full cir­cle

Ra­mon and Brenda Valvona re­worked a trea­sured child­hood home to cre­ate a bright and open space, per­fectly suited to mod­ern liv­ing


Trans­form­ing his child­hood home was the project of a life­time for one Ed­in­burgh owner

Ra­mon Valvona lived in this char­ac­ter­ful Ed­in­burgh villa as a child. ‘My par­ents bought the house more than 35 years ago, ren­o­vat­ing and flam­boy­antly dec­o­rat­ing it in true Eight­ies style,’ he says. ‘There were pais­ley pat­terned fabrics, swags and pel­mets.’

The house was quite dark, though. ‘There were doors and cur­tains ev­ery­where, which ob­scured the true amount of space and light,’ says Ra­mon. Years on, with the prop­erty too large for his fa­ther, Ra­mon, his wife Brenda and their daugh­ter Olivia had the op­por­tu­nity to de­velop it into their own fam­ily home.

‘We knew that we wanted to open up the house,’ ex­plains Ra­mon. ‘I love the fact that from the front door you can now see right through to the kitchen, and from the sit­ting room you can see through to the back gar­den.’ An ex­pe­ri­enced prop­erty de­vel­oper, Ra­mon was able to un­der­take the project, which in­volved adding a large ex­ten­sion and up­dat­ing and ren­o­vat­ing the whole house, rel­a­tively pain­lessly and in record time.

‘We started in De­cem­ber 2016 and, seven months later, the work was com­plete. I pushed to get it fin­ished – some days, there were 30 peo­ple in and out of the house,’ says Ra­mon.

Know­ing this was their for­ever home, Ra­mon and Brenda called in their friend and in­te­rior de­signer, Rachel Richmond, from Ed­in­burgh-based firm Hen & Crask. ‘Rachel was able to de­velop a scheme which in­jected our per­sonal style into the house,’ ex­plains Brenda. ‘She gave us sev­eral op­tions. I wanted a neu­tral back­drop but we came up with some re­ally punchy ad­di­tions, adding pops of bold spring colours, plus in­dus­trial touches with the light­ing. I was un­sure about it at first, but now I’m de­lighted with the slight edge and zing that Rachel has brought to the sooth­ing pal­ette.’

The re­sult is a scheme that is un­doubt­edly lux­u­ri­ous – a thor­oughly mod­ern over­haul but still re­spect­ful of the prop­erty’s his­tory, both in terms of the fam­ily’s past and the beau­ti­ful pe­riod fea­tures that the cou­ple have ex­pertly pre­served. Cor­nic­ing, fire­places, skirt­ing boards and mould­ings now sit along­side state-of-the-art heat­ing and light­ing sys­tems.

Adding an ex­ten­sion to a pe­riod prop­erty can be vis­ually chal­leng­ing, but thanks to con­sid­er­able thought and plan­ning by their ar­chi­tect, John­ston Har­ris, Brenda and Ra­mon have uni­fied their home suc­cess­fully. ‘The large porce­lain grey tiles that we’ve laid in the ex­ten­sion run up to the front door, help­ing the house flow per­fectly from front to back,’ says Ra­mon. ‘We feel we’ve opened up a new chap­ter for this pre­cious home and the whole fam­ily is de­lighted.’

BATH­ROOM The bath was the start­ing point for this Zen-like sanc­tu­ary. Ava slim­line free­stand­ing bath is com­pa­ra­ble, £ 499, Soak.com. walls painted in Peignoir es­tate emul­sion, £ 45 for 2.5L, Far­row & ball MAIN BED­ROOM A vel­vet head­board, with built-in shelves for bed­side ta­bles, adds a touch of lux­ury. walls painted in Dove tale es­tate emul­sion, £39.50 for 2.5L, Far­row & ball. teal vel­vet cush­ions, £24 each, tk Maxx. Linen du­vet cover, from £39, Marks & Spencer

OLIVIA’S BED­ROOM The soft, dusky pink of this pretty room will work well into teenage years. walls painted in Calamine es­tate emul­sion, £ 45 for 2.5L, Far­row & ball. bed, £ 450, great Lit­tle trad­ing Co

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