‘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
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.
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’