The four-bed, 21-year-old semi-detached house in Harrogate, Yorkshire, was in a bad way when bought back in January 2019.
The owner recalls, ‘Despite the state of the house we moved in straight away. The walls were painted in a ghastly yellow, the carpet was threadbare with holes on the stair treads, and the rotten window frames had been stuffed with newspaper.’
But now it’s a vision of calming grey. ‘We have redecorated throughout, laid carpets and flooring, replaced all the windows and doors, and fitted a new kitchen’ explains the homeowner.
‘In the kitchen, the oven didn’t work and the units were falling apart. Red terracotta tiles made the room dark and there was a vast wasted space to the rear with nothing in it.’
The kitchen was ripped out the day before lockdown, which of course we didn’t know was going to happen’ the owner exclaims. ‘It was horrendous, as there were no appliances left and we couldn’t go
out to eat or get takeaways because everything was shut. I knew there was no point in getting stressed about it all because there was nothing we could do.’
‘We stored the contents of the kitchen cupboards in our spare bedroom and for the next nine weeks we used a two-ring electric hob and a microwave in the utility room. Luckily, my partner had moved in by then and became Gordon Ramsay in the utility room’ she jokes.
When the lockdown eased, the builders returned to fit the kitchen, which was a big relief. ‘I redesigned the room, including adding a big island that we could eat around as a family – it fitted beautifully into the wasted space there had been in the old kitchen.’
‘I chose Howdens Chelford units in Dove Grey, with the island in Navy as a contrast. Teaming them with a hard-wearing, family-friendly composite grey worktop. The floor is covered in silver grey luxury vinyl tiles from Calverts Carpets, which run through to the hallway for continuity. It’s so practical and easy to keep clean.’
The next step was to replace all of the draughty windows and outside doors. The savvy owner explains, ‘I had negotiated £20,000 off the sale price to pay for replacements, and chose UPVC because it wears much better than wood. And I didn’t want to have to paint my window frames every five years.’
‘A friend recommended Niddal Windows, a local company based in Knaresborough, who did a great job. I had a bit left over from the £20,000 and used it to continue decorating the house over the next 18 months, as and when the painter was free.’
Speaking about the decor the owner says, ‘Half the battle is knowing what you want. I had plenty of ideas from doing up my previous home, and knew the colours that had worked well. I chose shades
of white and grey throughout, which is a calming combination that’s easy to accessorise with splashes of colour where you want.’
She goes on to say, ‘I learned a lesson regarding paint choices from a past mistake, when I picked a colour on a paint chart and paid a decorator to paint the whole house in it. It turned out to be a big mistake as any one colour will look very different in different rooms, according to which direction they face and how the light falls. This time I got it right!’
‘The rattan table and chairs are garden furniture, but work just as well inside’ explains the owner. ‘Especially teamed up with the greenery, which is artificial but you’d never know’.
‘The main bedroom has a French country look – it’s like sleeping in a lovely hotel’ says the homeowner delighted.
I love these natural twig heart-shaped hangings. They add a quirky, textural hit to the walls’ explains the owner.
‘Right away I engaged a painter and decorator to decorate the boys’ bedrooms, because I didn’t want them to have to live with those yellow walls’ says the owner. ‘I chose the new neutral colour scheme on their behalf because, as Spurs fans, I knew that if I left it to them they’d have wanted full football regalia in there.’
In the bathroom artificial trees add a fresh, outdoorsy feel – especially good for Christmas. The calming colour scheme continues in this room, only with a hint of something more vibrant. ‘The cool greys of the units and woodwork benefit from the pop of pink.’
The original feature appeared in Style At Home, January 2021. Feature by Sharon Smith.