A red brick Victorian renovation
We have loved Steph's home, 7from_belmont, for so long...a beautiful red brick Victorian home which has been renovated sympathetic to the period of the home. It has a lovely sense of calm with a warming neutral palette that has been used throughout. So many original features have been retained or replaced, including new sash windows and the original fireplace in the kitchen.
Steph shares her home with her husband and her two gorgeous dogs (so handsome that we have had to have them in one of our pics below!), chatting to us about her renovation journey and how she created this perfect home.
The beautiful red brick Victorian home
Can you tell us about your home and renovation project?
Our house is a 1900 Victorian Villa. We found the house in 2013 after viewing many, many properties. I saw it online and we were immediately drawn to the original fireplace in the kitchen. Obviously, the house was out of our budget! A few viewings later and a lot of negotiation, the house was ours in August 2013. We got the keys on the 11th October 2013 and soon set to work giving the house a revamp.
We revamped each room in the house and finished the last room on New Years Eve 2013. This was done on a budget and looking back just was not to my taste. I do sometimes wish we had tackled each room slowly and ‘properly’ but it was our first house and we were too impatient!
We put the house up for sale in 2017 as we thought we would like a new project. Turns out, we couldn’t find a house that had the features and charm ours does! So, we stayed and have been tackling the ‘bigger’ projects that we wouldn’t have done if we sold the house.
The garden has been fully re-landscaped (we are currently carrying out phase 2), the living room has been completely renovated including the new bay sash widow (wow they’re expensive!) shutters and a built in alcove cupboard. We have taken the bathroom back to brick and re-plastered and replaced the entire suite. The master bedroom has been panelled and built in wardrobes have been built. The kitchen was the project for this year, but with the current climate, that may be on hold until next year.
The panelling in the bedroom is perfect in the period home
What was the biggest challenge throughout the process?
I think being realistic is the biggest challenge. Things take so much more time, money and effort than you originally think. Even more so in an old house where things have been botched for many years and no wall is straight!
This was evident when we did the bathroom last October. I naively thought it would take a week to do with both of us working on it. That easily turned into at least a month. Whilst taking the old shower enclosure and tiles out, my husband hit a water pipe that was in the most strangest of places. Que a late night call to my brother, who is thankfully a plumber, it was sorted. That was just one in a string of problems – I was ready to call it quits but looking back now I am so glad we tackled it as it was just awful and I can’t believe we lived with it so long before!
We love the bathroom that Steph and her husband painstakingly renovated
Did you have a budget and how did you stick to it?
I am the finance person in the house and there’s a bit of joke in my family that I am a little ‘tight’ and hate spending more than I need too – who doesn’t?!
As for budgeting, I do have a rough idea of what I would like to spend on the room and then search for prices. Instagram is also great for this as so many people recommend where to buy things so you can shop around.
We also found that buying things each payday helps to spread the cost. When we renovated the bathroom most of it lived in the dining room for a few months until we were ready to start it!
So, be realistic with how much things cost and don’t get taken in by trying to make it look too ‘Instagram’ taking you well over your budget.
We love the garden and those gorgeous dogs!
What is your favourite part of your home now and why?
Most of my followers will know that my living room is my most favourite room in the house. It’s the room that has had the biggest transformation and probably cost the most! The house had the original bay window and we were so upset to see it go but the frame outside was just rotting. It was single glazed and the room was getting colder each winter, with high ceilings in the house it was impossible to keep the room warm. After lots of saving, we had it replaced with a UPVC sash window and then had the shutters fitted. We changed the colour scheme in the room to a neutral colour palette and it just transformed the space.
Doing this room also helped me to find my colour palette and helped to influence my colour choices throughout the house.
We adore the neutral palette in the lounge
What advice would you give to someone about to start a renovation?
My main advice to anyone taking on a renovation project would be to take your time. Rome wasn’t built in a day and don’t be disheartened with all the images you may see online with people and their finished rooms. We all have to start somewhere.
- Make a plan of action for which room you’re going to tackle first, maybe a bedroom so you have somewhere to relax when all else is in disarray!
- Set a rough budget for each room and shop around for the best prices. Don’t be tempted to go way over your budget just because you’re trying to keep up with other houses you may have seen
- Prepare for things to take longer than you thought they would and just go with it. Doing it properly the first time is going to save you so much time in the long run (My husband says this to me everytime we take on a room!)
The fabulous fireplace that made Steph fall in love with the home
Would you do a renovation again?!
Totally! Not yet though, I need to enjoy this one first – when we actually finish it!!
Published: April 3, 2020