The New House / Before Tour

15th September 2016

Curate & Display blog Chatham house tour new home

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?

Curate & Display blog Chatham house tour new home

Living room from the dining room

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?

Curate & Display blog Chatham house tour new home

Looking into the dining room

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.

Curate & Display blog Chatham house tour new home

Curate & Display blog Chatham house tour new home

The kids are excited to share a bunk bed!

Curate & Display blog Chatham house tour new home

Master bedroom.

Curate & Display blog Chatham house tour new home

Yes, we have a purple wall in our bedroom.

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.

Curate & Display blog Chatham house tour new home

Mellow yellow, no thank you.

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.

Curate & Display blog Chatham house tour new home

Curate & Display blog Chatham house tour new home

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.

Curate & Display blog Chatham house tour new home

A new home for some of the plants. It’s always light in here too.

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…

Follow our progress using #TheChathamHouse on Instagram and follow Stories for regular updates. You can also see how we’re gathering ideas and inspiration on The Chatham House Pinterest board…

Photography © Tiffany Grant-Riley


Such great news, Tiddles✨ It already looks too good to be true with all these impressive fireplaces! I can’t wait to see the results ? Love, A. XO

Thank you Anastasia-we feel so very lucky to have found it and kept it 🙂 xx

Oh Tiff! It’s going to be so beautiful ?

I keep thinking of you when I’m in the garden-could do with a get-together and some gardening advice with you…x

Wow. It’s going to look stunning! Congratulations on your new home ☺️

Thank you Louisa, it’s all the emotions right now-relived, happy, daunted…x

Looks amazing already and I know you’ll make it into a stunning home. Huge congrats again! Xxx

Come and visit soon lieblings! xx

Congratulations! And what a beautiful building. It will look amazing, I’m sure! xx

Thanks Abi, trouble is, where to start and what to do?! x

Congratulations, it’s going to look amazing with your beautiful touch! Looking forward to seeing the progress and perhaps sharing the same DIY woes 😉 xxx

Congratulations Tiff. Very exciting. Can’t wait to see your transformation. x

Looks fab and I am soooo jealous (but also pleased) that you finally found a house. All I can hope is for one to turn up for us when we return from Australia! Looking forward to seeing what you do with it! (Cupboards on the pipe wall in your workspace perhaps? :-))

How fab, it looks gorgeous – as in: it will be even more gorgeous once you’re done with it – and I can’t wait to see what you’ll do with it. Congratulations!!! xo

Oh my. Oh my oh my oh my. It looks so good already, I can’t wait how amazing it will be once you start working your magic. I love that you’re planning a slow process, allowing to let the house tell you what it needs. While discovering what works best for your family. I can’t wait to come see it!!! Congratulations again!! xx

It’s wonderful, congratulations! I’m looking forward to seeing what you do with it. x

How gorgeous is this? Those floors! Sending so much love to you and your wonderful family, may you make many happy memories in your new home my love xxx

Congratulations!! Heaps and heaps of potential, definite diamond in the rough and I’m loving all the original features 😉 Can’t wait to see what you do to it! xx

What a promising canvas! Congratulations, lovely you!! If you need any renovation kit, we’re stumbling distance and have ‘all of the things’ for Victorian houses (by which I mean random esoteric tools and paints you look at and think “what the ‘eck is that for..?!”) including a special mop for lye-washing floors for the pale finish you mentioned…Oh, and the new Homebase ‘Hemsley’ range is about as close to Farrow & Ball mimicry without the spendy price-tag as paint comes. XX

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