When I got married I was told, “Getting married and moving house are the two most stressful times of your life.” And, as the wedding was so easy and not in the least bit stressful, I thought it would be same with buying a house. I was completely wrong. We had issues with mortgages, being let down by sellers… We even waited six months for a house before we gave up on it and then had three months worth of renovations to our current home! Luckily, we didn’t have to live in it. But there was a lot that needed to be done. So, I am finally able to show you my home before and after the work!
HALLWAY AND “CLOAKROOM”
As you can already tell, the decor was very dated. The house itself was absolutely spotless but nothing had been changed since it was purchased in the 1970s. So you can imagine how concerned we were about the plumbing etc. In all of the rooms we had the walls stripped back, replastered and painted. The railings on the stairs were removed and bannisters repainted. We replaced the downstairs flooring with white laminate. (Upstairs is carpeted as the dogs don’t go there!)
The downstairs toilet was completely cleared out. All of the plumbing in the house was reinstalled, with new piping, toilets and sinks. The old tiles were a nightmare to remove but we had them replaced with this gorgeous grey brick design. I’m also a big fan of the art deco mirror!
As the house was so old, we needed to entirely rewire it. Yeah, it was going to be a big job. One that I was incredibly worried about because it’s not a cheap task. Luckily Paul’s uncle is an electrician so he was able to remove the old wall lamps and replace them with downlighters in the ceiling. He also ran new wires for the plugs and TV cables.
Initially, I ummed and ahhed about the doors but eventually we decided to replace them throughout as we wanted everything new while we were having the work done. We did the same with the skirtings and door frames. They lasted all of ten minutes when the dogs got their teeth on them! But luckily, we were able to sand most of them down and repaint them. Dogs, eh?
It was important for me that – not only was the house gorgeous – but I wanted it to reflect mine and Paul’s personalities. We also wanted it to be homely and suitable for the dogs. I wanted book shelves to fill up some wall space decorated with small plants and bookends. I chose Alice in Wonderland ones as I am obsessed with the story so it was the perfect option.
We chose the coffee table not only because it’s gorgeous but because wood would’ve only attracted the dogs to chewing. Marble and metal were the ideal choices.
The art prints are from Not on the High Street and I love the style, especially the typography. We chose places we’ve visited and got frames from Ikea (nice and cheap). The dining room has Venice and Paris (not pictured) but we are also hoping to get a few more.
Paul and I like our movies and TV shows, so Paul insisted we had a sound system in the house. Not only is it great for surround sound during films, but we also use Sonos around the house so we can listen to music in different rooms. I was doubtful that it would be worth it but we’ve used it from day one. The dogs get to listen to music throughout the day while I am in my office listening to something different. It’s pretty awesome.
Also in the living room, you may have noticed that massive TV. Again, chosen by Paul. Watching a film now is a totally new experience. And there’s nothing I love more than snuggling up on the couch, candles burning as we watch a film with the dogs snoring away.
This might just be my favourite room. We wanted something that was traditional, light and with lots of storage. And we got that. We designed our kitchen with Wren Kitchens, who helped us customise each aspect of our kitchen simply by using the measurements we gave them. A designer sat with us and showed us different designs, accessories and colour schemes. And this is what we came up with!
Our kitchen worktops have a granite effect but are actually Quartz, as granite is much more expensive and shows water staining. The sink is a butler sink with a dishwasher integrated into one of the cupboards. I love it. Luckily, Paul’s parents knew an installer, so we were able to get good quality workmanship.
The old kitchen was pretty disgusting in terms of design. I guess green was very trendy in the seventies? Like with the bathroom, everything had to be stripped back with new plumbing and heating. A gas oven was installed as were a new washing machine and tumble dryer. Now, with the tumble dryer we did have a few issues with the kitchen layout as we would’ve needed an air vent. However, this one is a condenser dryer so all of the water goes into a tank. Handy!
DINING ROOM & DOG’S ROOM
What I love about the dining room is that it leads straight out into the garden. Sadly, the rubbish weather and workmen leaving tools on the lawn has killed the grass. Hopefully this will change by the summer, but for now it means I need to leave towels by the door for the dogs. “That’s your because of your stupid colour choice,” you might be saying. But the white helps reflect light, making the rooms feel brighter and bigger. Not to mention that it also makes it easier to spot grubbiness.
The dining room doubles up as an extension to the dog’s room during the day. They spend their time sleeping in the dining room when we’re out or working. Otherwise they are with us in the living room. At night we close the dogs in their bedroom.
Things in the house are bound to change but I love my home. It’s exactly how I pictured it when we started designing it. This is my bubble of happiness and I am so happy that everything else occurred the way it did or else we wouldn’t have this beautiful home, now.
Have you recently moved or redesigned your home? Or are you simply a fan of interior design? Tell us below what you would have done differently!