It wouldn’t be Interiors Week without a good old home tour. As I’ve mentioned several times on these pages, my sister and brother-in-law are currently knee-deep in renovations to a stunning home in Sheffield.

I’ve lost count of the amount of people who’ve told Hannah and Toby are ‘lucky’ to be the owner of this five-bed abode. I have to tell you though this couple went through a long period of heartbreaking events before the opportunity arose to buy what was originally Toby’s grandparents family home.
Over the last year they’ve stripped back the walls to reveal the bones of the house, sympathetically restoring features and preserving heirlooms paving the way for the next chapter in their home’s history.
Other than the hallway, the whole of the downstairs has now been painted and so I’m honoured to be able to share the kitchen, lounge and dining room with you today. Yes, there is furniture still to be added and floor coverings still to be laid but this house is packed full of treasures and memories that money just can’t buy. Over to the Lady of The House….

After being outbid on countless houses, the opportunity to purchase the home that once belonged to my husband’s family was one we simply couldn’t let pass.
Although we had spent hours trawling through our pinterest boards, magazines and online images for home décor inspiration, the very essence of our home has now become one of nostalgia; memories of inspirational grandparents, a bygone era but slowly becoming injected with a new life, where we can create a brighter future together. Although we spent an emotional summer clearing the property (and salvaging more reclaimed wood than you can possibly imagine) we have held on to many treasured family items and classic antique furniture. Neither of us favour the term ‘forever home’ (you never quite know what life has planned for you do you?) but as we continue to embark on the biggest renovation project we are ever likely to encounter, we know we are in this for the duration.


You can read all about the inspiration for our kitchen here but needless to say this room was our biggest project. Originally built by my husband’s grandad, the entire space had to be taken back to brick whilst the ceiling was lowered and the walls were rebuilt. The aim for the kitchen was to create a brighter space, where it had once felt a little dark. With this is mind we painted the walls using ‘Dulux Absolute Light’ (I’m still not sure its white enough but its doing the job now) and purchased an industrial bare bulb bar light from eBay. Our carpenter installed light solid oak worktops, whilst the shelving was created using reclaimed wood from the ‘wood shed’ at the bottom of the garden.

Once the base units were fitted we added old iron handles which were dug out from the cellar, and having made a very good friend at our local salvage yard we were able to bag ourselves an old Belfast sink and an original Victorian silver mixer tap for the grand total of £90!

At one stage I was beginning to feel that this room was becoming more ‘swiss chalet’ than ‘rustic industrial’. Thankfully RMS reader Elle recommended who sold the perfect piece for the kitchen. I then continued to introduce other metal pieces to break up the expanse of wood. All that’s left to do now is replace the old window.

Dining Room and Nook

As we have opened up the kitchen and dining area and removed the once dividing door, we are now able to use this room most evenings for eating and socialising. With this in mind we were keen to buy a dining table which would seat a number of people, particularly as we hosted Christmas last year! The table provided the inspiration for the rest of the room as we added further rustic shelving against bright white walls. I am in the process of painting the chairs (which we found in the Antiques Quarter in Sheffield) to create mismatched pastel shades but have given up with painting endless spindles for now! The antique drinks cabinet and little office bureau were pieces we could not let go and although I had planned on painting them both this is perhaps verging on sacrilegious.
Although the floor is yet to be sanded and we are struggling to agree on the style of light fitting for this space, the dining room has so far had the quickest turnaround in terms of redecoration.
The ‘nook’ as it is now affectionately called is still a work in progress but the idea is to create a ‘garden room’ where we can relax in the warmer months and break off into a quieter work space if needed. Like the dining room, this area was also painted with Dulex Brilliant White and we’ve added colour through foliage and leafy plants.
The branches above the window were left overs from a day of gardening and we then threaded miniature copper lights through them to add a warm glow. There is definitely a nod to the outdoors in this space but I’m wary of going into overkill and making the whole thing look like…well a garden centre!

Living Room

Anyone who has visited our house remarks on the transformation in this particular room. Although the lounge is a large space it had once felt dark due to the sixties wood paneling running across the entire length of one wall. Removing this was painstaking, tedious and extremely messy but once the job was complete the wall could then be rebuilt and insulated. We asked our plasterer to build the alcoves out to a greater depth so that we could install an original Victorian fireplace. This was again found in the salvage yard for a total bargain and although we can’t have an actual real life fire (the chimney has been blocked up) we have now been able to create a central feature, which the room so greatly needed. The carpet was removed and the floor sanded (cue Breaking Badesque overalls) to again bring further light into the space. After many disagreements on the ‘amount of blue that you need in grey paint’ we finally settled on Farrow and Balls Dimpse, which is bright, fresh and airy. The pastel and black and white accents are a nod to our love of Scandinavian interiors and blend well with our obsession for raw wood.

Eventually we hope to recover the beloved chair where my husband’s grandma once sat and is now favoured by our two cats. I often wonder what Toby’s grandparents and his wonderful mum would think of our home now and all that we have achieved together. We can only hope we have made them proud.


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