Savvy couple transform dated Edwardian property into a chic home

A couple have transformed a dated Edwardian property – with the interior not having been touched since the 90s – into a chic home by painstakingly restoring its original features and adding £90,000 to the property value in the process.

Rachael Turner, 34, purchased the period property in Chester with husband Richard, 35, in June 2020 for £560,000 after seeing heaps of potential hiding under a heavy red shag carpet and tired magnolia walls.

Due to the dire condition of their new home, the couple weren’t able to live in it while DIYing and instead, along with their three-year-old daughter, Poppy, moved in with Rachael’s parents nearby.

In fact, the Edwardian house was in such disrepair that the front door and frame was rotting away, with it swinging open in the breeze ‘even when locked’.

Meanwhile the interior hadn’t seen a refresh since the 90s, with heavy curtains darkening the windows and dated glass light fittings.

‘The house was empty and it had been for a while, the people we brought it off had already moved out and nothing had really been done to it in quite a long time so it was very, very dated,’ explained RachaeI, who spent just under £20,000 on the renovation. 

Rachael Turner, 34, purchased the period property in Chester with husband Richard, 35, in June 2020 for £560,000 after seeing heaps of potential hiding under a heavy red shag carpet and tired magnolia walls. Pictured, the living room before the renovation

Rachael Turner, 34, purchased the period property in Chester with husband Richard, 35, in June 2020 for £560,000 after seeing heaps of potential hiding under a heavy red shag carpet and tired magnolia walls. Pictured, the living room before the renovation

Rachael Turner, 34, purchased the period property in Chester with husband Richard, 35, in June 2020 for £560,000 after seeing heaps of potential hiding under a heavy red shag carpet and tired magnolia walls. Pictured, the living room before the renovation

Due to the dire condition of their new home, the couple weren't able to live in it while DIYing and instead, along with their three-year-old daughter, Poppy, moved in with Rachael's parents nearby. Pictured, living room after the renovation

Due to the dire condition of their new home, the couple weren't able to live in it while DIYing and instead, along with their three-year-old daughter, Poppy, moved in with Rachael's parents nearby. Pictured, living room after the renovation

Due to the dire condition of their new home, the couple weren’t able to live in it while DIYing and instead, along with their three-year-old daughter, Poppy, moved in with Rachael’s parents nearby. Pictured, living room after the renovation

Rachael Turner's playroom before the renovation

Rachael Turner's playroom before the renovation

Rachael Turner's playroom after the renovation

Rachael Turner's playroom after the renovation

The savvy mother hired a bespoke carpenter to build alcove cupboards in the playroom which cost £1,500. Pictured left, the playroom before and right, after

Pictured: Rachael's hallway during the renovation

Pictured: Rachael's hallway during the renovation

Pictured: The stairs after the renovation

Pictured: The stairs after the renovation

Rachael’s tired-looking hallway during the renovation (left) and after the updated makeover (right)

Rachael (pictured) painstakingly restored the property's original features and added £90,000 to the property value in the process

Rachael (pictured) painstakingly restored the property's original features and added £90,000 to the property value in the process

Rachael (pictured) painstakingly restored the property’s original features and added £90,000 to the property value in the process

‘It was quite 90s; bright red carpets, magnolia walls. But when we lifted up the carpet in the hallway downstairs we found these beautiful original Edwardian tiles.

‘It’s an Edwardian house so the tiles are around 110 years old and they were in a really bad way, cracked with some tiles missing. There was a whole section that when we lifted up the carpet was completely littered with concrete.’

Unable to leave the damaged tiles as they were and unwilling to cover them up again, RachaeI called in an Edwardian tile restoration expert who painstakingly repaired and replaced the missing tiles with salvaged pieces.

The mum, who works in finance, said: ‘I’m so pleased we managed to save that because that would have been such a shame to have to get rid of it and that was something really nice that we discovered that we could keep hold of.’

Next, after ridding the downstairs of its beige decor, the pair had £3,000 worth of shutters installed to maximise the light that enters the lofty rooms while maintaining a private and cosy feeling throughout.

Due to the dire condition of their new home, the couple weren't able to live in it while DIYing and instead, along with their three-year-old daughter, Poppy, moved in with Rachael's parents nearby. Pictured, master bedroom before the renovation

Due to the dire condition of their new home, the couple weren't able to live in it while DIYing and instead, along with their three-year-old daughter, Poppy, moved in with Rachael's parents nearby. Pictured, master bedroom before the renovation

Due to the dire condition of their new home, the couple weren’t able to live in it while DIYing and instead, along with their three-year-old daughter, Poppy, moved in with Rachael’s parents nearby. Pictured, master bedroom before the renovation

The stylish and chic master bedroom after it was given a much-needed updated makeover (pictured)

The stylish and chic master bedroom after it was given a much-needed updated makeover (pictured)

 The stylish and chic master bedroom after it was given a much-needed updated makeover (pictured)

The interior hadn't seen a refresh since the 90s, with heavy curtains darkening the windows and dated glass light fittings. Pictured, the living room before the renovation

