Home renovation

inside the renovated Charlotte Church Wales retreat

Charlotte Church’s love of nature is well documented – it’s part of the reason she fell in love with Rhydoldog, the Welsh stately home she bought last May. “It’s flanked by two waterfalls, surrounded by ancient forest,” says Church. Stylist. “It was the land that really attracted me.”

So it’s no surprise that halfway through our Zoom call, Church gave me a guided tour of her houseplants. An impressive amstel king, climbing bougainvillea and hanging pearl necklace are the stars of her collection, she explains.

Her kitchen at home feels like the jungle, and it’s an aesthetic that Church has passed on to Rhydoldog (now branded as The Dreaming), with a bohemian, rustic energy that feels both relaxed and plush. From a dining room ceiling of dried flowers to a relaxing space filled with palm trees, Church’s vision is cozy, laid-back, and artfully undone.

Charlotte Church Rhydoldog Renovation
Dream Build by Charlotte Church airs from 9 p.m. on October 5 on Really and is available to stream on Discovery+

The first series of Charlotte Church’s Dream Building aired in January and documented the beginnings of its renovation journey, ending with just one of seven rooms completed. Luckily, the latest series, airing today on Really, is where interiors fans can really roll up their sleeves. After the journey from empty shell to ready-to-open retreat center, Church walks us through the process of transforming the house in eight renovation episodes.

Charlotte Church Rhydoldog Renovation: The Wanderer Room
Charlotte Church’s Dream Building: The Wanderer Room

Here, she talks to us about her top design picks, her biggest decorating hurdles, and her favorite place to find second-hand jewelry.

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

“It was all instinct-based, but one thing I knew from the start was that I wanted to find a way to bring the outdoors in. There are a lot of indoor plants, of course, and I consciously used natural (not neutral, which can sometimes seem too stuffy) colors throughout.Because Rhydoldog is intended to be a retreat center, everything has been designed to create a space where people can rest and connect with themselves I worked with a great interior specialist called Sera of London who put me on the right track – she gave me the confidence to make the space feel lived in, rather than trying to make it blank.

The mushroom room before, The mushroom room after

Which room do you prefer and why?

“I can’t choose just one! Each room is so individual. They are all named because I wanted each one to have a story behind it. One of my favorites is The Womb, which I decorated with lots of soft, dip-dyed fabrics to look very much like a cocoon. I also like the Moon – I wanted it to look like an ancient temple in Delphi, so everything is very relaxing there. It’s almost like a bath for the mind.

What has been your biggest renovation challenge?

“I think the hardest part was having people – especially men – doubting me. A lot of people working with me on the renovation (even my dad) thought my ideas wouldn’t work because that they were wacky. The curved pink shower from The Womb is a great example. I really had to convince them that it would work, but once they pushed themselves to think more creatively, we all agreed that it looked awesome. I think it’s about being imaginative.

The healing room after, the healing room after

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

“I wish I had known how beautiful natural finishes can be. It’s really tempting to go overboard with paint and wallpaper, but the more rooms I started in, the more I realized it was the rough, natural textures that I loved. With rustic finishes, there’s a lot more opportunity to make furniture and textiles look plush and plush without it looking overdone. That was a really good lesson: it doesn’t look overdone. It’s not just about being able to make changes to the walls and floor, you can make a massive change with just the accessories.”

Which design choice are you most satisfied with and why?

“There are so many that I’m proud of, but I think the one that makes the biggest difference is my decision not to use ceiling lights. Lamps and wall sconces create a very nice warm glow – much nicer than a dazzling ceiling light. »

The moon room before, the moon room after

You are a big fan of indoor plants, what are your secrets?

“Choosing the right plant is half the battle. I love kentia palms, cacti and mother-in-law’s tongue because they are all very low maintenance. I don’t worry about them – mine probably get watered once a month – but I’m very observant.A good tip for mother-in-law’s tongues: they release oxygen at night, so it’s good to keep them in your room. thing I always do is repot larger plants in old whiskey casks – they are often more affordable than huge pots and look great.

The Mystical Chamber before, The Mystical Chamber before

What are your favorite places to buy interiors?

“I try to buy as much second-hand as possible, and I think Vinterior for is great for finding amazing second-hand furniture. Lots of the pieces are stupidly expensive, but I’ve always set my price filter under £200, not to be jealous of the high end, and I’ve discovered a lot of really unusual and interesting pieces. The charity works with artisans around the world, so when you buy from the site, you’re supporting both Unicef ​​and the makers. It’s nice to know you’re supporting the right people.

Charlotte Church’s Dream Building airing from 9 p.m. on October 5 on Really and available to stream on Discovery+

Images: Courtesy of Really and Discovery+