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The renovation of the property took over a year and building another partition reflecting the rest of the
a half, with Paul taking time off work to undertake house. He found reclaimed freestanding bathtubs
the mammoth task of restoration. His intention was and positioned them so that the bathrooms mirrored
to ensure the house kept its original shape with lots each other. All the coving required that the paintwork
of rooms but before any work could begin consent be removed by hand and in order to get the definition
from the listed building and borough council had to back and reveal the ornate mouldings, Paul worked
be obtained to ensure all plans were in keeping with with a razor blade tirelessly until it was completed.
the period of the house. Everything was to be done Once this was completed, the walls were painted
by hard labour; in the first few months Paul cleared in a flat matt colour to allow the walls to breath
by hand over eleven tonnes of rubble, as there is no due to the lime plaster that was another council
access at the rear of the property. With £80,000 set requirement. Julie purposely chose Farrow and Ball
aside to complete the work, Paul set about working paints, Old White, Farrow’s Cream and String to befit
from the roof down. The roof was re-tiled and new the grandeur of the house and were in accordance
chimney pots, eight in total, had to be sourced from with the Georgian style. Her inspiration came from an
local reclamation yards and all had to be similar in original pellmet from the front reception room. The
style and in keeping with the property, this in itself ceiling paper presented another problem. English
was a time consuming job. It did however reveal itself Heritage visited the propertyand noted that the paper
to be a large enough loft space to accommodate a was particularly rare and that they were only aware
self-contained apartment with exposed beam work. of one other similar in an opera house in Scotland.
Unfortunately a lot of paper
With no heating and no prints were destroyed in the
electricity Paul recalls in Paul recalls in the early days when nineteenth century in a factory
the early days when he was fire, and Paul was offered ahe was painting the windowsills“
painting the windowsills considerablesumtoreproducehow his hands were literally frozen
how his hands were literally the pattern. Another razor Staircaseas the winter winds whipped
frozen as the winter winds blade, painstakingly tiresome
around the walls and howwhipped around the walls and task was before him as he“
how mysterious happenings worked to preserve the papermysterious happenings occurred
occurred when he was and remove the pre existingwhen he was working late into the
working late into the night. paintwork. It took him two andnight.
Central heating was a must a half months! The work he
as soon as the house was air undertook was truly a feat.
tight, but Paul had configured
a system that would accommodate five bathrooms The kitchen is often the heart of any home. Paul
and follow pipe work regulations although it was hand built shaker style units to maximise the space
thought the house must have initially had rented and painted it Dutch Pink and Powder Blue, two
rooms as the pluming work was already in place. The beautifully subtle colours that give a real sense of
nature of the house dictated that all the lead paint warmth. What is truly striking when in the beautifully
needed to be removed by hand which took over three landscaped garden is the balcony at the rear of the
months and Paul personally sanded the staircase house. Originally made of concrete Paul obtained Reception Room 1
spindles by fingertip. It was Paul’s intention to create permission to knock it down and rebuilt it, inspired by
a partition in the front of the house and as this was the Renee Mackintosh building two doors down. The
purpose built he was keen that that it mirrored the first of it’s kind, in a half moon shape; Julie’s father
surrounding walls. The whole house had to be re constructed it by hand from steel.
plastered and lime plastered where relevant before
he could turn his attention to the marble finishing, Paul loves living in the heart of town, close to the
which revealed fire surrounds in the style of Robert theatre, Becketts Park and local restaurants, but
Adam behind boarded fire grates. All the floorboards what he treasures most is waking up in the morning
were restored to their original glory, 9 ½ inch boards and taking his coffee outside to the garden, listening
in the attic, which would have originally been the to the birdsong and revelling in the peacefulness
servant’s quarters as larger boards were cheaper in and tranquillity of his home. Julie values the house’s
the Georgian period. Natural stone was used in the character, the open fireplaces (particularly in their
kitchen and utility area, as in the bathrooms. During bedroom), and despite being five floors high, how
the renovation of the attic space, Paul found men’s such a big house can feel so warm and snug like a
magazines dating back to the 1920’s, 30’s and 40’s, country cottage; a true family home. Paul and Julie
st1 edition books, glassware and crockery from the don’t feel like owner’s of this beautiful home, instead
early 1900’s, a pair of army boots from WW1 and more caretakers for a house that is full of history and
pieces of linen and lace from 1826; a treasure trove charm. With his wealth of experience in restoring and
of history. renovating period houses, Paul is available with a
Julie always dreamed of his and her bathroom suites, team of craftsmen should you require his services.
and so Paul split the second floor bathroom into two, T: 07963 005396. Reception Room 2
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