Charlotte and her husband Chris revamped their 1950s ex-authority three bed into a relaxed and individual home with heaps of personalised touches. After seven years they’ve recently moved to a period property nearby so Adam nipped round to photograph their very homely space before they changed address.
I’ll hand over to Charlotte now to take you on a tour of the hall, kitchen and the living room before returning next week to explore the rest of the house.
The solid oak parquet was a bargain eBay purchase from a gentlemen who had purchased it and his wife hated it once it was delivered so we managed to buy enough to lay a floor in both the hall and study. The walls are painted in Farrow and Ball Wimbourne White and Downpipe. At the time, the Farrow and Ball Downpipe was a very brave colour option and lots of people berated me that it would look ridiculous and too dark, but it was a triumph and the perfect place to display pictures. The cupboard was a complete Ikea Hack by my husband who wanted somewhere to hide all the technology. He purchased four small basic white kitchen cupboards, some leftover oak kitchen worktop and added castors. With leather handles from Nu Interieur we had a perfect storage bench for a total cost of £50. If I had a pound for everyone that has asked about it I would have paid for it 10 times over.
We also had cupboards built in what was a useless space under the stairs, a local carpenter who replaced the stairs has got used to my harebrained ideas for storage and humours me. Touch wood to date these ideas have always worked out. The lights on the landing were made using components from Historic Lighting and then adding jars from House Doctor and were then installed by our electrician.
The kitchen had a good layout but not much storage so, (as the kitchen was a wide room) when we came to refit it I searched vintage shops and online auctions for a narrow unit we could use as a floating island. Whilst searching I found two vintage school cupboards for next to nothing that need some TLC and they fitted perfect along the wall in the dining room for valuable extra storage, and had sliding doors which was ideal as they were located alongside the dining room table. I eventually found an old shop fitting full of drawers which we refurbed and repainted adding an oak worktop to become our kitchen island. However this wasn’t before several failed attempts which just weren’t right for the space.
The cupboards are painted in F&B Lime White with the walls in Wimbourne White. The lights over the Habitat dining table were a find whilst I was in the north east for work from an amazing shop called RE.
The lounge is a really light, dual aspect room. Painted in Farrow and Ball Slipper Satin and Off-Black this room has a really classic scheme. The black was introduced at a later date as my husband wanted a bigger TV and I hate a room to be all about the TV, so the middle ground was to paint the walls in the recess a dark colour so that when the TV wasn’t on it disappeared. He said he would only paint one wall as it was clearly a mistake and when I got home he had painted both, the closest thing I will ever get to an admission he was wrong! The floor is engineered oak planks, but was originally carpet, but it didn’t fare too well!
The fire was the starting point for the room; I am very keen on UK manufactured items and at the time this log burner was the only one I could find which was the style I wanted. Firebelly has a huge window so it feels like an open fire with all the benefits of the woodburner. Cornwall holds a special place in our hearts and as such we managed to source a slate hearth from a lovely family run firm in Cornwall close to a place we have spent many holidays. The lamps are all from Habitat.
Charlotte’s Upcycling Tips
Don’t be afraid to get it wrong, if you buy furniture you hate or doesn’t fit you can always sell it. Just make sure you don’t pay too much for it in the first place! If you are painting or amending things, don’t worry most things you do in a house can be changed if you get them wrong. That said I have measurements of all rooms and a tape measure in my handbag which is with me all the time as you never know when you may see the perfect item and nothing will haunt you like the item you missed out on! Plus if I am working on a current room I have a sample of paint colours and fabrics in my handbag to check if items I see may fit in. Finally, have patience, it takes time to find the perfect item and they always appear in the most obscure places.