New House Tour: Part 1

The truth is, I don’t know where to start with this post. There’s so much to show and so much to tell that it’s hard to know where to begin. I’ve decided to divide the house into 2 halves and then I’m going to do a few room specific posts with mood boards and tell you about our plans. I can’t count the number of people who have said ‘You’ve got mood boards right?’ and in all honesty, I haven’t! Ok, I have vague overall ideas and themes in mind but the detail is only just becoming clearer in my mind. It’s amazing how living in a house changes your ideas and plans and in the mere week that we’ve been in so much has changed in my mind already.

*Please bear with the photo’s – I can’t find my camera cable yet and these were all taken on my iPhone the weekend we moved in.

So, lets get the basics out there. The house is old, a true Victorian house, built in 1898. Super old. And it’s big. Remember my dream house post a few weeks back? Well one of the things we wanted in the new house was space for people to stay – namely our families. Neither of our families are local and we’d like a chance at hosting Christmas without people driving one year, and the ability to have both sets of grandparents at once for example when we have a family. The new house has 3 floors, 4 if you count the cellars, and hence a few bedrooms. It has Pete’s stipulations of a drive and a garage (a monstrosity of a double one actually, soon to meet the sledge hammer.)

It doesn’t have everything though, and I’ll talk you through that as we go around, but we’re very happy already – it almost feels like we have always been here. We’re planning on being here for 10ish years – right now the only thing we can see making us move is schooling decisions, as the secondary schools locally are currently not great, but I’m not a fan of the idea of private schooling, so we’ll see.

Let’s start with the ground floor…

There’s a lovely wide hall and the original stained glass door, after the open porch. The hall is an L-shape, turning 90 degrees to the left when you walk further in. That left turn takes you up the stairs or alongside them towards the kitchen, but we’ll get there in a second.

At the front of the house, there are 2 equal sized rooms off the hall. We’ve chosen one as the living room, with a big bay window and what they call an ‘oriel window’ with more stained glass to the side. It looks pretty murky from outside, but inside it reveals it’s true colours, all sorts of gorgeous pastel shades. So pretty.


The other front room is going to be the dining room. The window is different here, with 2 large flat windows in a kind of slight rectangular bay. it juts out a bit but is flat with no side windows if that makes sense.

Sadly neither room has any original fireplaces, but the cornice, picture rails, skirtings and doors are all original, as is the stained glass. Both the rooms are fairly recently carpeted and neutrally decorated, so whilst the cream is driving me mad, it’s also a lot less offensive than it potentially could be. Over-all the house is all very well kept and we’re fortunate in that everything that has been done, has been done properly. As you can see we were also lucky in that the previous owners left the curtains and light fittings, so we’re not dealing with bare bulbs or scrambling for ‘in the mean time’ curtains.

Also off the hall is the downstairs toilet (I know, how exciting is that?) which is lovely. There’s room for coats (behind the door) in built-in frosted glass floor to ceiling cupboards, a new toilet and sink and the walls are half clad in tongue and groove wood, with cream damask wallpaper above. On a practical level, it’s great to have somewhere to hide away the cats litter tray too!

Lastly, we have the kitchen – source of much angst in the exchange process and hampered by our monster pipe. Because of the awkward layout, the previous owners described the tiny back room as the kitchen and it’s where the oven, hob, half size dishwasher and sink are all squeezed into.

The larger space is billed as ‘the breakfast room’ and has a run of units, some original built in cupboards and the fridge/freezer is concealed under the worktops here. All the appliances and the lack of cupboards makes for a serious lack of storage and we were quite lucky in the old house having a galley kitchen lined with cupboards both sides top and bottom. There’s also a lack of worktop space, or maybe we just have too many gadgets?

We bought a little dresser from the previous owners, (amongst other things) which we’re using for extra storage and I intend to paint and pretty up. The windows look out the the garden and there’s a back door (which is a stable door) and I actually quite love, plus it’s handy for keeping the cats in whilst getting some air in.

So that’s one quarter of the house, and another whole quarter is below ground in the cellars. I’ve never been a fan of cellars or coveted them, although a lot of people seem quite in love with the idea (men particularly.)

Ours match the entire footprint of the house so there are two empty chambers at the front, space where the hall would be, a workshop beneath the downstairs loo and another empty chamber under the kitchen. To the far rear in the area beneath our strange tiny kitchen, there’s plumbing for the washer (and a dryer which we don’t currently have,) as a pseudo utility room. And under the hall, shelving makes for an extension of the kitchen in a dry store come pantry area.

I don’t have any cellar pictures as yet. What I will say is that it’s fab to have space to store things that isn’t a dusty loft and there will be plenty of space to do diy projects in winter without messing up the house.

I’ll leave it there for now and come back next week with the first and second floors, it’s a warren up there! I hope you like it 🙂

Love,
Rebecca
xo

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35 thoughts on “New House Tour: Part 1

  1. Oh Rebecca, & Pete, it’s wonderful. Looking forward to seeing all your plans & developments, but more importantly wishing you the loveliest times.

  2. It’s gorgeous…..when can I move in??

    Living in military housing has really made me miss decorating and planning what to do with rooms (and being able to choose a house!) so I’m really looking forward to seeing all your plans. So exciting. I hope it brings you many many years of happiness

    xx

  3. Wow – what a great house. That stained glass is beautiful and though it is already stunning I can’t wait to see what you do to it as you have such an eye for interiors! It is all so exciting!

  4. OMG! I’m in house love. I have house envy! I love it so so so much! Those windows?!? That hallway?!? The double frontage?!? The potential! The space! It’s just so beeeoooootiful!

