New House Tour: Part 2

Hello readers!
It’s time to continue my house tour. There are three floors and we’ve done the ground so lets go upstairs…

The stairs are lovely and wide and have a half turn in them on the way up, with a half landing. The first bedroom you come to is the back bedroom, or as I call it, the blue room. This is above the kitchen and has room enough for a decent double as a guest room, or will hopefully one day be the nursery! It’s already decorated in a dusty blue so we fortunately have bedding and curtains (the ones from Francesca’s old room,) all ready for it in the meantime. It the time these pictures were taken it was just a junk room, and had all the study stuff in there which we have now relocated upstairs. My Scandinavian armoire is also in there currently – something else I’m not sure where we’ll put!

Once we had cleared the boxes we used it as a guest room last weekend when Pete’s family came to stay and it looked half decent!

Next is the bathroom, and a separate toilet, that we’ll probably knock together in time. Having a separate loo is great if there’s not another one, as it relieves pressure on the bathroom, but as we do have another, the space would be better utilised for a separate bath and shower. The tiles really aren’t my choice, but it has a claw foot bath and rain shower which are nice. As a result it’s going to be a long way down the priority list and I can’t see us changing it within 3 years.

Carrying on around, our bedroom is next, above the lounge. This is probably the most tired room decor wise and fairly high on our priority list. I can’t wait to decorate it but as with most other rooms there are large jobs within the renovation which make it costly, like restoring the windows.

We also plan to knock through into the space above the hall, which (accessed from the landing,) was used as an office. We don’t need it for that and I happen to think it’ll make a great walk in wardrobe. 😉

The other room at the front is Francesca’s room. Painted a rather strong red that wouldn’t be so bad if not for the addition of the highlighted red cornice (the thought of the hours it will take to paint over that makes me feel ill!) we’re not going to redecorate while Francesca’s in it, so as not to disrupt her again, and I haven’t really got any fixed ideas for this space either. It’s a lot lighter than this picture looks now without the boxes blocking the window!

On the top floor there are another three rooms. When the previous owners bought the property many years ago, it had been in three flats and the back room, (above the blue room,) was the kitchen and bathroom for that flat.

As a result there is a newly updated and practically brand new ensuite in a rather awkward position, leaving a room that is only good for an office really. We talked about making the whole room a bathroom, but it would mean losing a bedroom and would make for a rather large bathroom, basically for guests.

Instead, I think we’ll end up relocating the ensuite to one of the other rooms, where even if we stole some extra space they would still be double bedrooms. I’d also like to make it accessible from the hall rather than as an ensuite, then it’s available for all the people on that floor to use.

2 more rooms are at the front of the house – one I call the ‘L-shaped room’ which will become a guest suite with a sleeping area, small sofa and table, tv and storage. It currently has old fitted wardrobes in that need ripping out and it’s likely we’ll have to retrofit insulation by taking down the ceiling. Currently as there are rooms in the attic space, there is no insulation and you can hear the rain on the roof so loudly it makes me worry about how thin the ceiling is!

The last room is above ours and probably the one destined to have some space stolen from it for that relocated bathroom. With the built in cupboards taken out again, there will still be space for another guest bed, or we will probably make this our office with a pull out sofa bed.

So that’s it! As you can see, we were very lucky in that everything has been maintained very soundly, but we’ve got three floors of renovation ahead of us, before we even get started on the garden! Right now, we’re trying to decide where to start – we’d love to get on with the bedroom, but we’re currently waiting on ballpark figures for the kitchen renovation which will dictate what we can and can’t do financially before then.

It’s also good to live in the house. I really feel we shouldn’t do anything until after Christmas, but we have a week of leave in November that Pete’s itching to get going on the house in. I’m going to use the weeks before Christmas to get quotes on everything and see what we’re in for, and more importantly, pull together some mood boards to share our plans with you guys!

I hope you enjoyed the tour. If anyone knows anything about retrofitting insulation, I’d love to hear! I’ve heard you can possibly get government grants for this as it’s energy saving?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS Once again please excuse the photo’s – they are a mix of hurried iPhone shots the day after we moved in and some Instagram updates since of slightly more organised rooms. I hope you get the gist! Still no camera cable 🙁

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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