The Big Before

No renovation story would be complete without a raft of “Before” pictures, so we won’t disappoint.

To recap, we’ve recently picked up the keys to a five bedroom Edwardian terrace in the Hampshire market town of Petersfield where the previous owner had lived since he moved in with his parents some 60 years ago. I mean, I’ll let you be the judge but I don’t think much has been modernised over the years…

Firstly, here’s the floor plan to put the pictures into context. Our medium/long-term aim is to do a side return extension (think that is a London-ism) from the back of the Family Room to the end of the current Kitchen and open it across.

screenshot-2016-09-18-23-36-10Apologies for the quality of the pictures, they are stolen from RightMove as I wanted to show you the house before it was empty and the gutting process had begun.

Starting with the exterior, looks could be deceiving but the net curtains are a dead giveaway of what lies beneath.


Our new home with the light blue door

The lounge at the front of the house… What you can’t see here is the crumbling brick work being strategically covered by the orange curtains and matching armchair. Water damage from a leaking roof that has, apparently, been solved at the source but not rectified cosmetically. Here’s hoping.

One massive positive of taking on an Edwardian house in this condition is that you’re likely to still have original features like the cornice and high skirting boards in this room. The aim is to try and retain as much of it as we can, along with the original stained glass front door surround you can just make out in the above picture.

Unfortunately, the original fireplace has been replaced with a dodgy brick number at some stage probably around 40 years ago.


There’s that brick fireplace again. Not for long!

The second reception room or Family Room that sits behind the lounge… We plan to knock between the two to open up the space and make both rooms lighter.


So lucky to still have many original features

We’ve ended up referring to this as “The Middle Room” quite untraditionally, according to the floor plan it is the Dining Room. The main feature of this room (besides the carpet, the office ceiling tiles stuck on with glue and the beautiful strip light) is the coal fired Rayburn – the only source of heat for the entire house.


I think we’ll keep the carpet… Maybe not.

Now off upstairs to our Master Bedroom, at the front of the house as you’d expect. The damp in this room is supposedly the result of a similarly rectified roofing issue that the previous owner didn’t bother to sort cosmetically.

The original fireplace has been boarded up in here, but is still in good condition behind. We’ve got an original built in cupboard in this room too, which is uselessly shallow but a nice feature.

The fifth bedroom on the floor plan is next to this room and currently being used as a kind of workshop (not sure what work is being done, because it sure as hell wasn’t on the house) so we plan to move the door and make it an en-suite.


The master bedroom

The only bathroom in the house at the moment, apart from a small downstairs WC. In case you did want to source yourself a bathroom suite this colour, the technical term is primrose. Failing that, there’ll be one in our front garden in about a week.

Also going free, varnished cork floor tiles to set off the look.


Primrose is the technical term for this shade FYI

Out into the garden and we’re sure this picture must have been taken months ago, maybe before the previous owner misplaced any gardening equipment he ever owned. Ever.

Put it this way, we’re off to buy a machete as we think the neighbour’s cat or child (or both) may be stuck in there somewhere.


The windows at the back have all been replaced at some stage (no restorable sashes, boo) and bricked up pretty unsympathetically.


Note the rotten lean-to as well

Pictures of the remaining bedrooms, kitchen and hallway to follow. The hall is actually my favourite area of the house and why I fell in love with the place as soon as I stepped in the front door, despite the brown patterned carpet and matching wallpaper (yum).

Anyway, I hope this has given you an idea of the magnitude of the task we have taken on because it has definitely scared me.

Back to wallpaper stripping.

3 thoughts on “The Big Before

  1. Pingback: Five Favourites | #4 | Living in a Renovation – Take Two | A House to Call Home

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