Many of us long for the day when we finally move into our forever home and can start decorating to our taste – which usually doesn’t involve magnolia walls! But what if you’re in Service Family Accommodation? Army&You spoke to two military spouses who’ve used their interior design talent to turn their quarters into something special…


Married to Wayne, with three children – Sophia, Amelia and Henry. In their ninth house in 13 years.

Interior design – a long-term passion or new hobby?

I love interior design and making each house a beautiful and fun place to be. It’s our home for as long as we live there, so I like making it feel like ours. I read a report that said decorating a child’s room can help ease anxiousness with moving and help them settle quicker. We’ve found that by giving the children their own identified space it has helped; they seem happier and more at ease. The children’s rooms are always tackled first. 

My style

I love the Scandinavian mid-century modern mix and a space that’s functional and bright. I’m a big believer in re-using and recycling and have found some great pieces of furniture over the years. In most of our quarters, storage has been key so finding and adapting pieces to make them work for us as a family has been fun. For our latest move the children wanted very different themes – rainbows and unicorns, space and Star Wars and something grown-up for our eldest. 

We have a toy and teddy rotation system and a ten-minute tidy each night before bed, which earns them some pocket money! My eldest finds it hard letting go of items, maybe due to all the moves, but memory boxes to keep souvenirs in, are a great idea.

Advice to others

Be prepared for changing walls back to magnolia. We had a blue bathroom and it took five coats of paint. Small changes can make a big impact too. Changing lights and curtains, adding a rug and accessorising to your heart’s content.


Married to Paul, with  a son Alex and a cat Ethel. Currently living in their sixth quarter.

Interior design – a long-term passion or new hobby?

I thought my love for interior design started when Paul and I got our first house together, but my mum pointed out that I used to do it in my family home too. Whilst my mum was at work, I would move furniture and rearrange pictures and trinkets. It’s important for me to make our quarter feel like a home quickly. We move so often, meeting new people and starting new jobs, that having a base makes you feel settled and centred.

 My style

I take inspiration from everywhere and spend hours researching online. I’ve never painted a quarter, it’s too much hassle in my eyes, so I bring loads of colour through artwork and soft furnishings. I constantly rotate trinkets and cushions for different looks. People would always compliment my home and say how it didn’t look like a ‘normal’ quarter. 

I wanted to share how I do it, so I started a YouTube channel called Vanilla & Canela and I got amazing feedback from other military wives, which has spurred me on.

I’m the mastermind and my husband is actually the executor. I can’t cut anything in a straight line and get frustrated quickly, so I count on Paul to help me. I’ve recently Fabloned my kitchen counters. I tried on my own and wrecked half a roll before he intervened.

Advice to others

Go for it! It’s your home, you should feel comfortable in it. You can do amazing things on a budget. Command tape, Fablon and tile stickers should get you started.

Don’t forget to check the rules on decorating your quarter at

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