Interiors Lifestyle

A Georgian Renovation

March 29, 2020
Georgian House Renovation

I often get asked about my own home and up until recently it’s been very much a work in progress!  It still isn’t finished (will it ever be??) but 3 years on the majority of rooms are now finally done.  Starting a new series of posts here, I will be re-living and sharing progress from the beginning and would love to know what you think!  I probably should put in some sort of disclaimer here in case I cause offence to any colour-lovers amongst you – it’s not that I have anything at all against colour, I just like my home to be white, black and um … wood.  Oh and please do excuse the iphone pics!

The house is a very typical Georgian property and as such we are blessed with a lot of natural light and floor-to-ceiling sash windows (although we weren’t loving them at the stage where they all needed replacing and painting, but hey they look great!)  When we bought it, it had been a much loved family home for over 25 years so needed a full update.  The interior was dark, the floors were maroon and the walls were mostly yellow.  There wasn’t a single room that didn’t need ‘doing’ and there was a definite aroma of damp!  But .. there was no disguising how beautiful the house itself is and the location was exactly where we wanted to be so we took a deep breath and jumped!  A strange scenario for me as we were leaving our city home in Brighton in search of more space and ended up back in the West Sussex village I grew up in – never part of the plan but fate intervened, as it does.

So the story so far – we have knocked through from Kitchen to Lounge, ripped down ceilings, stripped the floors throughout, replaced one bathroom and built another in place of a bedroom (I can hear Estate Agent’s gasping at that!), removed a strangely positioned shower room from the middle of the upstairs landing and done all the usual boring but essential bits like rewire and replace all the ancient plumbing! My decision to expose all the electrics in galvanised tube caused more than a little eye brow raising but I’m so glad I wasn’t swayed.  We’ve also built a staircase up to the loft room but that is still a work in progress.  Outside we had to strip the entire building of it’s modern render and replace with lime, as the mould on the bedroom walls just wasn’t a good look! All the sash windows have been replaced like for like and the garden has also had a makeover.

It’s been a fairly slow process as we are undertaking the majority of the work ourselves.  Fortunately the husband was a carpenter in a former life and I used to develop property so between us we do have pretty much everything covered.  Things always take a lot longer than we would like of course, as we’ve been juggling our day to day businesses, family life etc but we no longer live on a building site so all is well!  The rest of it will be done when we’re good and ready (and have had time to save up again!).


The first completely finished room was the controversial second bathroom.  I realise that sacrificing a bedroom doesn’t suit everyone but the house needed another bathroom – essential for 2 girls sharing with up to 3 fully grown boys (depending on how many have returned to the nest at any one time)!   This is the end result which is definitely my favourite room.

The bath was an ebay bargain at £100 which I just painted (Little Greene – Lamp Black) and added new taps to.  The tiles are from Encaustic Tiles and the bench, stool and mirror are all vintage finds.  This room had to be done on a very tight budget so the shower and screen were cheap online sale purchases but they are still holding up.  I would happily re-do them now in black now but the eye-rolling when I mentioned it was off the scale so maybe not a priority! The floorboards in here were the subject of much debate but having gone for a natural finish throughout the rest of the house I fancied white painted boards in at least one room.

Moving on to the Upstairs Landing ..

The black windows were always going to be a bit of a marmite situation but I LOVE them despite the hours of painting – and there are no longer hurricanes blowing through the gaps so it’s win win.  The windows throughout were copied and re-made by a local joinery company and we then had them fitted with very slim double glazed units (but more of that drama to come when we get to the outside – oh the fun!).

Even though the majority of rooms are now done, the to-do list continues to grow and goes something like this

  • Take down the leaking 90’s UPVC conservatory and extend the kitchen (that could be a while so for now I’m just lusting over the plans!)
  • Remove all the (already rusting for some reason) new radiators and re-spray them black in the garden.  I’ve googled it so we’ll be fine – how hard can it be??
  • Finish the loft room so we have a decent size bedroom, having given the little lady the main room of the house on account of her having way more friends/playdates/sleepovers/toys than we do.
  • Resand and white oil all the floors on account of us using the wrong product originally which has now mostly worn off revealing far too much orange for my liking.  Having recently completed the loft floor, tried literally every product/method on the market and finally achieved the sort-after scandi pale boards of dreams … I’m hoping this will be a lot less painful this time around and should last years!  Every time I look at the amount of furniture to be moved though this job slides further down the list.  (Having been asked the question so many times, I will definitely write a post sharing my nuggets of info on this subject though).

