Karla Lucas, who lives with soldier husband Andy and daughter Amelia, tells us about her family’s move from SFA to their own home…

BETWEEN 1995 and 2014 we were fortunate to only move quarters eight times. The interiors were always important. I painted red, yellow, boxed in tiled fireplaces with MDF (thanks dad) and in the latter years painted the magnolia to white, all to follow the interior trends of the moment.

As soon as Amelia started school, we felt we would have to make a decision: to move with Andy or to stay put and buy. I’d trained as a primary teacher and had landed a fabulous job in the school our daughter was attending. We decided to buy and become a commuter family.

Our rental property sold quickly and we started the search. Years of living in quarters gave us definite ideas of what we did and didn’t want. For Andy, not too much grass to cut and for me, a shiny, sleek fully-functional kitchen.

One of the benefits of living in quarters was having the security of a home while we searched for more than a year. Eventually, we crossed the threshold of a Victorian mid-terrace bursting with the original features both of us were drawn towards. There would be refurbishing and redecorating, but we were confident we could undertake such a project.

We lived in our new home for 12 months before we started any work, giving us a feel for the property. At the same time, I’d joined Instagram for interior inspiration and was beginning to attract a following of people interested in watching our progress.

Over the course of the next 18 months, and documented on my Instagram account – @mrskarlalucas – we replaced the kitchen, knocked walls down, sanded floors, replaced the sash windows and added a third-floor loft extension.

At this point it was time to decorate. I was being drawn to dark moody interiors with pops of colour and this is the direction we took. My mum was aghast that I would even consider painting a narrow Victorian hallway black!

I began to get fellow Instagrammers asking for my advice as we neared completion and was delighted to be approached by a photographer and journalist who produced an article for Ideal Home magazine.

We have never regretted our decision. Fortunately, in his current position, Andy has lived at home for the last two years. But of course all postings come to an end and it’s nearly time to consider our options for the future.

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