The Househunter: Room by Room

5th July 2019

To Suffolk this week and this very pretty four bedroom (but seven reception), Grade II listed Georgian house which is on the market with Durrants for £580,000, which, after the madness of recent London prices featuring on these pages feels like a lot more for your money. it’s a moot point if you don’t have that much money I appreciate, but at least it’s not £7m for a three bedroom flat that no-one likes anyway.

This, on the other hand, is so pretty although the layout is a little unusual and you might need to address that if you’re buying it. Essentially the big central window on the ground floor is the drawing room and there are two more sitting rooms and a dining room on that floor.

There is another sitting room facing the large window on the first floor where you will also find the kitchen, a couple of bathrooms  and two bedrooms.

The top floor has another sitting room, a kitchen, bathroom and bedrooms. Teenagers and Grannies of the world unite. That one’s for you. Actually maybe not the Grannies given the stairs.

The point is the layout is rather all over the place and you will either move in, get used to the quirks and love it or want to redo the whole thing. In which case, check before you buy as it’s listed and there may well be restrictions.

But enough of the real life practicalities. This is fantasy Friday and we’re here to talk about colours and styling tips, the key one of which, in this house, is the ceilings. Look at them in all their painted glory. There are deep pink walls, with paler pink ceilings, above you can see mint walls (watch out for that colour it’s striding over the horizon and it’s wearing big boots ready to stamp on all the other shades) with a pale yellow, or cream ceiling and a dark green picture rail and skirting board.

That won’t necessarily make your ceilings look higher or your walls look taller (think of an ankle strap with a pair of cropped trousers) but it looks pretty and, crucially, it looks like it was part of a colour scheme and a decision process and not just a default white.

What do you think? I’d love to get my hands on this. Imagine turning that ground floor into a huge kitchen opening out onto the garden with a sitting room and office on that floor too. Then you could have three bedrooms with bathrooms and dressing rooms above and either keep the flat above or make another suite or couple of bedrooms and bathroom.


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  • Andrea 6th July 2019 at 6:53 am

    I’ve just discovered your blog and I’m finding so much inspiration here. I’m doing up a house from the 18th/19th century here in France (they don’t keep records pre 1850 and ours isn’t registered) so I really appreciate this.

  • Anna 5th July 2019 at 7:54 pm

    Good idea to paint everything white because being a Grannie, I have learnt that it’s great as an “undercoat”.
    What ever you paint on top of inexpensive Dulux Trade white, it gives an extra depth to the coloured paint chosen.
    The way you describe your house, I’d say for ideas look at books by Ros Byam Shaw, available second-hand and at the library.

  • Montplaisir 5th July 2019 at 10:53 am

    A dreamy property – if only I was 20 years younger…!!!

  • Pauline Johnson 5th July 2019 at 8:52 am

    Argh! Bloomin’ Word! It should be ‘its’!

  • Pauline Johnson 5th July 2019 at 8:50 am

    I do like this! I’ve always been in favour of coloured ceilings. I generally carry the main wall colour onto the ceiling as well.
    But… We are soon to move into a late 18th century house on 3 floors in Shropshire, where you also get much more for your money than in congested Surrey. The traditional, symmetrical, four room layout on each floor (adapted on the first floor to provide a Jack and Jill en-suite and a family bathroom) provides a downstairs with low ceilings and a cottagey feel, while the ceilings get higher as you go up the house, to the attic rooms which are shaped into the roof apex. There is 80s wallpaper in every room, good quality at the time but way past it’s best, so I was planning on painting everything white just to give a blank canvas. Not sure the low ceilings could take any other treatment ? Could do with ideas and advice.

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