Vin­tage reno: a run-down Vic­to­rian home is trans­formed

Lynn Clay used her keen eye for an­tiques and de­sign to trans­form a run-down Vic­to­rian home.

Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - CONTENTS - AWW

For fash­ion store owner Lynn Clay, the home she shares with her hus­band Ge­off is a tran­quil es­cape. “We’ve lived here for just over three years and it still feels like I’m on hol­i­day,” says Lynn. “Our street is so quiet, yet just around the cor­ner there are buzzing cafés and restau­rants, and the beach is only 10 min­utes away.”

The cou­ple pur­chased the home in a leafy sub­urb in Mel­bourne af­ter fall­ing in love with its orig­i­nal vin­tage fea­tures. The house had been left un­touched for gen­er­a­tions and was beg­ging for some spe­cial at­ten­tion

– a real ren­o­va­tor’s dream.

“The kitchen had an orig­i­nal old gas cooker and there was no heat­ing or in­door toi­let,” says Lynn. “We fell for the sim­plic­ity of the prop­erty, with its beau­ti­ful lead­light win­dows in the en­trance and the fact that all the lovely orig­i­nal fea­tures were in­tact.”

Since mov­ing in, the cou­ple has made many changes to the twobed­room house, start­ing with re­plas­ter­ing many of the walls to make them com­pletely smooth and free of cracks. “We painted the walls straight out of the tin with­out any tint – painters hate do­ing this, as you need many more coats,” she says. The tip was passed on by an in­te­rior de­sign friend years ago. “The look is just fab­u­lous and we love it.”

The ren­o­va­tions also in­cluded adding hy­dronic heat­ing, re­mov­ing the old car­pet (and dis­cov­er­ing glo­ri­ous wide tim­ber floor­boards in the process), adding an in­ter­nal bath­room and up­dat­ing the kitchen. “We left the kitchen’s orig­i­nal walls and tiled it in sub­way tiles. An in­dus­trial sink was added and a Ber­taz­zoni stove was

in­stalled into the old fire­place there,” she says. The kitchen is the room Lynn spends the most time in, and the wall of art­work be­hind the din­ing ta­ble is her pride and joy. “Each art piece has a spe­cial mem­ory; they were all found on dif­fer­ent oc­ca­sions,” she ex­plains. “I bought them from mar­kets, op shops and an­tique stores.”

For Lynn, sim­plic­ity is at the heart of all her dec­o­rat­ing de­ci­sions.

“[Nine­teenth-cen­tury English tex­tile de­signer] Wil­liam Mor­ris once said: ‘Have noth­ing in your house that you do not know to be use­ful or be­lieve to be beau­ti­ful’ – wise words in­deed. We don’t have any­thing we don’t love in our house,” she says.

“Own­ing my store, Scar­let Jones, gives me my in­spi­ra­tion and keeps me up to date,” she adds.

The in­te­rior is a mix­ture of the old and the new, with many unique vin­tage pieces in the mix. “I adore vin­tage, qual­ity de­sign. It’s age­less and you can see that some­one has cared and taken pride in their work.”

CLOCK­WISE FROM LEFT: The new bath­room is beau­ti­fully un­der­stated; draw­ers made from 1930s tin cans; vin­tage de­tail.

TOP: The kitchen was up­dated with a new sink, stove and white tiles. ABOVE AND LEFT: Vin­tage and an­tique finds.

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