This English Edwardian Is “‘Downton Abbey’ Meets ‘Absolutely Fabulous'” and We’re Totally Here for It

This English Edwardian Is “‘Downton Abbey’ Meets ‘Absolutely Fabulous'” and We’re Totally Here for It

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Home Type
Bedrooms
Square feet
1500
Sq ft
1500

Name: Lou; partner, Ryan; and two house cats, Sirius and Luna
Location: Cheshire, United Kingdom
Type of home: Edwardian semi-detached
Size: 1500 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year, owned

I always knew I wanted a period property. I grew up in an area dominated by rows and rows of red brick terrace houses. I went to school in Victorian buildings with huge ceilings, beautiful stained glass windows, and wooden floors. I’ve also spent a good portion of my life studying English literature, escaping off to different eras in time, so I guess you could say the past feels a little like home. My house, in a twist of fate, is next door to a Victorian primary school, smack bang in the middle of rows of red brick terrace houses, and it feels like something I would always think to be grand in a Dickens novel.

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I’m the absolute definition of being too much, and up until now I’ve had nowhere to channel that except in my day job. So we took this house on, knowing it would be a project that I could get my teeth into and use as an outlet for my creativity, which I also now put into documenting our restoration journey over at @notaperioddrama.

Apartment Therapy Survey

My style: Downton Abbey” meets “Absolutely Fabulous,” and what I mean by that is I love to respect and enhance the period style of our home, but I do like to add a sprinkle of something a little bit bold and unique.

Inspiration: I always draw inspiration from the feeling I’m trying to evoke in a room. For example, I wanted the primary bedroom to feel warm, the office/disco room to feel alive and creative, the living room to feel cocooning. I try to focus on the feeling I’m trying to achieve in a space and go from there.

Favorite element: The sash windows and the wooden floors — they are the power behind why everything else works.

Biggest challenge: We have no budget, so it’s whatever is left in a month after paying the usual bills and eating. This has however pushed me to do everything so far myself except the electrics — so although it’s a challenge, it’s opened lots of opportunities.

Proudest DIY or product hack: The built-in wardrobes and table in the dressing room. They were both left here by the previous owners and were just huge black units which blocked all of the windows and the light, so I boxed them in, prepped and painted them all, and added new hardware and now they look like they’re fitted and we saved thousands.

Is there something unique about your home or the way you use it? The front reception room is our home office, but it doubles up as a party room, complete with bar and rotating disco ball. I think it’s crazy to have rooms you can only use at the weekend or in the week, so I made this room into a multifunctional one, which can be used at all times for all occasions. It also doesn’t do any harm having the wine in arm’s reach of your laptop!

Please describe any helpful, inspiring, brilliant, or just plain useful small-space maximizing, cleaning, or organizing tips you have: Storage is all around you! Either invest in a bed with built-in storage, or if that’s not possible then under-bed storage options are plentiful. Same thing with your sofas — there’s so many options for under-sofa storage, too. If you’re going for a side table, make sure it’s one with drawers or cupboard space, etc. You just need to be creative with what you’re filling your smaller space with to maximise every inch and add value.

Finally, what’s your absolute best home secret or decorating advice? I DIY everything, so my best piece of advice is to invest in good tools. Once you do this, then so many jobs look after themselves and you end up saving a lot of time and money.

Resources

PAINT & COLORS

  • Living Room — Walls: Rustoleum “Homespun” / Ceiling: Rustoleum “Steamed Milk”
  • Office/Disco Room — Walls: Rustoleum “Steamed Milk” / Ceiling: F&B “Bancha”
  • Master Bedroom — Walls: Dulux Heritage “Red Sand” / Ceiling: “Rustoleum “Steamed Milk”
  • Guest Bedroom — Walls: Rustoleum “Steamed Milk” / Color Block sample matched to Lick Orange/Red/Yellow 02 and Green 05
  • Dressing Room — Walls: Faux Limewash Hack with Dulux “Malt Chocolate and Soft Truffle” / Ceiling: Rustoleum “Steamed Milk” / Wardrobes: and Dressing Table primed with Zinsser BIN and finished with Valspar Furniture Paint matched to wall colors
  • Kitchen — Dulux Easycare Kitchen “Pure Brilliant White” / Color Block sample matched to Lick Green 05 and Red 02
  • Front Door — Rustoleum “Homespun”
  • All floors — Finished with Osmo Polyx Oil “Raw”
  • All panelling/mouldings — B&Q and installed by me

LIVING ROOM

OFFICE/DISCO ROOM

KITCHEN

PRIMARY BEDROOM

GUEST BEDROOM

DRESSING ROOM

Thanks, Lou!

This tour’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.
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