Franky and Jack don’t like trash, so they agreed to renovate their Victorian townhouse using as much salvaged material as possible. These included pine boards, sinks, faucets, heaters and a reclaimed brick patio. “We hate the idea of just adding to the ever-increasing amount of stuff in the world,” Franky says. “By shopping and finding new uses for things, we also saved a lot of money. “
Are you inspired to do your own home makeover, like Franky and Jack? We’ve got plenty of ideas and helpful tips on what to do and where to start in our home improvement article.
The owners Franky Ridgeon, interior designer, his partner, Jack Mayhew, who runs a business selling sustainable meat products, and their son, Max
The property A three bedroom Victorian terraced house in Greenwich, London
Project cost About. £ 152,100
Their new home was the perfect property to renovate, and Franky, an interior designer, was eager to put his skills into it. “It belonged to my parents, who managed it as student accommodation for 15 years,” says Franky. “They were looking to sell when we wanted to move our apartment to a bigger location, so it made sense that we would buy it.”
At that time the house had two double bedrooms and a small bedroom on the first floor, with the family bathroom on the ground floor. “From the front, it’s a beautiful property, but at the back there was an unsightly extension”, explains Franky. “The layout of the room inside was not ideal either. The bedrooms were very small and screamed to open up to a much lighter modern living space – for us as long as we live here and for other families in the future.
Franky and Jack moved in with friends during construction. Their plans for the property were the subject of an authorized development, including the demolition of the old extension and the construction of a new one, the reconfiguration of the layout and the conversion of an attic which added another bathroom and a double bedroom.
The couple also restored the original entrance hall and created plenty of built-in storage. “A house can never have too many,” says Franky. “I used the space under the eaves, created a niche in the hall wall for the coats, a seat for the shoes, and built closets wherever there was an alcove. “
Additional space has been saved by creating retractable sliding doors between the cozy sitting area, which can be turned into a quiet reading room, TV room or children’s playroom. A nod to the history of the property, Franky designed a hatch-style window between the old dining room and the kitchen so that the light passes through the ground floor. It also creates a line of sight to the garden from the front door.
As the house shrank to a shell, builders replaced all electrical and plumbing, plastered and laid salvaged floorboards. Franky and Jack bought kitchen furniture and bathroom accessories, adding wall tiles and using salvaged furniture to create sink counters. “Work was repeatedly delayed by blockages, but we moved into the house last summer and finished the rest living here,” says Franky. “The heavy lifting and decorating was done – it was just a matter of fixing the hanging issues. “
She introduced large blocks of color to make the final transition from a former student house to a welcoming family home. “We were working on a budget so I didn’t want to spend the money on expensive wallpapers,” she says. “Instead, we went with trendy wall colors, which can be repainted for a fresh look. The only compromise was in the tiles. Franky is a fan of Emery & Co., who provided the bold choice of decorative finishes in family bathrooms.
“I wanted the house to be fun and comfortable,” she adds. “I’m used to working with clients so it was different from working in our own home. You have to take a step back and be fairly objective when it comes to renovations, then develop your own style in the decoration and finishes. Locking down aside, the renovation was pretty straightforward, so the rest was to introduce character with colors, furnishings, and ideas that are personal to us.
The result is a warm, cheerful and unexpected home. “It’s a home that feels good,” says Franky. “We are delighted with how the renovation has transformed it so dramatically from a rather dated student house into a family home for the future.”
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