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My Strata story: How Alex and Dan are making their townhouse a home

my strata story
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When Alex and Dan found out they were pregnant with their daughter, Anastasia, they decided it was time to move out of London and into their forever home.

When Alex, the brains behind the Instagram page @townhouse_on_elegance and her partner Dan found out they were having a baby they thought it was time to move away from their busy city life in London and move further up North to the quiet countryside. 

With Alex being from the North originally, they thought it was the perfect place to start searching for their family home. Alex and Dan started looking at every new development in and around the Ackworth area, until they spoke to Alex’s auntie, who told them about the new Elegance development that Strata were building. “We looked at every single new build in West Yorkshire but nowhere really felt like home. We then visited the Elegance site and fell in love with the Geneva. We drove up on the Friday and on the Sunday we was back in London and had reserved a plot at Elegance. It’s been perfect ever since!” says Alex. 

I have always wanted to have a new build so it was an easy decision for us to make. There is something about the fact that no one else has ever lived there before and it’s your house from the very start. It’s completely blank and you can do whatever you want to it.” 

“The main thing we liked about the Geneva is that all of the living space is on the ground floor and so if I’m cooking, or me and Dan are eating or in the living room we can see Ana. I think it works really well having it all open plan with a young family, it means everything you need to do during the day can be done all on one floor and I can keep an eye on Ana at all times. 

“I have lived in a townhouse before and so I love the concept of having a house on three floors because you get so much more floor space. If you try and fit 3 bedrooms into a 2 storey house they’re going to be really small so this means you’ve got a whole floor of extra space which means our master bedroom is the size of the whole down stairs which is brilliant – and going up an extra flight of stairs keeps you fit too!”    

Community

The family of three have been settled in their Geneva home since August 2017 and feel they couldn’t have picked a better place to live. “We definitely feel there’s a very strong sense of community living here. They have a Facebook group that you can join and it’s brilliant. It just helps when you first move in and you don’t know how to put your boiler on or turn your heating on. You feel safe too, if Dan’s away I know I have my neighbors around me who are always checking everything is alright,” says Alex. 

“We thought, when buying in a new build area that everyone would be new to the area and so it would be a lot easier to make friends and meet people and that has been so true.  It means Ana can have friends in the neighborhood and we can make friends too as we moved up from London and didn’t know anyone.” 
Ackworth is based between Pontefract and Wakefield offering the perfect balance between peaceful countryside and vibrant city living, perfect for this little family. “We love the countryside around here, we can go off and do loads of walking, there’s lots to do right on our doorstep,” says Alex.  

“Some people think you shouldn’t touch a new build and you shouldn’t put too many things up on the walls or do anything crazy because it’s a new build and it’s perfect and whilst it is perfect, it is just a house. And like with any house that you want to make your home you should put your stamp on it and have it so it suits your needs.”

Making their mark

When Alex and Dan moved into their home, like every other new build, it was a blank canvas just waiting for them to make their mark.  “When we moved in I had a vision of what I wanted to do but it just didn’t work. I think you need to be in the house before you decide what will suit it.” Walking into Alex and Dan’s home is like walking into their very own show home even with cheeky little Ana dancing and bopping her way around the living room. Even though they both loved the idea of moving into a new build they still wanted to make it their own adding character to certain rooms. 

“We wanted a little bit more character in the living room and a focal point so we’ve added a chimney breast wall which we think works really well. I haven’t treated this house any differently to what I would a period property for example that you need to renovate. If you need to adapt your home, then why not do it?” 

Finding inspiration 

Alex decided to share her love for all things interior design and DIY with her own Instagram account @Townhouse_on_Elegance, whoch now has thousands of followers.  “I didn’t want to bore my friends and family with constant posts of my new house and the interior design trends I love so I decided to make a separate one for people to follow if they wanted to” says Alex. 

And now, nearly 2 years after creating her Instagram account Alex is a brand representative for two small home interior businesses. She also provides her followers with the latest interior trends, insights into her latest projects and affordable yet, on trend accessories for your home. “I buy most of my stuff from Home Sense, I’m an addict!” says Alex. “I love Dunelm as well and the Range is really good for bargains. I do also buy some things from independent businesses on Instagram, I like that you can see them in other people’s homes and see how they are styled before buying them. And I like supporting small businesses too, I think it’s really important.”