Buying our home was an easy one for me. As an estate agent I see the pick of property everyday so when I spotted the double fronted victorian semi; close to where we were already living, I knew it was the one for us.
As soon as we stepped inside this place we loved it! It had lots of character thanks to the high
ceilings, original mouldings and the bedrooms were all doubles which was perfect.
It wasn’t the finished article by any means and although it had been loved at some stage, nothing much had been done to it for many years- But it meant we could put our own stamp on the place.
First on our to do list was replacing the damp course, re-wiring and re-plastering. Fortunately we were able to live in our old home until that work was completed ( also this was pre-baby).
Then the decorating started:
Our hallway may look original but those tiles are actually far from it. We added these bright victorian style geometric tiles and although it went a little over budget i’m so glad we did it. Our hall can be quite dark so it keeps it light and airy and its the first thing people see when they come into your home. We also added panelling to the sides of the walls to retain as much character and I feel these two touches compliment the victorian high ceilings and the original corbels. I love radiator cabinets, and I think it makes a big difference to this area.. although its also a dumping ground for the car keys !! We stripped the stairs and replaced some of the steps, before painting white and adding a stair runner ( carpet is Brinton’s )
This is our adult space. No kids allowed in here, we retire to this room once the boys are down in bed.
Originally this room had carpet so we put down a natural wooden floor in a similar mahogany shade to the original fireplace. We painted the walls in Laura Ashley Amethyst paint which has a warm yet not overpowering feel to it and complimented all our cream, pink and plum furnishings.
I love to paint below the picture rail only, and keep the top white, I feel it adds more height to the ceilings and highlights the original cornicing even more ( which we also painted white). The ceiling had three large spotlights and so we removed and plastered over those and added a chandelier to the centre of the room.
The fireplace we kept as I adore it.. We just added a wooden trim round the edges. The little cabinet to the left is the electricity box ( not ideal) .. but I got a joiner to make a bespoke cabinet that was similar to our radiator cabinets in the room and I’m very happy with it now.
This space was a very damp room when we first bought the house. After stripping the walls back to allow for a new damp proof course to be installed. We lined the walls and repainted in a soft pastel green.
Again, it had carpet so we installed wooden floors and also kept above the picture rails white to emphasise the height in the ceilings. The cornicing took quite a few coats of paint to cover the dark blue but we got there in the end.
This room was a small room on its own. We have now opened it out ( extended ) to make a kitchen/ living dining room.
Its painted in a soft white as I doesnt get much light, but I quite like it this way and I’ve added pops of colour with upcycled painted furniture in different shades…
This was the room until recently….The table and chairs were all cream. I decided to repaint them to add a touch more colour to the room. I went for French Chic paint as having tried all the chalk paints out there ( believe me – I have) .. this one is the best. They are solvent free and have no overpowering smell, they also dry super quick and are hard wearing.
I painted the table in Parchment Trim paint, then the four chairs, in Ducky, Bon Bon, Green with Envy and stone in love. Im really pleased with how its turned out. I used their finishing coat too, which ensures it lasts against any spillages etc.
Our kitchen use to be a small U shape. When we extended it meant we could add an island which we went for with a quartz worktop ( we didn’t want anymore wood and marble was too pricey) . The wooden worktops on the other units look great but they are a nightmare either side of the kitchen sink ( we learn from our mistakes!). We didn’t have a huge budget for the kitchen and kept it very neutral.. I added some floral tiles and my pride and joy is my pink smeg .. which I am just realising isn’t in the photos below !! I will have to photograph it and add it in later.
Casual living :
This area is our day time living area, a space where the kids can play and make a bit of a mess. I went for hard wearing furnishings and the furniture is all up cycled so it can be repainted when needed. This space was previously a patio area but we extended it.. which is why I have no before photos.
I loved decorating Bertie’s nursery. Im a massive fan of coordinating and so decided on Clarke and Clarke dotty fabric as the main focus. Soft blue hues and lots of polkadots and pom pops for our first born. Originally this room had a lot of fitted furniture which was practical but a bit unsightly.. so we ripped that out and installed a few free standing pieces from Ikea instead. The bed canopy is from Ikea , I took off the multi coloured bunting that came with it and added matching Clarke& Clarke fabric bunting to coordinate.
George’s room :
My husband Chris wasn’t keen on ripping out more built in furniture. This time round I had to make do with what I had. I decided to repaint the cabinets cream and added some wallpaper to break up the built in shelves – making them a little more playful .I went for gingham check in George’s room.. a timeless classic for little boys I think. Dispite spending a small fortune on the curtains and pelmet in Bertie’s room, we used ready made curtains in Georges’s room ( Laura Ashley) and then made a pelmet quite easily with extra fabric. You can read more about this room make over on the Laura Ashley blog who I worked with on this project – here
I don’t think your ever finished, especially in a 100 year old house.. something is always needing done. Also not sure if this will be our forever home, but ill leave that to another blog post.