This London Two-Bedroom Victorian Was Renovated on a Budget, Bit by Bit
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Budget was limited when Nadine Bacchus and her partner, Juls, were on the hunt for a two-bedroom Victorian house with a garden in London. “We quickly accepted that a fixer-upper was the only way to swing it,” Nadine muses. Three years ago, they purchased the only house they both were excited about: This 969-square-foot Victorian “two up, two down” terrace house. “Built in 1901, these houses were originally built for working-class families where the men worked in local factories and railroad. It amazes me how much detail was put into these houses. Lovely brickwork, high ceilings, coving, and cornicing. Small, but not poky … thoughtfully built, and well-designed,” she writes.
There was a lot of tearing out of dated, yucky materials (goodbye, stained carpet) and unearthing of the home’s gorgeous architectural details (hello, stunning wood floors), which Nadine shared in this Instagram stories highlight. But it wasn’t all cosmetic changes; the couple also knocked out walls to create the neutral yet warm sanctuary they have today.
“Looking back, we were crazy to smash down walls in this house with only £4-5K in the bank,” admits Nadine. “We renovated bit by bit. Saved, completed a room, lived in chaos, saved a bit more, did another room. It was wild! We were just so cheerful throughout the entire process. We never complained. It was not lost on us that this is such a privilege. The only time I almost cried was when the roof was leaking and we had no money. Then I realized a bit of water never hurt anyone and I got myself TOGETHER!”
Of course, there are plenty of aesthetic considerations in the home. Nadine cites a famous musician as a style hallmark. “Everything Solange Knowles does is aesthetically perfect.” But also a family member’s home acted as inspiration. “My grandma had a lot going on interior-wise,” she begins. “Heavy mahogany furniture, African sculptures, pictures of White Jesus on the wall. It was A LOT. They made bold interior choices — they bought the most regal sofa in the store. My grandma’s dining table legs were gold lion claws. I used to play under that table and I thought that’s what everyone’s dining table looked like. So I’ve never been afraid of characterful interiors. So many people my age think they are doing something new, but tablescapes aren’t new and we didn’t invent hosting. Those Caribbean church ladies knew how to dress a dinner table. The placemats were always so extra. Crockery? Extra. So all of this lives inside of me; I’m not afraid of styling a space.”
PAINT & COLORS
- Downstairs — Little Greene’s “Flint”
- Living / dining room — Farrow & Ball’s “Strong White”
- Bedroom — Little Greene’s “Slaked Lime”
- Bathroom — Crown Paints’ ‘Delicate White’
Thanks, Nadine and Juls!
This tour’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.
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