Déjà Vu

Th­ese home­own­ers have fi­nally moved into the Cheshire house they fell in love with 16 years ago.

Victorian Homes - - Contents - BY JUDI GOODWIN

Th­ese home­own­ers have fi­nally moved into the Cheshire house they fell in love with 16 years ago.

“This house was al­ways tug­ging at our hearts.”

They found it when Tina was preg­nant and they were hunt­ing for a Cheshire prop­erty with more space. It was an elegant Vic­to­rian villa in an el­e­vated po­si­tion with a unique veranda and won­der­ful views. But they lost the chance to buy it when the sale of their own house fell through. Then, three years ago, their dream home came on the mar­ket again. “At the time I had no in­ten­tion in moving,” ad­mits Tina. “But this house was al­ways tug­ging at our hearts. And once we came and had an­other look, Richard per­suaded me to re­con­sider.”

Seven­teen years ago, Tina and Richard Btesh started a love af­fair with a beau­ti­ful house.

In the mean­time, they had ex­tended and ren­o­vated two pre­vi­ous homes. The idea of re­fur­bish­ing an­other house was daunt­ing. But they de­cided that if they did the ren­o­va­tion work be­fore moving in, it would ease the pain. So they bought the house in the sum­mer and spent six months on struc­tural work to make the spa­ces work bet­ter for them and their teenage daugh­ter Fred­die.

Their first pri­or­ity was the kitchen, since it lacked an area where they could sit and re­lax to­gether. They drew up plans to ex­tend it with a gar­den room at the back of the house that would lead to a small walled pa­tio.

“Work be­gan at the start of a very cold win­ter,” Tina says. “The builders dug out the ex­ten­sion and knocked down the ex­ter­nal wall. So, one morn­ing when we came to take some mea­sure­ments, we ar­rived to find the kitchen was cov­ered with snow.”

Last dec­o­rated in the nineties, the house had a dark red dining room, a bright yellow kitchen and an orange sit­ting room.

They also changed the use of some of the rooms. The dining room be­came their new front sit­ting room. The pre­vi­ous sit­ting room be­came a fam­ily den, dining hall and study area. They in­stalled new door­ways so the rooms would flow bet­ter.

Tina su­per­vised the re­fur­bish­ment project, and her vi­sion was to cre­ate a home that had “a gen­tle English coun­try feel” with oc­ca­sional French and Gus­ta­vian in­flu­ences. Last dec­o­rated in the nineties, the house had a dark red dining room, a bright yellow kitchen and an orange sit­ting room. Tina wanted to use a much cooler pal­ette of grays and pas­tels.

In the tra­di­tional kitchen, cus­tom-made cab­i­nets mix with vintage pieces painted in tones of gray. When daugh­ter Fred­die comes home from school, she can re­lax and chat in the gar­den room be­fore tack­ling home­work on the kitchen table.

Through­out the house, the cou­ple has in­vested in good qual­ity floor­ing and used large gray slabs of cush­ion-edged stone through the kitchen, gar­den room and hall­way. Car­pet of a sim­i­lar tone is in the front sit­ting room, which helps the spa­ces flow.

Their first pri­or­ity was the kitchen, since it lacked an area where they could sit and re­lax to­gether.

As some­one who trained in art de­sign, Tina is re­mark­ably re­strained in her choice of fab­rics. She uses mostly stripes and solid col­ors, which work well on the so­fas in the blue sit­ting room. A cou­ple foot­stools pro­vide flex­i­ble seat­ing when young­sters visit, and she has in­tro­duced a hint of chintz with a flo­ral linen on an armchair and match­ing cush­ions.

Up­stairs, the bed­rooms fea­ture soft pas­tels, and Fred­die chose a mid-tone blue for her first grown-up bed­room. Tina and Richard’s room is a faded pink. They trans­formed the space by widen­ing the door­way into the en-suite bath­room.

Re­design­ing the bath­room gave them the op­por­tu­nity to in­stall a bath by the win­dow with a stun­ning view. Tina de­signed a dresser for stor­ing tow­els and toi­letries, made by a lo­cal com­pany who also fit­ted the kitchen.

They de­cided that if they did the ren­o­va­tion work be­fore moving in, it would ease the pain.

Up­stairs, the bed­rooms are painted in soft pas­tels, while daugh­ter Fred­die chose a mid-tone blue for her first grown-up bed­room.

“I just draw what I want and they make it,” she says. “Then I add paint fin­ishes, mold­ings or new han­dles for an in­di­vid­ual look.”

Now that every­thing else is com­plete—in­clud­ing the for­mal gar­den—the last re­main­ing chap­ter of the cou­ple’s love story with the house will be to con­vert the garage at the back of the house into an art stu­dio where Tina and Fred­die can pot­ter and paint.

“It’s been hard work, but well worth all the ef­fort,” says Tina. “There were some dif­fi­cult mo­ments in the con­ver­sion process, but our vi­sion spurred us on. We kept think­ing how lovely it would be to live here and we’ve not been dis­ap­pointed. We just love it.”

Which is, of course, the per­fect happy end­ing.

It was an elegant Vic­to­rian villa in an el­e­vated po­si­tion with a unique veranda and won­der­ful views.

Above. A rus­tic bench gives a re­laxed feel to the Vic­to­rian hall­way. The walls are painted in Strong White Es­tate Emul­sion by Far­row and Ball above the dado, and French Grey Es­tate Emul­sion by Far­row and Ball be­low the dado.

Op­po­site. In the rest­ful sit­ting room, the tele­vi­sion is strate­gi­cally hid­den in a spe­cially made-to-mea­sure wall cup­board. Right. Th­ese walls show off Parma Grey Es­tate Emul­sion paint by Far­row and Ball. Co­or­di­nat­ing blue crock­ery lines the ar­moire shelv

Above, left. A sump­tu­ous check­ered chair of­fers a cozy spot by the down­stairs win­dow.

Above, Right. Tina loves to take tea with friends on the veranda.

Top. Tina raised the floor in the dining area. This is where daugh­ter Fred­die tack­les home­work af­ter school. The large island unit pro­vides space for the fridge. op­po­site. The dining room fea­tures a painted vintage French style table and chairs. A new doo

Above. There's a French feel to the mas­ter bed­room with toile linen fab­rics, an elegant ar­moire and can­dle wall lights.

op­po­site. In the en-suite bath­room Tina gave a gray wash to the new natural oak floor for a pleas­ingly old and weath­ered look.

Op­po­site. Clever plan­ning meant the fam­ily bath­room ac­com­mo­dates a roll top bath­tub, as well as a cor­ner shower cabinet be­hind the door.

Above. The Bteshs' 17-year old daugh­ter Fred­die chose the col­ors and fur­nish­ings for her first grown up bed­room.

Right, bottom. A med­ley of pots sur­rounds a pe­riod-style gar­den tap to cre­ate an in­ter­est­ing wa­ter fea­ture.

Above. A Winch­ester Gothic ar­bor graces the gar­den. The be­spoke sum­mer­house stores gar­den tools. Right, top. Deer and swans live near the peace­ful coun­try lake.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.