townhouse refurbishment by the sea
When you come to buying a new house, you might assume that you’ll look around impeccably neat and tidy houses, with yellow flowers in their hallways, and ingratiating estate agents beaming at you. You might not, therefore, immediately see the idyll of your warm future home in a shell of a house with trembling stud walls, bowing joists, neglected floorboards and sloughing away walls. But, in this property, a Victorian terrace in central Whitstable, there was seen to be the potential to create and breathe in a new lease of life and build a family home.
It was envisaged that a single storey, full width rear and side infill extension be built abutting the original structure, whilst converting the unused loft space into a desirable bedroom with bathroom.
The interior of the place then needed stabilising, reconfiguring and made to conform to more modern ideals of living: space was reclaimed from every possible nook and cranny, bedrooms and bathrooms were slotted into an otherwise unforgiving and dated floor plan, while storage opportunities were squeezed into every available inch.
Light has then been cleverly transferred around the property with white walls, high sloping ceilings with roof lights and light-sharing windows between rooms, which illuminates what would otherwise be a dark, warren-like period property.
Updating the build into the 21st century also involved an overhaul of the heating and water systems: luxuriant underfloor heating, insulation and energy sharing techniques with a few wood burning stoves and working fireplaces thrown in for good atmospheric measure have radically increased the energy efficiency of the place, and made it a homely cocoon; especially lovely as the winter closes in around us.
In short, it has been a very successful build, with a brilliant, clean finish highlighting many of the buildings original features: with particular emphasis on reviving the floor boards to their former glory, which with a serious amount of sanding, now look rather dashing!
And we’re still waiting on the finished product. After all, the best things are worth waiting for. Fitting in a full property refurbishment is a serious undertaking in itself, but alongside everything else that life throws at us?
It’s taking its sweet time to get to completion. Garden landscaping, painting, floor finishes being put down and the final interior touches are currently taking shape, so, we’ll be keeping an eye on this little beauty.