cheltenham
cheltenham
Banksy artwork in Cheltenham Spa
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kitchen
Kitchen victorian terrace renovation project #thecheltenhamhouse
Hallway
Hallway
Hallway victorian terrace renovation project #thecheltenhamhouse
LivingRoom
LivingRoom
livingroom victorian terrace renovation project #thecheltenhamhouse
Upstairs
Upstairs
hallway victorian terrace renovation project #thecheltenhamhouse
Bathroom
Bathroom
Bathroom victorian terrace renovation project #thecheltenhamhouse
Master Bedroom
Master Bedroom
Bedroom victorian terrace renovation project #thecheltenhamhouse
Bedroom
Bedroom
Bedroom victorian terrace renovation project #thecheltenhamhouse
Banksy
Banksy
banksy artwork in Cheltenham Spa
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The Cheltenham Project – Part 1

Author: Adam Crohill

Home tours, DIY and interior design are always some of our most popular topics of discussion on Rock My Style. So when I recently moved from Birmingham to Cheltenham to embark on a renovation project with my girlfriend Lizzie I knew it would be worth documenting every stage of the transformation to share with you.

The project will include structural alteration, cosmetic renovation, redecoration and most likely a lot of blood, sweat and tears! As milestones are met I’ll be adding to this mini series and you’ll be able to keep tabs of everything related to The Cheltenham project by clicking on the tag below the author box at the foot of the post. You can do this for lots of topics discussed on Rock My Style.

This is the very first post and so I will take this opportunity to introduce you to the house.

This Old House

Our end terrace, just 5 minutes walk from Cheltenham Spa town centre is old. Really old… built in the 1860s, I find it a little bit mind blowing to think that the house has stood through three separate centuries. When this house was built Queen Victoria was on the throne and horse and cart was the only way to get around the place, unless you were one of the posh kids on the waiting list for a new fangled penny farthing.

A Victorian terrace means small rooms, we have two reception rooms and two bedrooms, each of diminutive proportions but full of character with sash windows and fireplaces. Creating useable space without sacrificing too many original features is going to be a challenge and compromise is going to have to play a part.

The kitchen has been modernised and needs very little work and the front reception room and second bedroom also need little more than a lick of paint. This is great news because elsewhere in the house we are planning on knocking a wall down (to give an open plan feel to what will become the living room) re-plastering the hallways and stairs, upgrading the electrics and installing a brand new bathroom. It’s going to be dusty.

Thankfully we have some help at hand – we are working with a good builder who was personally recommended (so important), We’ve seen his work and are happy to let him take a sledge hammer to our home. That’s what I call trust!

We also got a guy in to give the outside space a lick of paint and brighten up the area, he’s done a great mural at the end of our road. Thanks Mr Banksy.

{The Particulars}
  • Who: Adam & Lizzie
  • What: Victorian End Of Terrace
  • Where: Cheltenham
  • Style: modernisation project

outside

The Next Steps…

So, watch this space for the next instalment of The Cheltenham Project! If you want to see a few spoilers you can search #thecheltenhamhouse for the very latest developments shared on instagram and I’ll be reporting progress again on these pages soon

Is anyone else currently working on their own renovation? Do you have any questions regarding your own project? What you would like to see covered or discussed in The Cheltenham Project? Do you have any of your own renovation stories and advice to share? Please do get in touch or better still leave a comment below.

Adam.

{Contributors}
Author
Author: Adam Crohill
Adam likes Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain.
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36 thoughts on “The Cheltenham Project – Part 1

  1. Wow! Your house looks AMAZING! I am obsessed with stairways at the moment. I have this interiors book by Clare Nolan which has loads of great ideas about using the hall/stairway as yet another room – and yours looks amazing with loads of potential.

    We’re just buying a semi detached 1930’s house in Nottingham and it’s currently entirely decorated in what I want to call ‘old lady’. The kitchen is massive but it is all beech which we don’t like so out first goal is to change the work tops and cabinet doors and re-decorate it so it becomes a great kitchen diner where I think we’ll spend most of our time. We were in California recently and got some great inspiration from a few bars in terms of how we want to decorate it.

    Then all the other rooms need doing but we’ll have to save and do them in turn. As long as we have the main room how we want it then I think it will be ok!

    1. Jennifer… The staircase has become “my project” Im planning on sanding the whole thing to ultimately have varnished treads and painted backs… In my head it looks amazing.

      Taking it one room at a time sounds like a good idea… Something perhaps we’d have done in hindsight. We’ve got a little too excited about getting everything done and finished and have had a smash at everything at once πŸ™‚

  2. We’ve just moved into an Edwardian semi with MASSIVE garden. no renovations required as such just a bit of sorting. Kitchen will need pulling out and replacing as its a bit knackered. We decided to start with the bedroom. painted over the lilac walls with dulux wishing well grey. Grey’s with accents of bronze were going for. I think next will be my office.

