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Woman’s decorating leaves £250,000 cottage ‘unsellable’ – now she’s doing up an AirBnB

An eccentric artist who struggled to sell her own home due to its brightly decorated walls has given up on selling – and launched her own AirBnB instead.

Potter and colour fanatic Mary Rose Young hit headlines in 2020 after sharing her quirky house which she had struggled to sell as buyers were ‘put off’ by the bright walls and patterned décor.

Since buying the property for just £30,000 in 1987, the 64-year-old has spent decades decorating every available inch with dazzling colours and patterns, including polka dot floors and stripy ceilings.

The Gloucestershire home was then put on the market in 2014 for £250,000, but Mary Rose and husband Phil Butcher failed to find a buyer, leaving estate agents “in despair”.

Refusing to change their style, the couple have since decided to stay put in their unusual abode, which she says is her “life’s work” and doubles up as a workspace and gallery for her pottery business.

She described her and her husband as like “living in a doll’s house” amongst the spectrum of stripes and spots.

The décor also includes her own art, such as the patterned ceramic chandelier which took her hours to craft.

The staircase meanwhile has been studded with colourful dots and adorned with a bright blue bannister, and her kitchen adorned with a pink worktop, checked tiles and floral wallpaper.

The news saw Mary Rose inundated with requests from people around the world wanting a tour round the house and even requesting to use it for backdrops for music videos.

But the couple have now invested in a second home in their Forest of Dean village of Lydney to rent as a holiday let, which Mary Rose says will be ‘even brighter’ once finished.

Kitchen units have been painted in a vibrant lime green and fitted with red handles, while the dining room has been decked out in candy stripes and a cobalt blue dresser.

“I’ve already started cheering it up with pink, green and yellow and some stripes,” she said.

“Next on my list is to do the floors and do a really thorough job re-decorating the bathroom. There’s some really creative stuff I want to do.”

An artist who sells colourful pottery herself, Mary Rose has also fitted the AirBnB with a patterned ceramic chandelier similar to one in her own home which she painstakingly crafted herself.

“Painting rooms in my bright colours inspires me – it’s something I can stand back and look at and keep rather than selling to my customers.”

Due to the cottage’s Grade-II listed status however, Mary Rose won’t be able to extend her colourful additions to the exterior.

Guests have already been flocking to stay at the unusual let, which she said she hopes appeals to younger fans of Alice in Wonderland and Dr Seuss.

“Families have been staying there over the summer and the kids have loved it,” she said.

But despite the swathes of fans Mary Rose’s eclectic homes have garnered, not everybody is a fan of the bright décor.

“I’ve had people messaging me telling me to ‘grow up’ and ‘stop ruining homes’. I think they hit the nail on the head really – because I don’t want to grow up,” she added.

“Everything has become so grey and minimalist now. You’ve got to keep your inner child alive.”