‘we’ve done it all our­selves’

With a lit­tle help from her fam­ily, Vic­to­ria, 33, has man­aged to to­tally re­store her Vic­to­rian cot­tage on a tight bud­get and bring it back to life

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With some clever bud­get­ing and a lit­tle help from her fam­ily, Vic­to­ria Gal­limore has brought her old cot­tage back to life

Tak­ing on a house that needed a lot of work didn’t faze me and my fi­ancé Andy at all,’ says Vic­to­ria. ‘We first viewed this old cot­tage a few years ago and it was in dire need of care and at­ten­tion, how­ever we’re both fairly handy and wanted a chal­lenge. Plus, we’d been strug­gling to find a pe­riod prop­erty within our bud­get, and this way, we could add value and put our own stamp on it.

Although the main part of the house is Vic­to­rian, it had an odd 1970s ex­ten­sion at the back with a flat roof, which housed the kitchen and bath­room. This was also where we found most of the prob­lems. Ev­ery­thing needed do­ing – there was damp, cracks in the walls, no skirt­ing and pine pan­elling ev­ery­where, but it had a lot of space and char­ac­ter, so we took our chances.

Help­ing hands

Straight away, we en­listed the as­sis­tance of our fathers, Roy and Bob, who be­tween them have plenty of ex­pe­ri­ence of DIY and prop­erty ren­o­va­tion. Andy is good at building, too – he made our wardrobes, laid the liv­ing room floor and in­stalled a new kitchen and bath­room, as well as help­ing me paint the whole house. And as I re­store fur­ni­ture for a liv­ing, I took charge of the decor and ac­ces­sories, mak­ing most of the cush­ions, and choos­ing the fab­rics and colour pal­ette – it was a team ef­fort.

Our first chal­lenge was the damp. Once this was solved, we re­plas­tered ev­ery­where and re­placed the ra­di­a­tors be­fore turn­ing our thoughts to the master bed­room. As the floor­boards were in good shape in this room, we sim­ply re­vived them with floor paint. Next, Andy built the wardrobes so we could put away all the clothes and hide any clut­ter. It meant we had a tidy, calm sanc­tu­ary where we could es­cape while all the other work was be­ing car­ried out.

Ad­mit­tedly, the ren­o­va­tion was quite hard at times as we had to fit ev­ery­thing

‘We splashed out on two items in here – the wood floor from Quick-step, which fits in well with the age and style of the house, and the Blue­bell sofa, from Sofa.com’ great idea ‘Make cush­ions out of your favourite fab­rics and don’t be afraid to mix and match’ treat time

fo­cal Point ‘The wood­burner was al­ready here when we moved in – it not only looks lovely but it’s also very ef­fi­cient and cre­ates plenty of warmth’

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