunning and I love her home.”

  • Kit and Co

    “Megan’s style is truly stunning and following her account has encouraged me to experiment more with color and pattern.”

  • Paige Kontrafouris

    “Paige is based in the United States. She uses a lot of second-hand furniture and did an amazing kitchen remodel on a big budget. I love his account!”

Photography: Courtesy of Anna Keen