We have been at it again – catching up with past clients to see what they have done with the House we helped them buy a few years ago. This one is a gem. Kirsti & Al have a perfect mixture of practical and creative abilities between them with a plethora of skills in their armoury from upholstery to animal husbandry to triathlons, photography and the commercial property world. Come and enjoy this spectacular #HouseToHomeReveal
Rickmansworth Semi-detached home – purchased May 2016
How long did it take you to decide to buy your home?
We loved our old cottage on Ebury Road so it was difficult to find somewhere generally but when we found this property we decided almost straight away. We wanted a project as well as a little more living space. Did we love it? No, too many features had been taken out. But did it have bags of potential? Yes absolutely! It was a rare opportunity to buy a Victorian refurbishment project in Rickmansworth.
What feature of your home did you love when you first viewed it?
The high ceilings! All I need in a house, the rest can all be changed!
And what part of your home did you hate when you first viewed it?
Where to start…. The 60s fireplace, the woodchip wallpaper everywhere, the electric 1960s radiators used to heat pretty much the WHOLE house. The fact that nearly all the features were either gone or ruined.
How easy or tricky was the buying process – time it took to complete, any curve balls?
Yes, tricky… I nearly put my shoes on once to go and have a word. It took a long time for our vendors to make up their minds and when they did they decided at the last minute that they would actually quite like to tie in the house they were buying into the chain, having always maintained that they were chain free! This might have meant further delays which in turn meant that our buyers were in danger of losing their mortgage offer. Luckily for us Trend & Thomas managed the situation and got the sale through to completion.
How long did it take for you to decide on the renovations you planned?
I had a rough idea of what I wanted straight off but planning it and being able to afford it took a couple of years!
Did you live in the house for a while or did you rip it out and do it up before you moved in?
We moved in and renovated upstairs nearly immediately, due to the need for central heating and a functioning bathroom…. We are lucky that the house was big enough for us to move around in whilst works were taking place, allowing us to live upstairs when we then got round to doing the extension downstairs in 2018.
How challenging were the renovations? Any advice on what to do or not to do?
It was hard but worth it! If you can do the whole thing in one go then do, absolutely it would have been easier for us, but at the same time the fact that we could stay here and move around made it bearable. Being on site was also very useful.
What do you love the most about your refurbished home?
The light, the big open plan space, the high ceilings and of course the period features which have been reinstated.
Anything you would do differently now you’ve lived with it a bit?
Having a big open plan space means that all the walls are quite far away, I could have done with a sunken floor socket or two in the middle but then again if I had those I probably would find them an eye sore 😊 That’s an excellent tip Kirsti!
Any more great tips for suppliers and companies you used to refurb and dress your home?
I love a mix of old and new, so good quality new or anything old! Spend time researching as things don’t always have to cost eye watering amounts of money. For example, our outdoor tiles came from Topps Tiles which people are always amazed at as they are so unusual for outdoors.
Our windows in the main space are from a company called Fabco in Littlehampton and our beautiful stair runner is from Roger Oates.
I source most of my furniture and fixings myself from markets, reclaim yards, auctions and antique dealers. The Sofa in our Living area is from West Elm, the wall lights are a mixture of Rocket St George and Graham & Green and the TV in the main area is the Samsung Frame TV. Our roll top bath is from CP Hart but we reclaimed the feet from the old bath that was already here!
The bamboo pendant in our main living area is from Cox & Cox and the pendant in the Snug is a Mathieu Challieres Voilere from The Conran Shop. Our kitchen is DeVOL and we have mostly painted the house Farrow and Ball Shaded White except for the Snug which is Inchyra blue. Our yellow bed is from LoveYourHome and we used the Period House for some radiators. The lovely round mirror in the bathroom is from Loaf. The tiles in our main living area are from Porcelanosa.
Who lives here with you?
My husband and our two cats. – Extra points if you can spot the lovely Lionel and Porridge making three appearances in the photos.
Which room do you use the most – before Lockdown, and after?
We’re always in the main room and then have the snug for a change of scenery!
Favourite tune to listen to in your home?
Now you’re asking! Only one???? Cherchez la Femme by Dr Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band – As many as you like given that calibre!
Favourite meal to enjoy in your home?
All four of us love a nice Fish & Chips from SeaMaster! – Oo that’s made us put that on our to do list soon!
How has your use of your home changed due to the Coronavirus Lockdown?
Our main open plan space appears to have changed into a plant nursery! They’re all growing big and strong so they can go in our freshly dug vegetable patch.
If you could have one change/improvement to your home to get you through lockdown – what would it be?
My work room is the one room in the house still to be done, somewhere where I can plan interiors and work on my upholstery and furniture projects.
And finally your favourite objet, piece of art or furniture; in your home and why?
My haberdashery cabinet! It’s beautiful, it’s old and it stores everything!! – Yes your haberdashery cabinet is stunning – but also, what about that amazing Sheep?
Oh yes, the Party Sheep from Rocket St George’s collaboration with Pikes Hotel is a favourite feature – although in our house she is known as Baaa-bette.
Baaa-bette is beautiful and no longer available we understand – what a find you lucky four (or 5 including Baaa-bette) your home is one of our favourites to come and revisit. Partly because you have carefully restored the important period features but also because you have given it a personality of it’s own relevant to life today. Well done Kirsti & Al, doesn’t look like you are moving with Trend & Thomas again anytime soon – Oh no!