The interior hadn't seen a refresh since the 90s, with heavy curtains darkening the windows and dated glass light fittings. Pictured, the living room before the renovation

The interior hadn’t seen a refresh since the 90s, with heavy curtains darkening the windows and dated glass light fittings. Pictured, the living room before the renovation

The couple transformed the dated Edwardian property with the interior not having been touched since the 90s. Pictured, the living room after the makeover

The couple transformed the dated Edwardian property with the interior not having been touched since the 90s. Pictured, the living room after the makeover

The couple transformed the dated Edwardian property with the interior not having been touched since the 90s. Pictured, the living room after the makeover

The couple got rid of the beige decoration downstairs

The couple got rid of the beige decoration downstairs

The pair had £3,000 worth of shutters installed to maximise the light that enters the lofty rooms

The pair had £3,000 worth of shutters installed to maximise the light that enters the lofty rooms

After ridding the downstairs of its beige decor, the pair had £3,000 worth of shutters installed to maximise the light that enters the lofty rooms while maintaining a private and cosy feeling throughout. Pictured, the living room after the renovation

The savvy mother's living room after it was given a much-needed makeover, while still maintaining many of its original features

The savvy mother's living room after it was given a much-needed makeover, while still maintaining many of its original features

The savvy mother’s living room after it was given a much-needed makeover, while still maintaining many of its original features 

Pictured: Rachael Turner's living room before the renovation

Pictured: Rachael Turner's living room before the renovation

Pictured: The salvaged reclaimed arch

Pictured: The salvaged reclaimed arch

A reclaimed arch, which was bizarrely salvaged (pictured, left before and right, after) from the former ‘Chester lunatic asylum’ leads from the lounge into the snug

The arch was an extension added to the home in 2009 by previous owners, who now live next door. Pictured, the snug after the renovation

The arch was an extension added to the home in 2009 by previous owners, who now live next door. Pictured, the snug after the renovation

The arch was an extension added to the home in 2009 by previous owners, who now live next door. Pictured, the snug after the renovation

Another trick the house had up its sleeve for its loving owners was the replica Edwardian stained glass surrounding the front door, which turned out to have been cheaply replaced in the 70s and would have been very costly to repair. Pictured, before the renovation

Another trick the house had up its sleeve for its loving owners was the replica Edwardian stained glass surrounding the front door, which turned out to have been cheaply replaced in the 70s and would have been very costly to repair. Pictured, before the renovation

Another trick the house had up its sleeve for its loving owners was the replica Edwardian stained glass surrounding the front door, which turned out to have been cheaply replaced in the 70s and would have been very costly to repair. Pictured, before the renovation

The couple had to say goodbye to the stainglass windows because it would've been too costly for a replacement. Pictured, the Edwardian home after the renovation

The couple had to say goodbye to the stainglass windows because it would've been too costly for a replacement. Pictured, the Edwardian home after the renovation

The couple had to say goodbye to the stainglass windows because it would’ve been too costly for a replacement. Pictured, the Edwardian home after the renovation

The Edwardian house was in such disrepair that the front door and frame was rotting away, with it swinging open in the breeze 'even when locked.' Pictured, before the renovation

The Edwardian house was in such disrepair that the front door and frame was rotting away, with it swinging open in the breeze 'even when locked.' Pictured, before the renovation

The Edwardian house was in such disrepair that the front door and frame was rotting away, with it swinging open in the breeze ‘even when locked.’ Pictured, before the renovation

Pictured: The damaged front door before the renovation

Pictured: The damaged front door before the renovation

Pictured: Front door after the renovation

Pictured: Front door after the renovation

 Rachael was left with no choice but to remove the stainglass windows on the front door (pictured left) and replace them with modern alternatives

COST BREAKDOWN 

Bespoke pink wooden front door built by specialist carpenter to Rachael’s design £4,000

Restoration of original Edwardian hallway floor tiles £800

Decorating throughout including paint £3,000

Engineered oak herringbone floor in living room and snug £5,000

Carpets for upstairs £2,000

New radiators £1,500

Bespoke carpenter built alcove cupboards in the playroom £1,500

Art work and prints (including two originals by @lucydonovanart) £1,500

Cabinet upcycle – free cabinet, £40 van hire, £26 paint and £30 wallpaper

 

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But a period property renovation can bring with it unexpected costs.

One particularly pricey aspect was the ‘wobbly’ downstairs floor, which had to be completely replaced.

Rachael and Richard chose to install an engineered oak herringbone floor but before they could do that, they had to have the existing floor evened out – which in total set the family back an eye-watering £6,000.

The mum added: ‘The space is quite big so there’s quite a lot of floor area and the two rooms, the living room and snug, kind of flow into each other so we had to have the same floor throughout.

‘It took a bit of time to make that decision because it’s expensive but I’m really really pleased with how it turned out, it looks so nice.

‘Something that made the price go up quite a lot on the floor underneath was really, really wobbly and uneven so we had to have the floor all evened out first.

