Interior design is a delicate matter (8 photos)

29 February 2024

Mary Rose Young bought a cottage in Gloucestershire (UK) in 1987. Over the years, she has transformed it into a “real dollhouse.” But when it came time to sell the house, it turned out that such a bright and fancy interior scared off potential buyers.

An artist who spent almost 40 years transforming her country cottage into a "real doll's house" has been told the house is now "not for sale".

Mary Rose Young and her husband Phil Butcher bought their home, which also serves as a pottery studio, in Lydney, Gloucestershire, in 1987 for £30,000.

The couple decorated each room in their own unique style. The kitchen is decorated with a checkerboard pattern, and flowers are painted on the yellow walls. In Mary's pottery studio, where she creates her Alice in Wonderland-inspired pieces, the ceiling is decorated with multi-colored stripes in various floral patterns.

The living room has bright blue walls and a yellow ceiling, while the dining room has black and white flooring and purple wallpaper.

Mary also installed a variety of statement lighting throughout the home, including a multicolored chandelier in her work area and a miniature version in the kitchen.


Ten years ago, Mary and Phil decided they wanted to open a boutique hotel and put their home up for sale. At the time, estate agents were confident the house was worth £500,000. However, buyers are said to have been put off by the fancy interior.


“I created this house to live in, and did not think about the fact that it could be sold,” says Mary. “We live like two children in a doll’s house.” It's like a playhouse for adults. I just thought it might go to some crazy collector of my work who would want to buy it, but no one was interested.”

Mary Rose Young and her husband Phil Butcher at the time they bought their home in Gloucestershire

“In the year since the house was put up for sale, only one person came to look at it, and even then he left almost immediately. I think he came just out of curiosity to look at the interior.”

Living room

“Real estate agents are desperate. I could have painted over all my work, but I didn’t want to. I love my home and it really works for me. I am a bright person, even my hair is pink. I like it more and more as I get older.”

Dining room

Mary, apparently, still lives in her bright house and periodically writes about it on social networks. She says that she herself does not see anything unusual in such an interior design.

“I stopped noticing how colorful everything was because I’ve lived here for so long. Many people are shy and don't say anything, but the right reaction is to laugh and say "oh wow." Decorating your home should make you feel like a kid walking into a candy store. I want people to feel like adults can have a lot of fun too.”

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