    1. Sounds exciting Clare, we have a small garden but we are not even really thinking about it at the moment. Gardening has never been a love of mine but I feel now that I finally have my own garden that might change soon! I think it might be a project for next summer though!

      1. I’ve never really been into gardening, and in my head the idea of weeding and digging etc sounded like a lot of hard work and a little bit boring.

        However, now we have our own garden that has started to change and especially since we got back from Japan I’ve been out in the garden doing something every day! Granted none of the larger jobs have yet been started, but we’ve done a lawn treatment, had a good attack on the bind weed at the bottom fence, got a few pots planted up that we’re nurturing, got some hanging baskets up and planted up the formerly empty front garden!

        1. Kitty I’m going through exactly the same thing… For me the thought of being able to grow stuff that you can then eat is enticing me toward the concept of becoming green fingered.

          1. Yes! I’ve been keen on grow your own for ages but never had anywhere to do it except my kitchen windowsill herbs! I’ve got a patch down the end of the garden allocated as a veg patch, just need to get rid of the weeds. Best thing is, it already has potatoes growing in it!

            1. Im certainly going to give it a go… We’ve got a little patch in the garden that would be prefect for planting some veg.

              It’s going to take a new found discipline though… I can’t even keep potted supermarket basil alive for long enough to eat it all.

      2. You have beautiful boards! I want to pull the carpet and sand the boards down in the bedroom but just don’t have the patience to try myself. thinking of getting someone in to do it?

        1. Hi Clare… They are great.

          We really like the “old” look for downstairs but I have a little project planned for the stairs involving a sander, some paint and some varnish. And probably quite a few tears.

          Actually I’m fairly patient with things like that so I’m kinda looking forward to it πŸ™‚

  3. Hey neighbour (we live ‘literally’ around the corner from you) so if you see someone walking their pug & a new baby, that me! Obviously you’ve chosen a fab part of town to live in-I’m also an estate agent so not just being bias! The house looks amazing, bet you can’t wait to get stuck in. Judging by your last place you’ll like the stuff sold at the clearance shop opp. The banksy as there’s often quirky vintage furniture & pieces sold there and you must go to the Sunday car boot at the racecourse for all sorts of unusual bits I do up without the Montpellier price tag! Any advice or help you need just let me know x

    1. Heather hello! Nice to hear we’ve chosen a nice part of town πŸ™‚

      I think it’s “up and coming” so to speak and there seems to be a lot of people visibly making home improvements and renovation in the area. I guess that’s because its literally 5 mins from town and currently the prices (for Cheltenham) are still fairly reasonable…

      I’ve been in that clearance shop at the end of the road and have been tempted by a few items… I’ve also visited the other shop in town run by the same people… But more on that perhaps in another post πŸ™‚

      I’ll check out the car boot on the racecourse, thanks for the top tip and from now on i’ll be waving at anyone down my road with a pug or pram in tow

  4. Hi Adam,

    Myself and my fiance moved to cheltenham a couple of months back and have also bought in the same area as you! With wedding plans currently priorty we are neglecting our little place but looking forward to the prospect of updating it in the future.
    Still being new to the area it would be great to hear good places to eat, drink etc in the area. I know this isnt the topic of the blog but would be fab to hear whether youve found any gems in cheltenham’s crown!

    Also i note Heather you live in the area too…do you have any places you can recommend.

    Clare

    1. Hey Clare, I heard all the cool people were moving in to our neighbourhood πŸ˜‰

      Well… Food is my thing! I’ve already been to “The Curry Corner” which is just by me… It’s name probably undersells and cheapens the (very expensive) fusion indian food they sell but for a special treat that is not your average indian I can recommend…. And having just moved from Birmignham that’s a good recommendation!

      Apart from that I can also recommend The Vine… It’s a very short walk from our house toward the bottom of the high street. On one of our first nights in the house we went out in search of our local pub… We stumbled across The Vine… A pleasant enough pub with a trick up its sleeve…. They serve amazing thai food. We sat at the bar drinking read wine and munching on Thai Crackers and have since been back to sample the full menu. I can recommend the pad Thai and the Soups are also top notch.

      I’ll try and fit some more recommendations into future posts πŸ™‚

  5. Hi Adam. Having just received a rather disastorous survey back from our intented ‘renovation project house’ we withdrew from the purchase. However, we have now had a second opinion from our highly recommended building friend and are now ummming and ahhing about whether to go for it again. This house is a four bedroomed, detached victorian property with quite a large garden but its in a huge state of disrepair. There is not one part of it that doesnt need work including rewiring, replumbing, putting in new walls, kitchen, bathroom, knocking down an extension, conservatory and garage….the list is endless. I love the idea of creating our forever home but perhaps this a step too far. Any advice from anyone out there who has undertaken a mammoth project would be greatly appreciated! x

    1. Hi Hannah,

      A second opinion can be so important… The first builder we got in to look at the house shattered our renovation dreams by telling us the wall we wanted to take out couldn’t be removed…. A second opinion reignited the dreams – we were told that the wall could definitely come out.