‘They use this material called screed, kind of like concrete and level the floor before they can lay the oak. It was a really big job.’

Another trick the house had up its sleeve for its loving owners was the replica Edwardian stained glass surrounding the front door, which turned out to have been cheaply replaced in the 70s and would have been very costly to repair.

Unfortunately, this was one feature they had to say goodbye to.

Rachael said: ‘The whole door frame was surrounded by this beautiful stained glass.

‘I thought we’d get to keep it but then the stained glass expert said that it’s not even original, it’s from like the 70s.

‘It would have cost thousands to save it and it was all disintegrated and cracked, so we just had to get rid of that.’

Using a carefully selected colour palette of Farrow and Ball paints – mostly in RachaeI’s favourite colours, green and pink – the house’s new decor was designed to allow the interior doors to be left open, with each room flowing freely into the next.

A reclaimed arch, which was bizarrely salvaged from the former ‘Chester lunatic asylum’ leads from the lounge into the snug – an extension added to the home in 2009 by previous owners, who now live next door.

Although the renovations were mainly carried out by tradesmen, Rachael did turn her hand to the interior.

She carefully selected a mix of new and upcycled furniture, such as a beautiful cabinet which she sanded, painted and added wallpaper on – and which now takes pride of place in the couple’s living room.

Although the renovations were mainly carried out by tradesmen, Rachael did turn her hand to the interior. Pictured, Rachael's daughter's bedroom before the renovation

Although the renovations were mainly carried out by tradesmen, Rachael did turn her hand to the interior. Pictured, Rachael's daughter's bedroom before the renovation

Although the renovations were mainly carried out by tradesmen, Rachael did turn her hand to the interior. Pictured, Rachael’s daughter’s bedroom before the renovation

Pictured: Rachael Turner's daughter's bedroom was given an updated makeover with pastel walls and a chic rug

Pictured: Rachael Turner's daughter's bedroom was given an updated makeover with pastel walls and a chic rug

Pictured: Rachael Turner’s daughter’s bedroom was given an updated makeover with pastel walls and a chic rug

Pictured: The cabinet before the makeover

Pictured: The cabinet before the makeover

Pictured: The beautiful cabinet which Rachael sanded, painted and added wallpaper to

Pictured: The beautiful cabinet which Rachael sanded, painted and added wallpaper to

Rachael carefully selected a mix of new and upcycled furniture, such as a beautiful cabinet which she sanded, painted and added wallpaper on

The stunning upcycled cabinet (pictured) now takes pride of place in the couple's living room

The stunning upcycled cabinet (pictured) now takes pride of place in the couple's living room

The stunning upcycled cabinet (pictured) now takes pride of place in the couple’s living room

Rachael said: ‘My husband and I are not handy at all. Things that people find really easy, like curtain poles, l managed to make a mess of.

‘But I found the cabinet on Facebook Marketplace where someone was trying to get rid of it for free because it is massive and wouldn’t fit in a car.’

The family moved in after four months of renovations in October 2020, leaving the bathroom and kitchen makeover for a later date, as these had been updated before the sale went through.

The total cost of renovations was just under £20,000 and the estimated market value of the property has increased by £90,000 – with the home now worth £650,000.

Pictured: The magnolia-coloured hallway before the renovation

Pictured: The magnolia-coloured hallway before the renovation

Rachael's hallway before the renovation

Rachael's hallway before the renovation

The couple revealed that when they lifted up the carpet in the hallway downstairs they found beautiful original Edwardian tiles. Pictured, left the stairway before and right, after

RachaeI called in an Edwardian tile restoration expert who painstakingly repaired and replaced the missing tiles with salvaged pieces. Pictured, the hallway during the makeover

RachaeI called in an Edwardian tile restoration expert who painstakingly repaired and replaced the missing tiles with salvaged pieces. Pictured, the hallway during the makeover

RachaeI called in an Edwardian tile restoration expert who painstakingly repaired and replaced the missing tiles with salvaged pieces. Pictured, the hallway during the makeover

Rachael said the living room and snug 'kind of flow into each other' so they had to have the same floor throughout. Pictured, before the renovation

Rachael said the living room and snug 'kind of flow into each other' so they had to have the same floor throughout. Pictured, before the renovation

Rachael said the living room and snug ‘kind of flow into each other’ so they had to have the same floor throughout. Pictured, before the renovation

Prior to taking on the 90s time capsule home, RachaeI had only ever owned an ‘all white’ new build.

Now the mother, who clearly has an eye for interior design, shares her design ideas on her Instagram page (@OhMyEdwardian), where she has over 18,800 followers.

She added: ‘Our previous house was a new build.

‘It was all white and I just kind of left it how it was when the builders built it, so there wasn’t much going on in there.

‘But then when we bought this house and with it being an Edwardian property, I really wanted to kind of make the most of some of the original features.

‘So I just spent so much time doing research on Instagram, looking at people who have Edwardian houses and what they’ve done to their home.

‘I work in finance and I never thought I was creative.’ 

Link hienalouca.com

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