‘I have so many more memories to make here’

June 21, 2023

When Kate Glynn, (@claremont_bythesea), inherited her parents’ home in North Wales back in 2018, selling the seven bedroom, four-storey Victorian property was never on the cards – instead they turned it into an impressive holiday rental renovation. With its stunning sea views towards Anglesey and Puffin Island, Kate, who works in a museum in Manchester, and husband Joe could imagine their children, Florence, Pearl and Jude enjoying the same weekends on the beach she’d enjoyed as a child.

Farrow and Ball's Stiffkey Blue is the colour for the dining room walls

Chosen to suit the era of the house, Kate has carried Johnstone’s colour match of Farrow & Ball’s Stiffkey Blue through from the kitchen, with the dining table and chairs, a lucky find in John Lewis & Partners’ clearance section, paired with a rug from Next Home. Photo: Katie Lee

A family affair

The house has been in Kate’s  family for over 80 years – in the early 1980s her parents bought it from her grandad. ‘My mum was an art teacher in Liverpool, and we stayed in Wales at weekends. ‘She decorated the whole place with a creative eye. After she died when I was in my early twenties, my dad lived there on his own for many years and the house was never updated.’

There's a large space in kitchen of the holiday rental for entertaining

Patterned encaustic tiles from Ca’ Pietra elevate the scheme, while Polyflor light oak herringbone LVT flooring is super-practical for holiday lets. Photos: Katie Lee

After Kate’s dad passed away, she inherited a house that needed a complete renovation. ‘I was always going to keep it, as all my childhood memories are wrapped up here,’ she says. ‘But it needed everything doing – new windows, roofing, rendering, plumbing, electrics and replastering, as well as a new kitchen and bathrooms.’

Liberty wallpaper hangs above the fireplace

One of the first things Kate bought for the house was this Liberty wallpaper, which she’s paired with Johnstone’s Romantic Evening paint. ‘The print is discontinued now, but I found three precious rolls on Ebay, and it’s influenced my style elsewhere.’ The velvet sofas was also an Ebay purchase, with the coffee table from Swoon. Photo Katie Lee

The best of both worlds

The plan was to create a holiday rental renovation that sleeps eight in four king-size rooms and reserve the three top floor rooms for Kate and her family to enjoy holidays when there are no bookings. ‘It works really well as we can lock away our stuff up there and we don’t have to worry about bedroom changeovers,’ she says.

The views looking out to Puffin Island and Anglesey are truly special

Left: Two velvet chairs from Homesense are perfect for this spot and the Mori Navy Roman blinds by Margo Selby at Hillarys create continuity between floors. Right: This vintage sideboard was a present for Kate’s 40th birthday. Photos: Katie Lee

Changing the layout

One of the biggest alterations was knocking through the two ground-floor rooms to create an open-plan kitchen diner. At the same time, the old kitchen on the first floor was turned into a bedroom, while a small kitchenette became an additional shower room. ‘When you have eight people in a house, you need that bigger, more social space for cooking and chatting,’ says Kate.

To manage the budget of the holiday rental renovation all the decor and details are well thought out

Left: When Kate found the floor tiles at Al-Murad, she knew they’d be perfect for the house. The staircase has been painted in Farrow & Ball’s Down Pipe and the coat rack was an Amazon bargain at just £50. Right: The striking tiles from Ca’ Pietra were the starting point for the shower room, a former kitchenette. Photos: Katie Lee

Managing the budget in a holiday rental renovation

Throughout the project, Kate and her husband Joe have been careful to preserve the character of the house, but to its size, the work cost over £100,000, so the couple remortgaged their home in Manchester to pay for it. However, undertaking a holiday rental renovation from a distance during a pandemic was challenging to say the least. ‘People definitely took advantage of our situation, and we made some bad decisions,’ admits Kate. ‘Some trades were good, but others were unreliable and difficult to pin down.’

Kate inherited her chic style from her mother

Kate has created a calm and peaceful retreat in this rear bedroom with a cane headboard from La Redoute Outlet, a duck-egg blue throw from George Home and classic Pooky lamps. Photo: Katie Lee

Looking to the future

There’s also potential to make more of the basement rooms, which have been rewired and plastered, with plumbing in place for a future kitchen and bathroom. ’It would make an ideal games or play room,’ says Kate. ‘I’ve already designed it in my head; I just need a budget and to convince Joe.’

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Décor-wise, Kate found Instagram and Pinterest a great source of inspiration but was very much influenced by her late mum. ‘She loved art, William Morris and bold colours, so it’s a bit of a tribute to her but with a few modern twists,’ she says.

Pattern is abundant in this holiday rental renovation

‘After painting this room, I felt it lacked the personality and pattern of the rest of the house,’ says Kate. ‘So putting up this William Morris wallpaper has given it the lift it needed and sets off the fireplace and Habitat dressing table.’ Photos: Katie Lee

Mixing old and new

With the budget swallowed up by the holiday rental renovation, Kate had to be quite savvy when furnishing an entire house. She sourced items on Ebay, discovered ex-catalogue sites and shopped at John Lewis & Partners and Homesense for beautiful yet affordable items that would make each room shine. ‘Some pieces were already in the house, and I’ve added a few vintage pieces of furniture, as well as bargains from discount websites and Facebook Marketplace,’ she explains.

The couple’s hard work has certainly paid off as the house has been attracting some lovely families. ‘We have had some amazing reviews from guests,’ says Kate. ‘Everyone really appreciates the décor, the space, the view and the local sights.’

The pink house is the perfect holiday rental renovation

Photos: Katie Lee

And although Kate is happy in Manchester, there’s always a strong pull towards their seaside retreat. ‘The house is very special to me, and we use it quite a lot,’ she says. ‘I’d like to think that one day we might return to live here.’

For information on renting Claremont, visit



A message from the editor:

Let us help you create the home of your dreams! Get ideas & inspiration from Good Homes every month, delivered direct to your door. Visit to sign up for the weekly Good Homes newsletter.

~ Karen Walker, Editor, Good Homes