My husband and I were living down south for work for a few years & started to think about moving closer to family in the Cotswolds. After living all over the country, we decided we wanted to be closer to the countryside for the next stage of our lives & we knew we definitely wanted a period property & hoped for lots of lovely original features. It was tricky trying to buy a house from afar as they were often sold before we had a chance to drive down to view them. Eventually the stars aligned & we moved to a four-bed former Georgian lodge built in 1786. Unfortunately, the house had been messed with quite a bit & turned into flats at one point. Lots of the features removed so we set about restoring them; adding cornice & coving to each room & pieces found at our local flea market.
We did find a letter from Australia addressed to the house written by the daughter of a lady who was born in our house & lived there for over 50 years. We have kept in contact & have had the pleasure of finding out all about her childhood growing up in our house during both world wars.
We decided to tackle all of the work ourselves. At first, we had some structural work to do in the loft & the cellar. Then we started working on the bathroom. The bathroom was in decent condition but was not our style and the bath was downstairs in what will eventually become our utility room. I actually got over excited & purchased the bateau bath before we had moved in! We did the plumbing, plastering, installed underfloor heating & new flooring.
We had to replace the bedroom ceiling as it was close to falling down but we found it quite fun to get stuck into the work. Quotes on our survey were £7k for the work & we got it done over a couple of weekends, so it felt worthwhile & rewarding to do it ourselves. The rest of the room felt quick to complete in comparison to the bathroom. We added a cast iron radiator, wooden shutters, wool carpets & a French bed. This room will eventually become the guest bedroom but for now is our space away from the mess.
Next, we started the kitchen. We decided to join the kitchen and dining room together as the original kitchen was incredibly dark & there wasn’t much room for kitchen cabinets because of the large chimney breast. We did question whether removing the chimney was the right thing for the house, since we said we wanted to reinstall as many features as possible, why were we thinking of smashing an enormous chimney out? We decided joining the two rooms together would make the dining room more useable & become the space we used the most as a family.
It also meant we could add a large kitchen island which I’ve always wanted. We fitted terracotta tiles which people often say look like they’ve always been there, which was the plan! We’ve added slimline black sliding doors which really join the garden and the kitchen together. I debated having an overhang on the island as I preferred the look without but I’m so glad we got it. I can see us perching there whilst the other cooks or Louie doing his homework there. We fitted & painted the kitchen cabinetry ourselves which wasn’t too difficult & again saved us quite a bit of money. Doing the work ourselves also means we can justify a few splurge items like the Lacanche range & deVOL taps, handles, lights & stools.
The next room we will start work on will be our son’s bedroom. I’m currently trying to choose a fun paint colour for the woodwork & have some fun accessories, like a large hot air balloon to hang from the ceiling.
If you’d like to keep up with our renovation journey, you can follow us on our Instagram page @regent_lodge_georgian_home