From being a wee nipper I always harboured a desire to live in a Victorian property. I can’t get enough of feature fireplaces, bay windows and intricate cornicing. Who doesn’t love a sash window or a beautiful pair of shutters?!
As we’re on the subject of interiors, you may remember the influence of a certain Mr Llewelyn-Bowen. “Changing Rooms” was a national phenomenon back in the day and Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen was at the helm prompting the nation to cover their radiators with MDF fret work, sponge their walls and gold leaf everything in sight. But many years before LL-B, one man was on a mission to update home decor. We make it our mission to assist people in making their homes look the best. helps us in demonstrating techniques to modernize home decor.  Allow me to introduce you to Barry Bucknell.

In the late 1950’s Barry began presenting the BBC TV programme ‘Barry Bucknell’s Do It Yourself’. Around 7 million viewers tuned in to watch a live broadcast of him demonstrating techniques to modernise older properties. I urge you to check out his tutorial for covering an ‘ugly old panelled door’. Yes folks those beautiful stripped doors we’re all so fond of now used to be considered a monstrosity. The only way to deal with them was to cover them with a piece of hardboard.

In the post-war era, Victorian homes were considered excessive and impractical and in a bid to achieve more streamlined living, home-owners began removing fussy features and embraced a new style of living. Unfortunately this meant ripping out cast iron fireplaces and removing cornicing. As my sister and her husband renovate and restore their Victorian home I’ve watched with glee as they’ve revealed previously hidden features, including an impressive staircase that has been shrouded in hardboard for forty-odd years. The image above isn’t their house (it’s sourced from location site Locality) but I’d like to think the ornate fireplace has just been unveiled after years of being clothed in 1960’s plywood.

Thankfully Barry came from a family of builders and electricians so he taught viewers how to cover their period features rather than butcher them, championing the Do-it-Yourself culture. He apparently received thousands of letters per week from viewers asking for advice on home improvements.

Have you experienced any of the Bucknell legacy? What period features have been covered in your home? Any amazing discoveries or have certain features been removed? Is there anything in particular you long to restore?