Welcome to our house and ‘work-in-progress’ renovation project. We’re currently 90% the way through the mammoth task of dragging an extremely dated 1930’s semi-detached house in Brighton kicking and screaming into the 21st century. We bought the house in 2016 and it’s been dust, sweat and tears ever since.
For those that are new around here or if you’ve already taken an interest in our renovation we thought our blog readers would appreciate a tour done through the medium of GIFs, I mean we usually do our house tours through the medium of interpretative dance but we don’t think that works so well via a website (same tumbleweed as telling bad jokes).
First up, we’re in the hallway.
We swapped that psychedelic carpet for a durable, soft under foot cream number and never looked back. In one breath, we wish we’d kept some of the psychedelic carpet to floor the under stair cupboard, for the memories. But in another breath, when it finally got ripped up all we wanted to do was burn it! 😂
The plastic, glass and… wait for it… leather (!!) front door gave us so much grief when we first moved in. We had to literally kick it to open it. One of the first jobs we did was replace the front door with a sturdy oak and stained glass profile which did make the hallway darker, but gave us a lot more privacy. Shortly after we installed heating, and ripped out those god awful storage heaters which weighed more than my body weight!!
The stained glass window we inherited, and it’s perhaps the only thing in the house we’re keeping!
The Living Room
Now into the living room. The living room renovation went through a few different phases and now it’s complete, we couldn’t be happier. It’s one of the areas of the house we wanted to focus efforts in built in storage - so we worked with a local carpenter to design bespoke alcove shelving to house our wood stack, TV, Sonos sound bar, and lighting.
Over by the window, another storage heater got the boot and we decided to utilise the curved bay window area to position a 2 seater sofa, so that when our families pop round to visit, there’s space for everyone to sit. I made these 300cm drop curtains, and while they aren’t quite what I want in here (shutters are calling!) they serve as a really practical solution for privacy when it gets dark.
The Kitchen Diner
Moving into the kitchen diner. When we first started our open plan kitchen diner renovation (the biggest project so far on the house) we were adamant in keeping light flowing right through the house from the back door, to the right dining room window and into the hallway. We love this angle when we walk into the space and feel so proud of it. It’s a distinct reminder that all the dust, sweat and tears during the renovation was worth it!
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Another angle of the space, this time looking the opposite way. Crikey those walls went from bright, apple green, to canary yellow, and now (thankfully!) to a calming neutral Slipper Satin by Farrow & Ball.
Neil had the idea to wrap tongue and groove panelling all around the dining area to give it a bit more of a ‘focal point’ rather than just bare painted walls. Immediately, we knew it was a good idea. It gives the space a touch of shaker / country charm.
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Last shot in the kitchen, and it’s where the magic happens. Getting optimum counter space for meal prepping, baking and spending time in the kitchen was key in here. We opted for a Howdens kitchen (read our Howdens kitchen review) in a G-plan, with a breakfast bar, to really utilise all angles.
Don’t ask what those horrible red patches are in the before shots. We spent hours wallpaper steaming in here, only to reveal them underneath, and it felt like an eternity we had to look at them!
Think you’ll agree it’s a far cry from the room it once was!
Now upstairs to the family bathroom which was once separated into a bathroom and a loo. We didn’t have a huge amount of money to spend on the bathroom renovation, so where possible we tried to cut costs like plumbing, keeping the layout pretty much the same.
We really lacked head height for a shower in this room too, so it made sense to just partially remove the separating wall to make it one big bathroom, and use the leftover part of the wall as the shower.
When my family comes to visit they love this room. They say it’s like a little taste of a spa! We don’t know about that, but we are really pleased with the neutral, relaxing scheme we’ve achieved in here.
Another shot we love, the avocado shell sink just wasn’t doing anything for our egos 😂
The Guest Bedroom
The guest bedroom was one of the first rooms we renovated rather basically, but ‘just enough’ so that we had a normal room to lay our heads while the rest of the reno work went on.
The first thing we did was rip up the shag pile carpet and the layers of underlay, and literally threw it out the window - revealing gorgeous pine floor boards in pristine condition underneath.
Other than that, a quick plaster, a paint, and installation of heating, and we were done.
It’s amazing how simple choices make such an impact.
That’s a taster of what’s been happening in our house over the last 3 years. It’s been tough but we’ve thoroughly enjoyed learning and blogging it all throughout the years.
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Take a look there, or head over to our shop for more tools for renovators.
Thanks for reading!
Neil and Fifi xoxo