So that’s an introduction to the labour of love which fills most of our non-working life (which for me isn’t nearly enough time), and regularly drives me to gin.  More posts on the subject to come and hopefully some of the successes and failures we’ve had along the way, along with the hours spent sourcing, may be helpful to anyone starting on their own adventure! Do let me know what you think and ask any questions along the way – I’m very happy to share anything that may be useful!



Next up .. the Living Rooms

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  • Reply Pippa March 29, 2020 at 8:14 pm

    Love love love!
    You always manage the balance of form & function so well…so stylish, yet still cosy and homely.
    Can’t wait to see more!
    Pippa x

    • Reply March 29, 2020 at 9:58 pm

      Thank you so much that’s so kind! x

  • Reply No.16house March 29, 2020 at 9:24 pm

    Some lovely ideas and inspiration here thank you for sharing! I’d love to know which product and method works best for your white oiled floorboards. I’m currently in a similar predicament on our pine boards. Will look forward to hearing and seeing more. Best wishes x

    • Reply March 29, 2020 at 9:59 pm

      Thank you so much! I will definitely post the flooring next. Good luck with yours x

  • Reply Kate Petrusic March 29, 2020 at 9:49 pm

    This is just so beautiful – dream house. I am just about to undergo a renovation of a Georgian house myself and it feels a little daunting! I’d love to know what was the final product you achieved the pale boards with as I definitely want to recreate this in my house!

    • Reply March 29, 2020 at 10:00 pm

      Thanks so much Kate. I will put all the info together for the boards this week. Best of luck with your house – so worth it in the end! x

      • Reply Kate Petrusic April 20, 2020 at 12:10 pm

        Oh thank you that would be awesome. We are just about to sand them all back so would love your advice!

  • Reply Kare McBain March 30, 2020 at 5:18 am

    You have incredible taste. Such a vision. Do you also dress in black and white!? We’ve just decorated our kitchen after being inspired by your Guildford shop. Painted our shaker units black with a white worktop and walls. Am also in the midst of filling a virtual basket at Design Vintage to add the finishing touches to the kitchen…. look forward to more updates.

    • Reply March 30, 2020 at 8:11 am

      Thank you so much that’s very kind! It’s got to be said that I don’t wear much colour although I do love a bit of camel this year – even some cushions have made it into the house! Kitchen sounds lovely – good luck with it all x

  • Reply ButtysMum March 30, 2020 at 7:58 am

    Love this! I used to live in the South Downs…it’s adorable? Reminds me of Compton. Like you, I searched on eBay for deals for my pueblo blanco house in Spain. I found 2x Vintage solid oak french doors with bevelled glass panes. I redid it in black and installed it in my loft/terrace in Spain..cost me £25 on eBay!

    • Reply March 30, 2020 at 8:13 am

      Thank you! That sounds amazing – I love it when ebay delivers like that. My Crittall doors cost me a total of £200 – they were a foul shade of peach but a bit of paint stripper and a whole lot of black paint later..! Hope you are keeping well in all the madness x

  • Reply Liz Lee March 30, 2020 at 9:01 am

    Looks gorgeous:) Can’t wait for more photos please!! Love the black windows in particular. My mother in law is Danish and always soaps her floors, so now we do too. Its a chore to do, but they are much easier to manage than oiled floors. We sand, apply white lye, then scrub it with their white soap and go over it a few times – lots of scrubbing and very sore knees, but its brilliant and easy to maintain afterwards. Not shiny like oil and the soap impregnates the wood and so dirt is repelled and easy to mop using the same white soap, which keeps things light. It doesn’t make them super white; but the lye takes the orange out and lightens the wood. So far all stains have come out; even red wine and tomato.

    • Reply March 31, 2020 at 7:43 am

      Hi Liz – thank you, more to come definitely! That’s so interesting to read about the Lye on the floors. I did look into this at length but when I tried a sample they were just a bit too white for me (I was probably doing it wrong!!) I’m very happy with how our loft floors have finally worked out so will re-do the rest of the house when I can summon up the energy! Thanks so much for sharing such helpful info though. Take care! x

  • Reply Agnieszka March 30, 2020 at 9:43 am

    Looks lovely Lisa. Amazing job.
    It’s our 5 year into renovation, mainly due to extreme amount of dump that we discovered along the way and lengthy time to find the cause before we could treat it!
    We also experienced using wrong products on the floor and finally found Osmo oil with hope that this will be the one. . Downstairs looks promising and soon should start work on upstairs.
    Good luck!

