So I have some news. It’s been the hardest thing to keep under wraps these past few months with a few ups and downs and a lot of nail biting, but now we’re out of the woods I can say…we have a house! And breathe…We were first to see it when it came onto the market back in June, first to put in an offer straight after the viewing, have it accepted and then rejected a week later, only to be offered it back another four weeks on from that. Emotional roller-coaster is a complete understatement, but it was worth it, because this was the only place that ticked 99.9% of the boxes, and we have some interesting requirements with us both working from home. And the crazy number of large plants we have. Oh, and the children and cat, of course.
The house is a beautiful late Victorian build with three bedrooms just up the road from where we are now, in Chatham. Thankfully, as far as the nasty historical interior updates go, this house has narrowly escaped most of them. Beyond the 70s foam coving in the upstairs rooms and gloss painted anaglypta wallpaper in the hallway, we are relieved that most of the pinewood flooring has been restored along with some of the sash windows. That said, where would the fun be in writing an interior design blog if I didn’t say that we’re staring down the barrel of a lot of decorating. Come on now. Earlier last week I went up to the house to take a few shots and strip walls. Would you like a tour?
I absolutely love this space, the front of the house gets a lot of light although it gets gradually moodier the further in you go. It’ll take some getting used to from where we’re living now and I’m not sure white is going to work quite so well in every room, but that’s part of the fun, right?
We’re moving in at the end of October but aside from the kids room and maybe ours and Rob’s office room (not pictured), not much else is going to be done until then. You don’t realise how much time things take until you move in and really look and we want to live in the house for a while so we can decide how we want to use each room. Eventually, we’re going to sand back the floors again, stain them with a white oil to give them a paler look and seal them with a semi-matt wax. A mammoth job, but I’m happy to do it.
So for now I’m focusing mainly on this room which will be the children’s. I’ve since stripped the wallpaper off and removed the coving and shelving ready for re-skimming in a couple of weeks. The carpet will come up, floors sanded back and painted.
In keeping with the bright colour theme, the bathroom is yellow. Eeeesh. We’re definitely keeping the bath (painting the feet black) but we’d like to change the floor and other units as they have a traditional Victorian feel.
At the end of the hallway is the kitchen which has a sweet window looking into the yard. And eventually we’ll completely rip out the units and plan the layout from scratch, although we love the old open shelving in the corner. It looks like those cupboard doors above the sink were repurposed from something else in the house, no idea what but the previous owner said they’d been here a very long time.
This room is what will be my workspace. Yes, there’s a sink in it and a naff cupboard which houses the boiler. I think there were plans to convert it into a downstairs toilet but never happened. The floor is sloping and needs levelling. As I don’t think I can remove those pipes, I’m considering covering them with a false plywood wall so they can still be accessed if need be. And maybe soft grey walls? Stay with me on this one. Through that orange pine door (not staying) is the sun room. The floor will also need to be replaced along with the windows, but it’s not top of the list right now. Eventually I’d love a real urban jungle in there to sit with and look out onto the garden. When we get round to it.
So there we have it. Heaps of potential and heaps of work. Looking forward to sharing our journey of renovation, decoration and DIYs with you and all those in-depth conversations over paint. I’m not even kidding…
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Photography © Tiffany Grant-Riley