long dis­tance dream

Kerri John­son and Ar­ren Kinder man­aged to ren­o­vate their el­e­gant ter­race de­spite liv­ing in sep­a­rate coun­tries at the time


How one pair over­saw the ren­o­va­tion of their Cheltenham ter­race from two dif­fer­ent coun­tries

Ar­ren Kinder was work­ing in Mex­ico as an aerospace op­er­a­tions man­ager, wait­ing for his part­ner Kerri John­son and chil­dren, Ge­orge, 10, and Billy, 8, to join him when the fam­ily suf­fered a be­reave­ment.‘when my brother Lee died,’ says Kerri, ‘our plans were put on hold. It was Ar­ren, on one of his trips back to Cheltenham, who spot­ted the house up for auc­tion. We de­cided that if the chil­dren and I were to re­main in the UK af­ter all, the ren­o­va­tion would give us some­thing pos­i­tive to fo­cus on.’

Hav­ing suc­cess­fully won the bid, and in the ab­sence of Ar­ren, Kerri took the helm. ‘My fa­ther, Philip, is a plas­terer and to­gether we project man­aged the ren­o­va­tion, while Ar­ren helped on his vis­its home,’ she ex­plains.

Within weeks, work started on re­plac­ing the two-storey ex­ten­sion with a wider one to cre­ate an open-plan kitchendiner and liv­ing space on the ground floor. Up­stairs, a small bath­room was turned into a guest bed­room with an en suite.

To get the best out of a new open-plan space, Kerri con­sulted her friend and in­te­rior de­signer Dan Cook from Furnish In­te­rior De­sign. ‘He came up with a lay­out that in­cor­po­rated a U-shaped kitchen that al­lowed for a cosy snug at the darker end of the room and a din­ing area that utilises the light at the other,’ says Kerri. To keep the room clut­ter free, a base­ment was con­verted into a play­room for the chil­dren.

‘The orange Smeg fridge, brought from our pre­vi­ous home, formed the start­ing point for the kitchen’s colour

scheme,’ says Kerri. The cou­ple chose con­tem­po­rary graphite-grey units to con­trast with the elec­tri­cal ap­pli­ance and colour­ful retro-style bar stools and din­ing chairs. In place of a tiled splash­back, the brickwork has been ex­posed to cre­ate an in­dus­trial-style back­drop.

With the ex­ten­sion com­pleted, the builders moved up­stairs to work on what the fam­ily had used as a makeshift bed­room and kitchen dur­ing the ren­o­va­tion, which be­came a spa­cious bath­room. ‘The up­cy­cled roll-top bath was a bar­gain, given to my fa­ther by one of his clients,’ says Kerri. ‘ We spray-painted it and added new taps.’

In Ge­orge’s bed­room, the dec­o­ra­tion was dic­tated by his re­quest for a Union Jack mu­ral, which Kerri has matched with graphic bed­ding and ac­ces­sories in pri­mary colours.

A flo­ral fea­ture wall sets the tone in the mas­ter bed­room and is rem­i­nis­cent of the flo­ral wall­pa­per in the room when Kerri first viewed the prop­erty.

Out­side, Kerri and Ar­ren have cre­ated a low­main­te­nance court­yard. In place of a cum­ber­some gar­den shed, a false wall hides a spa­cious, open-ended stor­age space.

On Ar­ren’s re­turn from Mex­ico, the house was com­plete, ex­cept for the sit­ting room at the front. When bud­get al­lowed, the cou­ple had stor­age units fit­ted ei­ther side of the ex­posed brick chim­ney­breast and then added a leather sofa and tar­tan arm­chair. ‘It’s taken a while to get the house just the way we want it,’ says Kerri, ‘ but it’s been worth the wait. It’s won­der­ful to fi­nally en­joy it as a fam­ily – and for all of us to be in the same coun­try again.’

DIN­ING AREA Chairs in a se­lec­tion of bright colours add an el­e­ment of fun to this space. Retro-style chairs, £50 each, Stoneb­ut­ter­fly

KITCHEN Gloss grey units teamed with white work­tops cre­ate a con­tem­po­rary look. Hol­born Gloss Grey cab­i­nets, from £244 for a 100cm base unit, Bench­marx. Retro stools, £ 45 each, Cult Fur­ni­ture

fam­ily room a corner sofa ef­fec­tively turns this space into a cosy snug. For a sim­i­lar corner sofa, try the An­nan, £899, So­fol­ogy. Topsy Yel­low pat­terned cush­ions, £12 each, Habi­tat

Mas­ter BED­ROOM Make a fea­ture of a wall by us­ing wall­pa­per in a bold flo­ral print. cre­ate a sim­i­lar feel with Home­base’s charmed White mul­ti­coloured wall­pa­per, £12.99 per roll

Ge­orge’ s BED­ROOM A Union Jack mu­ral dom­i­nates the scheme. oh­popsi Union Brick wall mu­ral, £59.99, Wickes. tra­di­tional large desk lamp, £53, love 4 lighting, is a good match

BATH­ROOM Check­ered floor­ing and a re­claimed roll-top bath add pe­riod el­e­gance. Pisa Black White elite tiles rhi­nofloor vinyl floor­ing, £11.99sq m, on­line car­pets. ra­grund chair, £35, ikea

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