A Victorian Town House Lovingly Restored







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Victorian homes are such special properties and we love when we see a renovated house which is so in keeping and sympathetic to the original style. The home of Insta account @daniandthetownhouse have done just that and more. 

Having bought a town house which had been split into several flats, Dani has gone about the painstaking task of converting it back into one equisitte house, whilst being mindful of the beautiful original features and history of the home.

We chat to Dani who shares with us her renovation story, as well as some wonderful tips for anyone else about to embark on a similar project.

Can you tell us about your home and renovation project?

My house is a four storey Victorian Townhouse, located in the historic spa town of Ilkley, West Yorkshire. 

When I bought the property in 2020, it was actually split into three flats, which I’ve now turned back into one family home with six bedrooms. The property dates back to 1887 and has many original features, including large panelled windows, Minton hallway tiles and lots of stunning coving and ceiling roses. 

The house needed a lot of work to update it and even just to make it safe! I organised for a whole property rewire, new plumbing, boiler, large water tank and radiators throughout, the whole roof was redone and the chimney stacks re-pointed. 

All the rooms needed re plastering and decorating too. It really was a mammoth task. And still ongoing. 

The beautiful kitchen with the neutral tones which have been used throughout the home

What was the most challenging thing about the renovation?

Keeping the motivation going! My family and I cooked in a tiny makeshift kitchen for a year. We lived without heating for 2 very cold winter months at one point. And the dust can be relentless and gets everywhere!

It’s easy to feel deflated and frustrated if work takes longer than anticipated. Or if you have to chase out walls for wiring or take a room back to brick. The mess is very hard to live with. And so it’s important to take a day off and recharge. 

Be prepared that at some point you may have to move out into a rental or stay with family whilst some of the major works take place. 

As I did a lot of the work myself, I had to try and keep myself motivated and enthusiastic. At one point most of my clothes were splattered with paint and had holes. Sometimes it felt like all I did was work on the house. Endless hours of sweat and graft. 

But finally, when you start to see the results of your labour (and money!) it all suddenly becomes worth it. 

A renovation is both physically and mentally draining. But I found help and support in abundance from the Instagram community which helped me power through! 

The most tranquil looking bath, we love how inkeeping this is to the original home

Did you have a budget and how did you stick to it?

I had a budget and like everyone does, I went over it! 

The roof incurred some extra unexpected costs. The house originally had 12 fireplaces and there are two enormous chimney stacks on the roof. These needed lots of work, but it was worth the money as fixing the chimneys solved our ongoing damp problems as they were letting water into the house. And after a summer of sunshine, the whole house was damp free. 

To date I’ve spent approximately £125,000 on renovating, decorating and updating the property. But from that money I managed a rewire, all new plumbing, a fixed roof, a brand new kitchen diner space, a bespoke bathroom, the front garden was redone and we now have four finished bedrooms. 

There’s still the hallway and two bedrooms which need finishing and the entire low ground floor. 

The gorgeous bedroom a feature green wall

Your style is beautiful, how did you go about designing your home?

My style has changed so much throughout the years. I used to love lots of colour and patterns but I wanted to go a different direction with the townhouse. I wanted that subtle mix of old and new. So to compliment the house's strong features, I opted for a neutral, slightly minimal and modern style. 

I spent a long time working out which colour paint to use on the walls. The house is East facing at the back and West at the front and paint looks different in every room. The same shade of white could be perfect for the master bedroom but look yellowish in other rooms of the house. 

So I opted for whites, blacks and greiges shades throughout the house, with gold fixtures and fittings and wooden furniture to add warmth to each room. 

I also love panelling and the rooms in this house are so large, they just screamed out for lots of panelling on the walls. 

Another view from the kitchen looking onto the open plan space

What are you most proud of and why?

I particularly love my living room. The huge window frames the woods over the road perfectly and this room is why I fell in love with this house. 

I opted for a super simple and minimal panelling design on the walls and painted them an off white and went for a bold black paint for the window. It was an unusual and brave move! But I think it really works well and makes the enormous window even more of a feature. 

The lounge area with the most amazing panelling and cornicing

What would be your advice for anyone just about to start out?

Seek out reviews for anyone who you wish to employ to work with on your property. And don’t pay tradesmen/ women anything up front. Working with the best people you can find is absolutely critical for doing a renovation of any size. 

You need to be able to trust the company to do the best work they can on your property and also to trust them with your hard earned cash. 

Take time to focus on the smaller details too. Such as where are your light switches and radiators going to go? Where will the bed sit in the room? The furniture? These are all bigger decisions than people realise and you will ALWAYS need more plug sockets than you think! 

Another view of the lounge with the original fireplace  

If you are thinking about a renovation project in the near future and need some help finding an architect or designer, we can match you with the most suitable ones for your project.

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Published: September 27, 2022

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