Siobhan’s ‘Homestead’ is a big hit on Instagram

A local woman who has amassed almost 25,000 followers on social media with her interiors and lifestyle account has spoken of how she never imagined it would become so popular.

Tuesday, 4th February 2020, 3:17 pm
Siobhan McFadden.

Siobhan McFadden from Drumfries , who now lives in Edinburgh with her husband Rory - also from Inishowen - and their two children Úna and Nora, is the woman behind the popular Instagram account ‘Homestead.’

She first set the account up to advertise herself as a freelance screen printer, but it quickly became a renovation blog after she and Rory bought their house, after moving from an apartment.

Siobhan’s home and posts are much admired by her followers, who look to her for inspiration in their own homes.

A Fashion and Textiles graduate from Belfast School of Art, Siobhan moved to Edinburgh in 2011, following Rory, her then boyfriend. She was initially doing freelance screen printing, before beginning work with Farrow and Ball in 2012. She is currently show manager and also does Home Colour Consultancy. Siobhan outlined how the first property the couple bought was a ‘beautiful’ Edwardian top floor, two bed apartment.

“After our first daughter Úna came along we felt like we could do with more space and our own garden etc. We really liked the area, good schools, local amenities, walking distance to town etc. We wanted to stay close by if possible. Funnily enough the house that backed onto our flat came on the market and we went along to see it. We wanted a project, somewhere we could put our own stamp on so it ticked all the boxes! We put an offer in and it was accepted. We sold our apartment within the week and never looked back!”

Siobhan started using Instagram while on maternity leave with Úna in 2016. She discovered a few influencers and mothers she enjoyed following and was ‘very much influenced by their lifestyle.’

“When we bought this house in July 2017 I set up my account ‘Homestead’. Initially I thought I could use it as a platform to advertise my screen printing. But life was too busy balancing work and a one- year-old, so instead I kept it as a renovation diary.

“In January 2019 I went off on maternity leave again to have Nora and this is when my account started to thrive. I had time to spend on it and so my content was improving. Never did I imagine it growing to 20k! I am now at just over 24.5 k & it is steadily growing.”

Siobhan said she’s ‘not sure’ why her account is so popular, but credited the rise of Instagram and people’s love for renovating their homes - and looking at others - as perhaps some of the reasons,

“I guess maybe because people are using Instagram more and more nowadays for inspiration. Homestead is a mix of interiors and lifestyle. So, I think a lot of people follow for interior design/children’s clothing and toys etc. I have been gifted a lot of clothing and soft toys for the girls in return for advertisement, as well as accessories for the home.

“I do receive a lot of DMs (Direct Messages) from followers asking for colour advice. I also receive a lot of questions regarding our flooring & sourcing furniture and soft furnishings.”

When asked if she has any tips for those hoping to renovate their home or just give it a bit of a new look, she stressed: “Take your time!”

“If you’re anything like me (indecisive) then I would say it is best to live in the property for a while before making any changes. You then get a feel for how you want to use each space and what changes need to be made to make it suit your lifestyle better. For us, knocking through the back two rooms to make an open plan kitchen/family dining area was life changing!

“The kitchen is the heart of the home and the most used space in the majority of homes. Make sure the space works for your family.”

While every room in her house is lauded by followers and the envy of many, Siobhan revealed her favourite room is Úna’s bedroom.

“I used Farrow & Ball Uppark wallpaper which has quite an old cottage feel about it. It’s such a delicate print and feels very girly. I have wanted to use it for quite a while. We also have a beautiful old metal bed in that room. I won it at auction last year for a steal! So it is a piece of furniture I am very pleased with. “

You can follow Siobhan on Instagram at ‘Home_stead’.