All posts filed under: Property

The Old Forge York

The Old Forge York – Two Years in the Making – Final Reveal Part 1

And so, today’s blog is partly an opportunity to emotionally offload (when isn’t it?) and more importantly celebrate over two years work. I’m very pleased to be able to share the news that after approximately 698 days since my first consultation at The Old Forge, it’s finally time for the official opening of Next Door @ The Old Forge; a two bedroom, family and dog friendly holiday cottage in the pretty village of Sand Hutton, just 8 miles outside of York. Kettle on – it’s final reveal time! Before – My first visit, March 2018 I introduced you to The Old Forge back in May 2018 where I was completely inspired by the ramshackle buildings, excited by their potential and eager to get stuck into creating the design concepts. Since then there has been a relentless amount of work going on behind the scenes to transform an old Victorian blacksmith’s cottage and its outbuildings into a beautifully unique yet sympathetic two bedroom holiday cottage. Architects plans with suggested layout I could write a book about the problems, nightmares, …

The Victorian Terrace - The Living Room

The Victorian Terrace – The Living Room

Hello 2020! How are you all? Settling nicely into the new decade? For my first post of 2020 i’m introducing you to a project i’ve been working on since April last year; A four bedroom Victorian terrace in North Leeds. House floor plan The house was previously a rental property, and so was more than a little unloved. It looked “ok” from the estate agent pics, but in reality it needed a lot of work to bring it back to life: New windows throughout Re-wiring Re-plumbing Floorboards refurbed Walls stripped and re-skimmed New joinery New kitchen New bathroom Complete redecoration Fixtures, furniture and furnishings for the whole house In fact, it was this project that prompted me to write this blog post last spring: A Guide for New Homeowners – Where to start, the dos and don’ts. This new homeowner, let’s call him Mr H, is a complete noob to home ownership. Knowing where to start and what order to work through the renovation across several rooms at once had him in a bit of a pickle. …

Georgian Apartment

The Georgian Apartment – New Project Time

Time to introduce you to a new project today. It’s a two bedroom apartment situated inside what was once one of the many impressive mansions built in Leeds, 300 years ago. This Georgian property certainly has the scale and proportion you would expect from this period. Just looking at this photo from the recent sales listing, you can see there is a real gem waiting to be loved, revived and restored. The new homeowner is VERY keen to get the works done as quickly as possible, understandably. But as ever, i’ve had to put the brakes on a little in order to give this special building what it deserves. Because, whoever fitted this kitchen was clearly high on solvents: Who on earth would fit a blue formica kitchen in a Georgian mansion? Definitely someone from the late 80’s early 90’s me thinks…. Here’s the apartment’s original floorplan to give you an idea of what rooms and spaces we are working with and how they all relate: As you can see, the floorplan suggests there would have …

New Homeowners

A Guide for New Homeowners – Where to start, the dos and don’ts

There’s an epidemic afoot everyone. It’s called “first time home owner syndrome”. As we already know, people are getting onto the property ladder later in life. Renting well into your 20’s and 30’s, even 40’s is becoming the norm. House prices are mental and mortgages are a nightmare. I was one of the lucky ones, I got my grubby mitts on my first house, a 3 bed, ex-council semi, back in 2003. It felt like a HUGE amount of money at the time. £38k. I have no doubt anyone would bite your hand off to be able to buy a property for that now. The current property climate has led to a high number of long term renters, many of which have never been hands on with a property. Maybe getting as far as hanging pictures, a shelf perhaps. But when it comes down to learning about the nuts and bolts of a house and how to look after a property, renters tend to leave that job to the landlord/lady. That’s what you’re paying for …

vine bleu

The Vine Bleu Room – A Remote Design Project

Today is a special post for me. I’m sharing some before and afters of a remote design project I worked on at the end of 2018.  The homeowners had moved into a new family home, but not your average property, their new pad formed part of a Grade 2 listed Arts & Crafts mansion, designed by the architect George Morley Eaton, a follower of Sir Edwin Lutyens. As you would expect, architecturally, it’s stunning. However, one room in particular left them feeling somewhat overwhelmed; The Drawing Room. Estate Agent Photo Here’s how the room looked when it was sold. As you can see, it’s a huge at over 5m by 7m. With rooms like this, you don’t need to work too hard to make it look amazing. But what you do need to do is know how to use Scale and Proportion.  You can’t put an average sized sofa, rug or ceiling light into a room like this, you’ve got to supersize everything so it matches up to that fireplace, the beams, those door frames…. …