      I think secretly you want to do this project and when your heart wants in it’s pretty hard to listen to the old top box.

      That said, and I am no expert, but when ever I take on a big project there always seems to be more work that uncovers en route… I’ve never found there to be less work than I thought there would be at the start… Probably something to bear in mind!

      Could it be that you could get one or two rooms “liveable” and then work on the rest of the house… I think that might be the make or break if I was in your position…

      Keep me posted!

      Adam

  6. Gorgeous house!! My husband and I have recently renovated a 2 bed flat in SE London…it was hard work but thankfully we are now at the fun part (for me anyway!) of picking cushions etc…My biggest tip would be to make Screwfix your new best friend!! We had so much structural work that needed done and it was by far the cheapest place to buy materials/parts….not the most glamorous of suggestions but if you save on the gas pipes and u bends it means more money for nice paint and finishing touches… πŸ™‚

    1. Laura, that is a great tip. It’s amazing how much you can save going to somewhere like screwfix compared to Homebase… Even with the nectar points its still so much more expensive. Especially when you end up spending most saturday and sunday afternoons wandering the aisles.

      I don’t have a local screwfix but Wickes is close by and provides a good saving on the usual basic DIY sundries.

      We also have a dulux trade centre just around the corner from us… That has saved us more than a few pence in recent times πŸ™‚

  7. Love the floors! And the fireplaces. I’d personally like to see a before and after of each wee project and perhaps some pics of where you got your inspiration from. I often find photos of rooms I like online and think “yeah, I want to do that!” but then don’t really know how to translate it into my own home. Any furniture redos and paint types and techniques would also be of interest. Good luck, it looks like it will be a fabulous house!

    1. Thanks M-J

      It’s going to be hard and there will be some tough decisions… We will certainly at least keep some of the floors and some of the fireplaces πŸ˜‰

      Thanks for your ideas – I’ll keep them in mind for future posts.

  8. Nope, I’m not envious one little bit (lies) this place looks like its going to be a dream when it’s finished!! x

  9. Have been following your house progress on Instagram. It’s looking awesome. I love living in cheltenham, it’s such a great town. Especially in the summer! Love all the festivals! You’ve chosen an ace ace to live.

  10. Adam, the new house looks exciting.

    I second the Screwfix comment. .. you do gave one fairly locally though. There is one just around the corner from Homebase. Not walking distance granted, but handy enough.

  11. Hi Adam

    I’ve enjoyed watching the progress on instagram and look forward to more. We realised on the weekend in the past six months we’ve redecorated 12 rooms and none of them in our home. We have re decorated and styled our holiday home project in Scotland (#seasgair) and also our old trafford terrace rental (#projecttrafford) which has included renovating a tiled Victorian fireplace and surround which is beautiful, I’m really proud of it.

    Next up our kitchen at home….

  12. Hi guys,

    Sorry to hijack your house renovation post, but noticed a few of you were new to Cheltenham and were asking where is good to eat and drink….

    My fiancΓ© and I moved to London just before Christmas having spent 4 very happy years in Cheltenham. Before we moved in together he lived in Pittville and I just off London Road and then we moved in together into a lovely (albeit) rented flat in Lansdown Crescent – one of the big Georgian crescent buildings, it had original shutters, massive high ceilings and we had the bars and boutiques of Montpellier on our doorstep. Sigh. Writing this makes me realise what we gave up to come and live in a tiny one bed flat in Camden, paying double the rent!! Anyway, I digress….

    One of our favourite pubs in Cheltenham was The Beehive – it’s got a lived in feel, does a good range of traditional ales and really good food. There’s also beer garden out back and they do regular events e.g. Beer festivals, mini Oktoberfests etc. A great atmosphere during Race week too.

    As Adam suggested, The Vine does amazing Thai food and has a laid back vibe, then there’s The Swan and The Strand both nearby. The Tivoli is also good. You’re spoilt for choice with places to eat (we made a list of all the places we wanted to try, but failed miserably!) I really liked Flynn’s in Montpellier Courtyard and The Tavern is a gastropub-come-bar which has a really cool industrial chic interior. If you’re after something a bit different then there’s John Gordon’s spirit merchants, The Daffodil is an old converted cinema done out in Art Deco style – great for cocktails – and even Zizzi’s is impressive as it housed in an old church, so you can dine in the gallery and it has a big open kitchen area.

    1. Thanks for the tips Verity… Lot’s of cool things to try here. I’ve actually visited and can vouch for Flynn’s.

      Next on the list has to be Daffodils – that sounds amazing!

  13. The food at the Daffodil is great, but I think it’s the interior which really sets it apart – the filmed some scenes for the last series of Sherlock there.

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