We are currently 4 weeks into an extensive renovation of our Victorian terraced house. I have a feeling that this full house renovation will take less time than it took to sell a leasehold flat, and that pretty much says it all. I have always loved period properties, and whilst nothing compares to Georgian properties for me, a Victorian house gives us the architectural parameters for a Victorian revival, with a taste of todays interiors.
Everything from the groundwork up has pretty much been lifted and removed, and we are about 2 weeks away from completing the downstairs now. But like anything, there will be many more to-do’s added to the list as we go. Here are just a few of the changes that we are making along the way during this Victorian renovation.
Adding Victorian Assets Back In
As far as Victorian homes go, pretty much everything of period value had previously been stripped out, all be one original, decorative ceiling rose in the living room. Where once a grand fireplace would have been, it was replaced with a board! Surely this is a crime against period interiors! Picture inserted below, the estate agent photo of said board so you can all appreciate the beauty of it, or not.
Luckily, many of the haters rip out period fireplaces and list them on Facebook marketplace, and this week we picked up a stunning Georgian fireplace and mantle that we will bring back to life and fit in the living room. Adding in these period touches for me is key to enjoying the character of this property.
Along with the fireplace, we are going to bring cornices into the living room and replace the light fitting that is a monstrosity as it covers half of the ceiling rose, imagine? The skirting boards were grey and have all been stripped out and replaced with high, Georgian skirting. The difference already is incredible. Whilst times have moved on since the Victorian era, we will be using antique brass as much as possible throughout which is a metal that was used prolifically through this time.
We’re also going to focus on getting some beautiful art prints from Photowall to really add some depth and character to the walls. I’m really looking forward to this aspect as it means we will be nearing the end of the renovation and getting to the existing styling stage!
Changing Doors & Glass Roofs
Everything in this house is on the wonk, and was owned by what others refer to as a cowboy. All corners were cut, and stripping it back to reset mode has been harder than starting again. One of the things that has to be changed is the doors. They are extremely dated UPVC doors that I feel like are going to break every time I leave and enter the house. We have also considered glass roofs from Three Counties for the ground level extension that the house has. I love how the addition of natural light can have such a huge impact to an interior by having one. Plus, with rising energy costs it’s a cost effective way to create additional warmth in the room, whilst daylight has proven links with improved mental health, and productivity. Their lantern roof uses a thermally efficient system to ensure heat is not lost through it in the winter too. A highly secure and energy efficient feature for a home.
Victorians were not known for their exquisite bathrooms, and well, this one doesn’t leave much to be desired. With a door that leaves a 2mm gap between that and the bathroom sink, a bath that takes up to 70% of the bathroom space and a door with a window – there were certainly some interesting quirks that we inherited with this bathroom.
It was the first room that absolutely HAD to go. Because the bathroom is so small, we have really had to be ‘creative’ with this space. The bath has had to be swapped for a stand alone shower, the toilet is being moved, along with the sink to really open a passage of space. There was no heat in the bathroom so a heated towel rail is being installed. We are going for a farmhouse style bathroom, with T&G panelling and patterned floor tiles, it is SO exciting seeing our vision come together. I might even say the flushing the toilet with a bucket and no shower has definitely been worth it. Almost.
Utility & Kitchen
The utility room and kitchen seem to have been fitted under 2 years ago, the cabinets and appliances are pretty much brand new. The kitchen isn’t to our taste, but as we don’t have the space to add any additions, it’s not worth the cost of ripping out and starting again for the sake of changing the colour and style of the cabinets as it just wouldn’t add enough value. Instead we will be making more cost effective changes such as vinyl wrapping the surfaces, changing cabinet handles and possibly exploring the option of painting the cabinets and swapping the sinks. I would prefer a more shaker style, neutral kitchen but I really think we’ll be able to make it look beautiful with these small changes.
There are SO many other things that we are changing with the house as we go, all of the electrics have now been completed and the bathroom is a few days away from completion. We are loving this renovation, despite living through the dust, dirt and having a 5 month old puppy running around which is always fun when they run into freshly painted architraves! I’ll be continuing to document this renovation as best as I can across my blog, keep your eyes peeled for more updates.