let’s do it again
Debs and Ed Lewis enjoyed renovating their property so much they did it twice
A second renovation of their 1890s London property didn’t faze this perfectionist pair
Fifteen years ago, after buying a number of homes, which they modernised and sold on, Debs and Ed Lewis decided it was time to settle down for the long term. Looking for that special place, the couple were thrilled to spot a house near to where they lived. ‘It’s late Victorian, which is a style we’ve always admired,’ says Debs. ‘The property had great potential, but it was quite miserable. It was damp, the floors felt sticky and there were dog hairs everywhere.’
The couple decided to camp out in the house until their two daughters returned to school after the holidays. They then set about tackling the renovation. ‘The kitchen was at the front, so we moved it to the back, into our new extension,’ says Debs. ‘It was the best design decision we made as it created a light, open-plan kitchen-living space, where we spend most of our time together.’
DESIGN FOR LIVING
Fast-forward 15 years, and the couple were ready to make a change. ‘With the girls grown up, Ed and I decided it was time to transform the house again,’ explains Debs. The Lewis’s chose to enlarge the extension, lowering the floor in order to increase the height of the ceiling in the kitchen.
Ed felt the house lacked a significant focal point so the second sitting room was turned into a hallway. ‘It was an inspired decision as it was wasted space before,’ reflects Debs. ‘Now, the house seems to have the presence it was missing. Glass doors between the rooms and the addition of mirrors allow light to flood through the entire ground floor.’
Once the structural work was complete, Debs consulted interior designer Miranda Snow. ‘She is very good with colour and recommended a cohesive theme,’ says Debs. ‘ We appreciated her candour, too – she told us that if we wanted a new look, all our furniture had to go and we should start again. Ed was appalled at the idea and took some persuading. Finally, he agreed and we put all our old furniture on ebay, keeping a few special pieces that were of sentimental value, which have blended in beautifully.
THE RIGHT FIT
‘I couldn’t just rush out and buy furniture for the entire house in one go,’ says Debs, ‘so I did it room by room. It was no hardship as I love shopping and happily spent days searching for the right pieces. Miranda helped me find the perfect place for everything, and somehow we’ve fitted quite a lot in without the house feeling cluttered in any way.’
Debs has enjoyed the whole refurbishment, but is adamant that this is the last time she will take on such a project. ‘Two refreshes are quite enough,’ she agrees. ‘This feels like a new phase for our home and we couldn’t be happier here.’