Mad About . . .

Househunter: Room by Room

22nd June 2018
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Good Morning and Happy Friday everyone – that is if you are reading on a Friday. Technically this post has to last all weekend so that may be a totally inappropriate greeting. Shall we just go with Hello and I hope everyone is well today? And on with the post –  an interesting house for you today – it has been newly renovated from a complete wreck by historical paint expert Pedro da Costa Felgueiras, who used to work restoring objects for museums and private collections and now creates his own pieces using traditional paint craft and reviving long-lost methods of application at his Lacquer Studios.

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He has recently restored this dilapidated three bedroom Georgian townhouse which, apart from the installation of underfloor heating, has been recreated to look almost exactly as it would have done when it was built. I thought you might like to take a tour round it – I was supposed to be going for a real life tour next week but, sadly, am unable to go, so I thought we could walk round virtually together.

It’s on the market with Aucoot for £1,650,00 and is in East London. Now for those of you who like a more modern house don’t go just yet because of all the periods, Georgian is the one that can most easily adapt to a contemporary look.

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That’s party because Georgian houses have great bones – high ceilings, good plasterwork and beautiful windows. They welcome both period furniture and the clean lines of modern and Scandinavian pieces too.

For this project, traditional materials and methods were used throughout to stay true, as far as possible to the history of the building. All the paints were mixed by hand using linseed oil and antique powder pigments to make sure the colours were historically accurate.

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All the original features – panelling and staircases- were restored and the garden was reinstated on what had been used as a car park in recent years. Cement was used only where essential and features such as roof tiles were handmade to echo the Whitechapel houses of the period.

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So, now that you know what happened, wanna come round? Just look at that yellow bed below. Sadly da Costa Felgueiras doesn’t sell paint and he will only make you some to order and apply it himself so it’s not for all of us. You could try Farrow & Ball’s Citron for something vaguely similar. And if you’ve got a plain wooden bed then that’s you sorted for weekend jobs.

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That soft yellow is picked up throughout the house, not just in the bedroom. Take the one above this with its yellow reading light and matching yellow cord – which echoes what I was saying earlier this week about the details. Dowsing & Reynolds have cable in dozens of different colours and it’s small touches like that which make all the difference.

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This bedroom has a black bed but there are still touches of yellow popping up. And this plays to another of this week’s posts ( I feel as if this should all have been meticulously planned but it’s a happy coincidence). In my book review of Vicky Harrison’s Happy by Design earlier this week, I wrote about how yellow has been proven to be a happy colour.

Bring in touches around the home suggested Vicky in her book. One suggestion was to paint the window frames yellow to make it look like the sun was coming in. Now you might find that tricky to do but look at this picture and see how that yellow blind across the top of the window immediately makes it look as if that room is filled with sunshine. There’s clearly something in it!

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And here’s another tiny, but clever and easily imitated idea – the bathroom mirror has been painted round the edge in a bright neon pink. It’s such a small thing but it really makes a difference. If your decor tends towards the monochrome then adding in a splash of colour in an unexpected way is a cool thing to do. Actually even if you have lots of colour this is a good idea – it’s a bit different from sticking a coloured vase on the shelf. It shows you have thought about what you were doing and made a decision and that is what makes the difference between a house that has been tastefully decorated and a house that really has the wow factor.

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Downstairs the yellow continues but is contrasted with soft white walls and black doors and details. This looks like a warm and sunny room and that’s not just because there are candles all round the edges. The walls are actually covered in white limewash which allows the walls to breathe.

The kitchen is located on the lower ground floor and was dug out to make more head height so it’s more enjoyable to be in.

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The houses in this development were built between 1810 and 1815 by the Royal London Hospital’s charitable foundation as a way of supporting the hospital before the NHS was established. The inhabitants included a surgeon, sea captain, plumber and shopkeeper among the first residents.

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They were later were abandoned, fell into disrepair and were due to be demolished until The Spitalfields Trust stepped in to save them by finding owners who had the necessary skills to restore them. Da Costa Felgueiras was brought in as a paint specialist to work with the other new owners.

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What do you think? I have always loved Georgian houses and would love to live in one. Conversely, I have always disliked yellow until I saw this house and suddenly I love it. But whether you live in one or not I hope this tour has given you some food for thought for your own spaces.

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  • NickyG23 25th June 2018 at 3:04 pm

    Classy. But what’s with the snake on the dining room table…..?

  • Ursula in Cádiz 23rd June 2018 at 6:36 pm

    Happy Saturday, lovely Kate! This property is amazing and I love how adept you are at pointing out which bits are easy to copy. Thank you.

  • Anna 22nd June 2018 at 6:35 pm

    Go look at the Aucoot website Watch the video and drool…..all so exquisitely done. I applaud him and what he had achieved.

    How can he want to sell up and move????

    • Ursula in Cádiz 23rd June 2018 at 7:01 pm

      Thank you for exhorting us to watch the video, Anna. Droolworthy indeed!
      Sitting in that garden you could imagine yourself to be in your own mini NT property…

  • Glenda 22nd June 2018 at 11:17 am

    The rooms look surprisingly small, but perhaps that is an effect of the camera angle?

  • DD 22nd June 2018 at 9:29 am

    Totally agree, love Georgian houses and hate yellow. Love Georgian even more now but have a yearning for a mustard coloured kitchen. That. Is. Divine.

  • William 22nd June 2018 at 8:41 am

    I’m soon to move into a new townhouse built along similar lines, alas not with tall ceilings and chimney breasts, and 300sq” shorter than this one, then again I’m paying very much less for it. But I love the panelling, and the paintwork, of note the cabinet with the undersides of the shelves painted shocking pink is inspirational and a cabinet destined for the charity shop has suddenly got a new lease of life. Thanks Kate.

  • Jenny 22nd June 2018 at 8:24 am

    I would move in tomorrow. I love this!

  • Nicola 22nd June 2018 at 7:21 am

    I went and had a look at the floor plan and it looks really practical. Flow is a big thing for me and ( despite this house being on 4 floors- you would get good at climbing stairs) I think this plan looks highly liveable. I might ditch the dining room (for a snug) and just eat in the kitchen though as running up and down stairs with plates of food is not my idea of a good Saturday night dinner party. The interiors are divine. . So despite my initial reservations, it gets a big Yes from me.

  • Irene 22nd June 2018 at 7:16 am

    Love the yellow details, I am now surveying all my rooms to see where I Canada a yellow blind. Oh and what mirror edge I will paint! Love all our posts but Friday one is perfect end to the work week with a morning coffee.

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