If there was one kind of house that Florian most definitely did not want to buy, it was this:
A late-Victorian terrace consisting mostly of corridor. It was however the first house he ever really liked on right move, and instead it was me who had to be convinced. You see, it’s a bit of an ugly duckling from the outside. The original house, along with some of its neighbours, was bombed in WWII. When it was rebuilt, it retained its Victorian layout but was given a 1940s facelift, losing its original bay window and stonework. Add to that, the white UPVC front door and windows, and you start to see my problem. It just isn’t pretty.
Its not being pretty, however, hopefully means it’s slightly better built than its turn of the century neighbours, and made it affordable. (One estate agent told us that a Victorian bay can add up to £10,000 to the price of a house around our parts.) Prettiness can also be worked on. The real clincher was that despite the ugly facade, the corridors and the general run down state of the place, the house seemed much brighter and roomier than some of the other Victorian terraces we’d seen, the bathroom was upstairs (I lost count of the number of places we saw listed with a bathroom off the kitchen), and it had the potential to extend up and out. More than that, we saw beyond the red carpet and pink walls and imagined it as our family home.
our ugly duckling // what it once looked like
To do: repair guttering, replace door and windows, replace house number, plant herb garden, climbing rose around the door, repair wall and repaint gate
hallway and stairs
To do: skim ceilings, repair plaster, repaint, remove carpet, sand floors, paint stairs, install stair runner, remove matting from entrance way to reveal original tiles, paint internal door (?)
front living room
To do: remove wall paper from ceiling, repair plaster, repaint, remove carpet, sand floors, replace fireplace with wood burning stove
back living room // adjoining doors // view to the front through hatch from kitchen
To do: remove wall paper from ceiling, repair plaster, repaint, remove carpet, sand floors, remove fireplace to create storage and wood store, remove adjoining doors(?), replace hatch with a window(?), install alcove shelving
To do: strip wallpaper, repair plaster, quick lick of paint, replace lighting, eventually extend and replace
To do: skim ceiling, repaint, remove carpet, sand floors
To do: skim ceiling, strip wallpaper, repair plaster, repaint, remove carpet, sand floor
To do: quick repaint, replace toilet seat, replace shower curtain, replace taps and shower head, eventually replace everything
study/guest room // first floor landing looking to Felix’s room
To do: skim ceilings, repair plaster and repaint, remove carpets, sand floors, install alcove shelving
back of house // yarden
To do: replace guttering, side return kitchen extension, remove shed, cut back tree, re-landscape creating small lawn, flower beds, seating area and an all important sand pit
So there you have it. We also have a pretty spacious loft area which is proving great for storage at the moment and will one day be a lovely attic bedroom. There’s a lot to do but many of the major jobs (extensions and external works excluded) should be done by Christmas, where you’ll then find us supping champagne and cracking nuts before a roaring fire. Lovely!