Renovation Tour - A Stylish Renovation Of A Victorian Villa







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We absolutely love when renovators take a tired period property and transform it into something really special, restoring and preserving much of its original charm and character.

This week we are chatting to Emma from Insta account @lovinglinden, a beautiful 5 bedroom Victorian villa which has been renovated in a traditional style but with many contemporary features, including lots of colour and feature lighting.

The hallway is an absolute dream - the panelling, herringbone floor and the chandelier make it so welcoming, whilst being completely sympathetic to the period property.

This is Emma's third renovation project, so we wanted to get her advice on what she has learned, and how she has created this exquisite home.

The soft pink works perfectly with the herringbone floor

Can you tell us about your home and renovation project?

Our home is called Linden House. It’s a 5 bedroom Victorian villa in Lancashire. It was built in 1900. 

We moved in January 2018 and this is our third home.

We love period properties and always loved the houses on our road. We used to drive past often and say “one day we’ll live in one of those”.

We were in bed one night and Si saw this house on Rightmove. We’d only just finished renovating our 2nd house which was a lovely house, but I’d already moved out in my head by the time we came to view. 

We’ve always gone for a reno project so the work we knew it needed didn’t put us off. We’ve always said it’s better to buy a doer upper than to buy something that’s been renovated to someone else’s taste. 

My brother in law is a builder and he’s done all of the work we’ve needed on each renovation. We’ve been really lucky to have people we can trust.

We adore this hallway and the lovely muted tones used


What was the most challenging part of your renovation?

I’d say the hardest parts of the renovation were leaving a finished house with all the creature comforts that entails and moving to a fixer upper / building site with 3 children - 2 of whom were under 3 years old. 

Living in the house while renovating is hard going, there is dust everywhere and nothing has a home, so you’re constantly looking for things. 

Routine is often a casualty as you have tradespeople in the house at mealtimes, water and heating are affected so bath time can’t happen when it usually does - you need patience!

The dark feature ceiling in the master bedroom works so well in the period property

What would be your biggest piece of advice for anyone about to carry out a similar project?

Try to live in the property for a while before doing anything major. Get the feel of the space and how you would like to use it. We promised ourselves we wouldn’t do anything rash when we moved in.

My biggest piece of advice is to use trusted trades. We’ve been so lucky having our work done by people who we know and trust. If you’ve not done any type of renovation before, make sure you get people who’ve been recommended to you. 

Know that your budget will never be enough - there’s always a surprise cost or something that catches your eye that you just have to have. Also you need to budget for detail and high quality finish. Don’t scrimp on the finishes after all the hard work and prep, as they’re what you’ll be looking at every day. Have a contingency in place for the unexpected costs.

Try and escape every now and again - if only for a night or weekend. A bit of distance and reprieve from the work makes it all feel bearable when it’s getting too much. Stay in a hotel / caravan / with friends or relatives to get a change of scenery and a dust-free couple of days. We’re so lucky to have our parents and family network who have helped us, fed us, minded the boys for us. 

Try and find ways to save money on the build. My brother in law had all of his builder friends call or text when they were doing jobs that involved knocking down old walls/rooms etc so we haven’t had to buy any bricks. It also means that the look of the build is in keeping with the original house. 

The utility is so striking, we love the colours and tiles used

You have such a beautiful style which is modern yet sympathetic to the period of your home - where do you get your ideas from?

Thanks so much! I have always loved anything related to interiors and renovation/design. 

I think the proportions and details you see in period properties are beautiful and so we’ve tried to celebrate them in our home and enhance them with the colours and furniture we’ve chosen. A lot of the original features in the house had been ripped out and replaced so we’ve tried to reinstate them - internal doors, picture rail, tall skirting, panelling. 

I use Instagram and Pinterest for inspiration but more often than not a colour or cushion or pattern in a fabric or wallpaper catches my attention and that sets the ball rolling for a room scheme. 

I love statement lights, details such as panelling, classic furniture rather than anything too modern. I have grown more confident with the use of colour in this house than our previous homes - our pink kitchen is testament to that! I want our home to make us feel happy and for it to be cosy and comforting - I think if there’s anything this year has taught us it’s that home is our sanctuary. 

I’m also studying for a diploma in Interior Design course to learn more. Friends and family ask for help and ideas all the time with their interiors and I get so many messages on Instagram. If I can broaden my knowledge and use it in a more professional capacity at some point that’d be the dream.

The island unit and dining area is so sociable

Where is your favourite place in your home now?

The kitchen window seat is definitely one of my favourite places to sit with a cuppa. I love that we’ve managed to create a cosy, warm, inviting space where we can cook, eat, socialise, relax and all be together. 

I also love our bedroom and en-suite. It feels like a little bit of luxury. I mean, I still don’t manage to get a bath without the boys jumping in...but one day I might? 

We love the free standing bath in the en-suite

What do family and friends say about the work you have done?

I think they’re proud of what we’ve achieved so far. Our parents were really worried about how much work we’d have to do when we moved in - and how much it would cost! My parents have been so supportive as we’ve gone through our renovation - constantly helping us out with school pick ups, feeding us when the kitchen was out of action and letting us have a bath when the bathroom was being done. 

Si’s brother has been brilliant. He’s worked here with my father in law and his labourer, a family friend, for over 2 years. I think half of the time they think I’m bonkers when I ask for something but he just asks for a drawing and then he makes it work. The outdoor fire he built is amazing! 

I think he’s wondering when he will be allowed to escape as the list just keeps getting longer and longer!

The amazing outdoor kitchen

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: November 23, 2020

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