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The trials and tribulations of a major renovation project were well worth it in the end for this couple
Kate and Jason Stanley had to work fast to secure the home of their dreams. ‘We had been considering selling our old property, and when we visited an estate agent to discuss it, he mentioned a house in Surrey that had been in the same family for 40 years was about to go up for sale,’ says Kate. ‘ We viewed it immediately and fell in love with the handsome exterior and the fact that it had so much potential.’
With little time to waste, the couple managed to sell their home, buy the new property and move in with their children in July 2014. ‘Although the interior had been well looked after, it was freezing cold, due to the ancient heating system and single-glazed windows,’ says Kate. ‘The house was large, so we didn’t need to extend, but there were lots of small rooms and the layout felt jumbled. We were keen to get on with remodelling to make it more spacious and modern.’
Building work began in October and, as walls were removed to create a more open-plan layout, the resulting dust forced the family to move into a camper van on their driveway, and use the garage as a dressing room. ‘It was a ridiculous idea and we were utterly miserable,’ says Kate. ‘Friends eventually rescued us, letting us stay with them for a few weeks while the major structural work was done.’
The couple had estimated that the renovation would cost £100,000, but they admit to going over the initial budget. ‘It was modernising the bones of the building that tipped us over,’ says Kate. ‘For example, I loved the original, but draughty, metal-framed windows, so they were replaced with similar energy efficient glazing.’
The build wasn’t without setbacks. ‘The windows were an issue as they were continually broken on site or had the wrong gaskets so they couldn’t be fitted,’ Kate says. ‘It meant the job took far longer than planned.’ Thankfully, all the building issues were finally resolved and the Stanleys’ home was completed in February 2015.
Kate has decorated all the rooms in a fresh, contemporary style. To create a sense of harmony, she chose to paint all the walls white. ‘It allows an interior to reveal itself and you can add colour later,’ she says. ‘I built on the neutral backdrop using natural materials, such as the herringbone wood flooring, and vibrant colours.’
The new kitchen-diner illustrates Kate’s approach, with classic cabinetry in elegant grey and Corian worktops for a contemporary touch, lifted by sunny yellow accents. Colourful and quirky accessories can be seen throughout the house. ‘I’m not big on matching things – I like to mix up elements that feel comfortable together,’ says Kate.
With the build and interior decoration complete, Kate reflects on her renovation journey: ‘It’s been wonderful to be able to create an interior that suits the way we live,’ she says. ‘ We hope to be the next family to live here for more than 40 years.’
lesson learnt‘ Don’ t try to defy the seasons. We started work in October, which was the wrong time of year to be without a functioning home’
MAIN BEDROOM A mixture of pink hues and orange accents lends a feminine but fun feel in here. bumble side table, £65, habitat. the truman table lamp, £35, Made. com, is a good match from £3,500. Candy stripe blind, from £24.75, blinds2go, is a match 5BATHROOM ‘Geometric floor tiles make the room look wider,’ says Kate. Neisha Crosland luxury vinyl tiled flooring, £ 45sq m, harvey Maria2HALL The wood and painted stairs echo the blue-edged runner perfectly. Stair runners in coir, from £22m, Alternative Flooring 3 CHILD’S BEDROOM ‘The bedside cabinets are second-hand – I painted them in Steel Symphony by Dulux,’ says Kate. Similar slat bed, £195, Mattress Man 4CHILD’S BEDROOM A hand-built Austin J40 pedal car takes pride of place here. try ebay for Austin J40 pedal cars, 1 STUDY A blend of furniture styles creates a laid-back look in this garden-facing office. Funk multi-colour rug, from £205, the rug retailer. Alhambra Patchwork pouffe has a similar feel, £565, homes Direct 365. Sofa, £260, homesense