Project in progress

Project in progress… The Mulberry Red Room

Hello there, wasn’t sure if i’d make it onto the blog this week, but i’ve managed to squeeze a little one in.  I’m catching you up on another project. It’s the master bedroom of a house i’ve been working in for about 10 months now. The homeowner moved from a flat into a four bedroom Georgian property. The plot this beautiful stone built house sits in had been bought by developers, the property then chopped to make three individual houses. From the outside it’s beautiful and full of character, but internally, it was somewhat lacking so we’ve been working hard to bring it back to life. Living Room in Little Greene Grey Stone We’ve just about completed the living room (still got to take proper photos of that) and made progress on the stairs, landing and guest bedrooms but now we’re onto the top floor. This is (was) the master suite, on the second floor set in the eaves of the house. Can you see what would have originally been the real height of the ceiling …

Why consultations are REALLY important – New project time!

Earlier this year, I wrote a post about when to get an interior designer on board which went into some detail about what we do and why we really should be involved from the beginning of a project.  If I had a pound for every person emailing me to say they’ve just completed a build and now want some help with the interior design, well i’d have at least £100 by now. Not a lot of money admittedly, but that’s a lot of people thinking I just do sofas and paint colours. Incorrect. This brings me onto a consultation I did at the beginning of July at a beautiful, five bedroom, double fronted, 1930’s house. Original ground floor-plan The homeowners had been there for about four years already and had made a brilliant start at putting their stamp on the place. With most of the messy, building works already done, I was asked to go over for a consultation for the hallway, stairs and landing. Always the last place you should decorate peeps, because they …

wall lights

Planning a build? When do I get an interior designer on board?

I’ve always hated the job title, interior designer, most people still don’t really know what we actually do, but as i’ve mentioned before, paint colours and cushions really are about 0.6%. Cushions in the Upper Brook Street Project I’ve noticed more interior designers referring to themselves as ‘interior architects’. I can’t class myself as that by any means, i’m certainly no architect, but I do make decisions around spatial planning, flow, lighting plans, first fix wiring and plumbing… Here’s what Google has to say about Interior Architecture V’s Interior Design: Interior architecture is the balancing of the art and science of designing an interior space taking into account all elements of the build.  Interior design is a broad ranging profession taking into account all aspects of planning and designing interior spaces in the built environment. I kind of see myself as being somewhere in between the two. One of the things I get BIG kicks from is solving layout problems. It might be as simple repositioning a dining table so it runs lengthways instead of horizontally, …

Monochrome Bedroom with pops of yellow

How to Connect your Rooms – Choosing a Colour Palette

Hello everyone, I’m back this week with a little look at how to connect your rooms at home. What does that mean exactly? One of the keys to a successful home interior is having a sense of cohesion and “flow”. The rooms and spaces between should connect with the surrounding ones. For example, let’s say you’ve got three bedrooms on a floor, like most people and you want them all to have their own identity but also not look like a patchwork quilt from the landing, it’s good to consider how these spaces connect as a whole. Often, people run the flooring throughout to make the overall space feel larger. We all know that the less breaks in a colour or pattern, the better, as the eye continues further along the space. Flooring continues on from our loft bedroom to landing with no threshold to break the line’s eye. Another way to do is is choose a colour palette, and stick to that for a floor, even better, a whole house if you’re being really clever. …

Next Door at the Old Forge

New Project – Next Door@TheOldForge

Sometimes a project lands, and it’s almost too good to be true. This is one. When someone contacts you to design the interiors for what will become a unique, interiors focused, two bedroom holiday let in North Yorkshire AND gives you carte blanche to push yourself with the overall design, you know you’re going to have fun. This won’t be just any old holiday let, it’s being converted and remodelled from a Victorian cottage and outbuildings, attached to what once was a forge. The Old Forge, which is next door is now the homeowners’s family home. They bought these most wonderful buildings set in a large plot and enormous gardens five years ago and it’s literally dripping in history and period features. Their 10 year plan is to renovate the main family home, which they have nearly finished (bar a large extension for a kitchen/diner family room) and to convert the rest of the attached buildings to a holiday rental. So here are the bare bones of the cottage and remaining outbuildings, soon to become: …