    And the cellars?! Are you kidding me? I just died of jealousy! My friend turned her cellars in to an amazing second living room, office space, shower room, spare room and even put a mini hair salon down there (she’s a part time hair stylist). A little bit of Sarah Beeny creativity with the lighting/glass stairs/bannisters/frosted glass ceilings in to the kitchen and it’s an amazing space down there. So jealous!

    • I spent a fair bit of time yesterday googling basement conversions but man are they expensive! (To be fair, I already knew!) Ours are so large it would be a massive job to convert them and a lot of £££.

      In my dreams however, I’m seeing a proper utility room, gym, cinema/playroom… maybe one day!

  5. It’s beautiful!! Congratulations! I can’t wait to see all your updates on what you’ve done with it. So exciting!!!

  6. Your house is so beautiful! Looking forward to seeing and hearing more and wishing you many years of happiness in your new home! x

  7. Wow! What a wonderful house! I am slightly jealous that it all looks in such good condition, giving you plenty of time to work out what you want to do with the space.

    Our Victorian house was in a pretty bad way went we moved in and nothing had been done properly by the previous owners, so we really had to start from scratch.

    I can’t wait to see the rest of house and what you do with it. Always great to get inspiration from a fellow Victorian restorer!

    C x

    C x

  8. Thank you everyone!

    If I’m honest, I’m a bit paralysed with indecision on where to start. It’s the living room or the bedroom first, probably the bedroom, but the thought of all the upheaval after the move when we’re only just settled is pretty daunting.

    We have an architect coming tonight about the kitchen so once we have some costs we’ll be in a better position to prioritise.

    Those lovely windows will need replacing at some point too but I am terrified they might damage the stained glass in the process of preserving it – they’ll be encased I think in new hardwood double glazed units.

  9. What a gorgeous house, Rebecca – such lovely bones, great light, and a happy vibe. I’ll be interested to see what your architect comes up with… My advice on the decorating front is just to live in the house and enjoy it for a while, see how the light changes as the days get darker, and in particular (I wish someone had told me this!) see how cold it gets when the temperatures really start to drop. You may find you need to retrofit insulation in some rooms and it would be a pain to have to rip out newly painted or wallpapered plaster to do that…

  10. Wow! It looks amazing, I have serious house envy!! I just love those windows! Can’t wait to see what you do with the house. We’re looking to move next year, so I’m getting very in to interiors and all things house ahead of time, so will be following with interest! (Sadly, we can only dream of such space in SW London) xx

  11. I actually took my lunch break today and decided to sit at my desk and slowly read this post (slowly because I wanted to savour every last photo!) What an exciting new chapter for you and Pete.

    We have friends who are planning on tanking their cellar soon and we’ve heard just how much it costs – wow! It doesn’t look like you’re short on space though, so you have all of those 10 years to save the pennies to have it converted if you want to!

    Really looking forward to seeing more pictures and hearing about your plans for your kitchen – god, I love a kitchen!!

    enjoy!

    Rach x

  12. Wow, its gorgeous, well worth the last minute stress. I have serious hallway envy too. Seeing the room makeovers you posted on your previosu house, I have a feeling that this house will be seriously stunning by the time you’ve finished. Wishing you much happiness in your gorgeous new abode x

  13. Stunning house! I adore older properties they have so much character and charm about them. Wishing you many happy years in your new home. I expect you’ll probably never want to leave it actually 🙂

  14. Wow, what a stunning house – the front door and hallway is just beautiful, all that stained glass! Can’t wait to see more pics and your plans for the place.

  15. OMG Rebecca, I have such house envy, it looks like it is going to be the most amazing place for you both. Many, many congratulations! I have always dreamt of owning one of those huge red-brick Victorian houses in West Didsbury / Chorlton ever since I was a student there 20 years ago and started to covet them. I still haven’t managed to get one, so now I am going to live my dream through your blog updates 🙂

    ps – plenty of room for a dog, as well as cats, in there 😉 x

  16. Oh I’ve been waiting for this and it doesn’t disappoint!! The windows are stunning but I also really like the downstairs toilet- have always been a fan of tongue/groove! Personally I like the neutrals but I know they’re not for everyone. Really looking forward to seeing the rest of it. Enjoy your planning etc!

  17. It really is a gorgeous home – I am sure you’re hugging yourself with glee every time you walk in the front door at the moment! It’s great that it looks so good that you can take your time in stamping your own personalities on it and I look forward to many posts showing you doing just that!

  18. How fab is this house! Oh I’m so looking forward
    To how your going to make this gorgeous house
    Into your family home.
    I know your going to make it special, you’ve got
    A natural touch with these things: especially
    After seeing your fab ideas with your friends
    “Hen do” I know it’s going to outstanding!
    Congrats again to you and my lovely gp “dr orris”
    In my 3 year old sons words hahaa xxxxx

  19. Gorgeous house! Have fun getting to know it. The light will make such a difference to what you decide to do with it. All the best with you planning.

  20. I too was waiting for this and it’s amazing!! Green with envy ! I need to persuade the hubs to hotfoot it up north so we can get a house with this much space as you would be looking at 1 million
    Plus down here!!

    Can’t wait for more posts! Hugest congratulations lovely xx

  21. Please don’t write off Chorlton’s secondary schools before you’ve even had a baby! Chorlton High has been an excellent choice for both my children, and others say Loreto High (if you’re catholic) is on the up.

  22. Gees Becs!! Ive just spent 2 hours reading all about your trials and tribs….I’m thinking we’l just stay here!! On the plus sie your house is gorge and I particularly like the wallpaper in the hall xx WE NEED TO MEET SOON x mwah x

  23. What a truly amazing house! And such a Fab place for
    bea to grow up in, and hopefully many more babies xxx

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