    • Reply March 31, 2020 at 7:40 am

      Thank you Agnieska! Good luck with yours – it’s the hidden horrors in the these old houses that end up soaking up most of our time (and budget) isn’t it! Fingers crossed with your floors! Take care x

  • Reply Jo Frisken March 31, 2020 at 7:27 am

    Absolutely beautiful! I discovered your shop in Brighton many moons ago (I remember asking you how you went about setting your business up!) having been interiors obsessed for years. Truly fascinating to see your home and I look forward to the next installment! X

    • Reply March 31, 2020 at 7:38 am

      Gosh yes, lovely to hear from you Jo! Thanks so much for your kind comments – Brighton does feel like a long time ago!! Take care x

  • Reply Lu March 31, 2020 at 9:26 am

    Your home is gorgeous, absolute house of dreams! Great to hear your experiences. I get so overwhelmed with interiors, I’ve been planning to do my bathroom for a year and a half (!!) there is so much to consider and so many products, it paralyses me, it ridiculous, it’s only the bathroom, I just want to get it right, maybe with this lockdown I will be forced to make decisions, not like I haven’t got the time! Look forward to your other post. Take care x

    • Reply March 31, 2020 at 9:47 am

      Thanks so much that’s really kind! I totally understand how you feel – interiors can be so overwhelming and there is just so much choice out there!! I think I only stick to my monochrome pallet to save all the decision making sometimes. Good luck with the bathroom – definitely the time to just go for it and stick with what you are instinctively drawn to. Use Pinterest for this would be my main advice – I spend hours browsing when I’m considering a new room. I just randomly save anything I like and then when I look back through I can usually see a definite common theme. Hardly the technical or professional approach but it works for me 🙂 x

      • Reply Lu April 2, 2020 at 9:23 am

        Thanks so much, all advice greatly received. I need to man up and do it!

  • Reply Hattie March 31, 2020 at 11:32 am

    Can’t wait to see the garden too!
    Great job! (from someone who’s done it twice too and appreciate what a monstruous task it is!)

  • Reply Danielle Huxley April 22, 2020 at 2:52 pm

    Hi Lisa, we’re all your skirting boards and architraves original? If not, where did you purchase them from?

    • Reply April 24, 2020 at 8:07 am

      Hi Danielle

      We were lucky here in that everything was original, but we did have to replace some pieces in the hallway and I always source the deeper skirtings and architraves of this style from Travis Perkins. Hope this is helpful!

  • Reply Nicky sanderson November 15, 2020 at 8:34 pm

    Absolutely gorgeous 💕 We are just about to start a renovation on an old rectory which has orange pine floorboards so would love any tips on how to achieve your lovely pale colour. Thank you x

    • Reply November 30, 2020 at 11:26 am

      Hi Nicky – hope all’s well with you! My hot tip would be using a product called Bona White but instead of painting it on neat, mix it up with the top (matt lacquer) coat until you get the level of whiteness you like and then just give the floors 2-3 coats of that, continually stirring as you go. By mixing up the whitener with the lacquer it stops you getting a white painted result and looks more natural. I think I used Bona Mega as the top coat but there are a few to choose from. Good luck! x

  • Reply Cathy G April 22, 2021 at 11:14 pm

    Your home is beautiful and a definite inspiration to my similar period property . We too have cement render and damp so probably need to go down the lime render route but I’ve been told to expect it too cost £15-20k , is this an accurate estimate , this really takes a lot of our budget . Did you have a company do the whole thing removal of old and how long did it take from start to finish .
    Many thanks

    • Reply April 24, 2021 at 6:21 am

      Hi Cathy
      Thanks so much, that’s very kind. Yes I’m afraid our total cost was in the region of £17k + windows as we replaced those at the same time. It took about 4 weeks in the end and we used a small team of guys we knew ourselves already to remove and re-render. Good Luck!

      • Reply Paula June 18, 2023 at 7:08 am

        Absolutely stunning! I only just came across this Blog and want to thank you for the inspiration- currently in the middle of an extension and would love more information on how to achieve the floor colour as we have existing pine boards which are going a bit yellow/orange which I want to avoid happening in the new extension. Thank you 😊

        • Reply June 19, 2023 at 2:42 pm

          HI Paula – thanks so much! My hot tip would be using a product called Bona White but instead of painting it on neat, mix it up with the top (matt lacquer) coat until you get the level of whiteness you like and then just give the floors 2-3 coats of that, continually stirring as you go. By mixing up the whitener with the lacquer it stops you getting a white painted result and looks more natural. I think I used Bona Mega as the top coat but there are a few to choose from. Good luck!

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