let’s do it again

Debs and Ed Lewis en­joyed ren­o­vat­ing their prop­erty so much they did it twice

25 Beautiful Homes - - CONTENTS - Fea­ture Mandy nolan | Pho­tog­ra­phy Robert San­der­son

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.’

Fam­ily room ex­tend­ing into the gar­den has cre­ated a spa­cious fam­ily-friendly area. Ge­orge so­fas, £1,730 each; cush­ions, from £ 42 each; all Nep­tune. Sul­li­van cof­fee ta­ble, £269, Swoon Edi­tions, is sim­i­lar

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