As the owners of this 1930s semi were first-time buyers, they were mindful of the need to not overspend on a property and end up with a hefty mortgage to pay off. Their search, therefore, was for somewhere within a sensible budget that they could put their own stamp on. But the couple didn’t quite agree. ‘It was my husband who fell in love with this two-bedroom home dating from the 1930s and convinced me it was a great buy,’ says the owner. ‘But I wasn’t so sure due to the lack of bedrooms, and I was worried about storage space, too.’
Drawn to the peaceful location near to family and friends, the couple also loved the wild garden at the back of the house that gazes out over beautiful rolling countryside. ‘Looking back now, we realise we may have been a little naive about what work needed doing,’ they say. ‘We quickly realised that simply buying some new furniture and pretty cushions wouldn’t be quite enough to turn it into the home we’d envisaged!’
The structure of the house was good and sturdy, but the couple wanted to rework the layout of most of the rooms. They also replastered and rewired the entire place. It was a a big project, but now – despite some initial reservations – both of the owners are thrilled with their home. ‘We don’t see ourselves ever getting tired of living here,’ they say.
The owners bought their two-bedroom semi-detached home in 2011. Concerned about the lack of space for a family home, they set about transforming the layout and decor to make it work for them.
As the house can sometimes feel small, the owners have tried to keep the decor bright and airy by using lots of white wherever possible. They then added splashes of various colours through accessories such as cushions, artworks and plants. The fireplace was also carefully painted with heat-resistant paint to fit in with the scheme.
The living room flows into the open-plan kitchen-dining area, creating a wonderful sense of space in this compact home. To break up the all-white decor and add warmth, the owners have introduced colourful textiles, such as the sofa, cushions and dining-area rug.
The original kitchen was a very small galley space, with a door that led through to a small dining room, but the owners wanted something that was more of an open-plan design, to suit their growing family. They knocked down the wall between the dining room and kitchen to create an airy kitchen-diner that makes much better use of the space.
In a small corner of the bedroom is this stylish study area, which is ideal for home working. The white furniture keeps the look bright, while the chair adds a colour hit that fits in with the bedroom scheme. Favourite postcards and photos have been hung above the desk to create a cool gallery wall.
The owners' four year old has inherited his mother's passion for interiors. 'As he gets older, he now has his own opinion on where things should go,' they say. His bedroom is no exception, and he even helped to choose the bed.
Wall stickers lend a little excitement to the corner of this bedroom and the monochrome colours go with everything from wooden finishes to bright colours.
The owners still need to have the bathroom done so it better suits their needs as a family, especially now that they have another child on the way. But for now, it has been given a budget update with colourful accessories and plants, which thrive in the moist conditions.
This house tour originally appeared in Style At Home, February 2017