The colours hit you when you walk through the door. Walls, chairs and light fittings scream rich, blood red, while huge sofas and stripy curtains beam bright, candy pink. It’s not the most obvious of pairings. But in Lucy Crack’s home, it works.

“It’s nice to have fun in a house and not to be afraid to use colour. Most people would say I was quite brave, although I’m not always in other people’s houses. But if I can’t do it in my own, there’s something wrong,” says mother-of-two and interior designer Lucy.

And then she points to the Andy Warhol-style painting that pulls it all together: large, bright red strawberries on bold coloured squares, one of which is pink. The couple bought it on holiday in the Italian lakes, when she was pregnant with their first child.

“I absolutely had to come home with it. That’s where it all started from,” says Lucy, who advises clients to take something they love and want to keep, whether it’s a painting or a rug or a vase and work their whole colour scheme around it.

She and her husband, financial advisor Alastair, who have two children, Nicola, five, and Edward, three, moved into the 1930s detached four-bedroom home in Harrogate nearly three years ago.

When they took it on many of the original features were hidden. It had dull, worn carpets, ugly fireplaces and a small, dark, tired kitchen: “It was old-fashioned, nothing had been done to it since the 1960s. But that was ideal for me, I was able to make a difference,” says Lucy.

“Deep down it was a lovely, solid family home in a nice area, close to a park, shops and good schools. Six of us wanted it and it sold within three days. Decent houses like this don’t come up very often in Harrogate.”

As well as knocking down walls and totally rewiring and replumbing the house, they had to put in a new boiler, new bathrooms and a new kitchen.

They only had ten weeks to do the major structural work before they had to move out of their former house, a three-storey semi in the town, which meant they had to live in chaos.

When they moved into their new home, they had no running water and just one outside tap. Walls were bare plaster and they had no cooker and no bathroom.

“This was the first time we have had to renovate a house with children,” says Lucy, who had to ask neighbours if they would let her use their bathroom for a few weeks: “We are really good friends now,” she laughs.

Although the house was in a state, Lucy insisted on having one room completed so that they had somewhere calm and orderly to retreat to at the end of the day. Elsewhere, walls had been knocked out in the family bathroom to make it bigger, the back door and a window had been moved and the old kitchen made into a utility room.

Chimney breasts on two floors had been removed and the wall between the morning room and breakfast room knocked out to create one large dining kitchen. Then the conservatory was demolished to make way for a kitchen extension and a window removed where the cooker now is.

“We had no flushing toilets, we had to use buckets. But that was good for me, the builders knew I was serious about our deadline, we were moving in and it had to be finished,” says Lucy.

“It is a great team of people I work with. They used to say: ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day but if Lucy was doing it she would have given it a really good go’.”

Lucy, who lived in London before moving to Harrogate, grew up in a family that moved frequently: “My parents were always doing houses up. I grew up seeing them do it and now I really enjoy doing it. I love doing it for other people, I enjoy every project.

“This is our sixth house together and it is our biggest project. Eventually we would like to build our own house, but finding the right place is a problem, we love it so much in this area.”

She confesses she is a serial mover: “I don’t get attached to houses. I could move tomorrow, it wouldn’t bother me.”

Originally from Leeds, she had worked in promotions for a number of radio stations until she was made redundant by Virgin Radio and went to college in London to re-train as an interior designer.

“Organising sponsorship and promotions for people, doing something interesting with their product, isn’t very different from the work I do now, listening to clients and trying to work out what is going to work for them.”

One of the most rewarding jobs she has done involved decorating a bedsit for a young man with disabilities and learning difficulties living in a care home.

She only had a budget of £2,500 but was determined to transform his environment: “He doesn’t go out, everything happens in his three-metre by two-metre room. His whole world is in this room.

“I brightened it up, as he is visually impaired, using bold wallpaper and images of cars, which he loves. I wanted to inject a bit of the outside world into his small, box room, and I zoned it to create different areas. You don’t need to make any money on something like that.

“Whatever it is, I can honestly say I have enjoyed every project I have ever done. Some designers say, ‘this is my look, if you buy into me you get my look’. I talk to somebody and find out what they like, although I might inject a bit of me. Often people say, ‘That is just the way I wanted it done but I didn’t know it’.

“Everybody lives in a house differently, no two rooms are the same. The flow of this house is exactly how I wanted it to be.”

Sitting in her huge, open-plan kitchen/diner/family room, she can’t help feeling pleased: “I love this family space. It is exactly what I wanted.” She points to two little wooden mice bikes: “I always wanted somewhere the children could whizz round on their scooters and they do.”

One thing that is missing from her kitchen is a kettle. As she makes a cup of coffee using a nifty little tap which releases a constant supply of filtered, boiled water, she highlights one of the perils of being a designer: “I keep getting things for clients and thinking, ‘Oh, I am going to have to have one of those,” she says.

She can’t resist showing me her main taps, which have an integral lighting system that glows blue when the water is cold, red when hot. “I love these gadgets, they’re absolutely brilliant,” she says.

It is all the little, well-thought-out details that makes her kitchen so special. The units are semi-bespoke with doors made in pippy oak by a local joiner to match some bought off-the-shelf: “It keeps the cost down,” she says.

Her worktops are in a subtle, matt black fossil granite with a contrasting travertine limestone floor.

She found buying two identical ovens and putting them in side by side, with the handles turned round, was much cheaper than buying a large kitchen range: “It’s more cost-effective and it does exactly what I want,” she says.

Lucy certainly has an eye for bargains and buys most of her light fittings from Bhs: “They are absolutely brilliant,” she says. “I buy stuff from everywhere, Ikea and Matalan are brilliant too. And the pottery in the bathrooms isn’t expensive, I haven’t gone mad.”

She points to a realistic-looking tall orchid in the corner: “That is my best bargain ever, it was only £50 but it looks great and lasts for ever.”

Even her pink sofas were bought, ex-display, along with a footstool and chair for just £450: “The shop couldn’t wait to get rid of them, I think it was the colour,” she says. “But I love it, it is fun.”

Her downstairs toilet is also a riot of pink, contrasting with the tasteful creams and off-whites of the hall: “I always go mad with downstairs loos, inject a bit of fun. You can be really brave here.”

Lucy has retained as many original features as she could. The hallway, particularly, with its stylish coving and deep skirting boards, has got a lovely period feel. Although there are modern, glass inserts in the stairway, the carved wooden posts have been retained: “I love to mix contemporary and traditional,” she says.

In the main family living room, the cream colour scheme grew from the leather sofas the couple bought when they first married. But Lucy has livened it up by adding touches of gold, particularly on the walls, where she created a hand-painted scheme.

Modern art on the walls, including a portrait of a dog, a colourful, splashy heart and landscapes, all also have touches of gold: “We love our art, that is one of our things,” she says.

All the toys are kept in a playroom at the end of the sitting room: “I am not minimalistic, clutter is a part of everyday life, but I don’t like stuff everywhere,” says Lucy, who confesses that she likes to hide everything.

Upstairs, a guest bedroom and bathroom, with stunning matt grey tiles which Lucy picked up cheaply as they were leftover stock, look like something out of a boutique hotel.

The children’s bedrooms are colourful, livened up by painted furniture with quirky, hand-cut star and butterfly-shaped door and drawer handles.

The family are now enjoying living in their home now that it is, at last, complete. But Lucy isn’t one to rest for long: The garden is my next challenge,” she says.