Those purchasing or residing in listed or heritage properties tend to avoid refurbishment and renovation projects because of the restrictions they’re faced with: so it’s imperative that if changes are to be made, a specialist company is hired to manage the project. For this property in Brighton, that’s exactly where Refresh Renovations came in. An expert team of professionals and contractors were assembled and across 4 months, a complete transformation took place.
This terraced home is a Grade II listed building; and if that wasn’t enough, it’s situated in the middle of a conservation area of special architectural and historic interest! The wider terrace of which the house is part is directly associated with the growth of Brighton as a Regency and Victorian seaside resort and so the Local Planning Authority (LPA) have assigned planning and historic-management teams to interact with anyone proposing changes to the buildings. As a result, Refresh Renovations Brighton worked in collaboration with the LPA and utilised their strategic relationship with them to ensure that all parties were satisfied with the approaches being taken and the renovations being made.
The property was built during the mid-1820s and so Refresh needed to take into account the methods of construction used at the time in order to preserve and maintain the initial features. Lath and plaster walls and ceilings required specialist tradespeople, and features such as ceiling roses, wooden sash windows and ornate cornicing were all repaired and renovated while bringing them up to modern standards for future-proofing and long-term preservation.
Furthermore, the client had requested the whole exterior of the home to be painted as it was beginning to look a little tired; no surprise given that it hadn’t been redone for several years and was at the mercy of a great amount of sea air! The LPA’s heritage department supplied just three colour choices given the locale of the building.
The client had purchased the house as a holiday home for his family to use; primarily over weekends but also throughout the summer holidays. As a result, they were hoping for the property to be liveable by the start of the summer and so we were on a tight time frame of less than four months in total.
Refresh Renovations assigns a dedicated Project Manager and specialist trade team to every job, and this approach allowed for us to meet the deadline. What’s more, the client lived in another area of the country and was frequently travelling, so unable to visit the site during the majority of the progress. The Refresh Renovations Project Manager worked through this by video calling with them and providing regular project update walkthroughs on-site by video to ensure progress was on track and that they were happy with the renovations being made as they happened.
The property had been somewhat neglected in its upkeep over recent years and most recently had been used as student accommodation; not the ideal usage for a home of historical interest! The client had a survey completed before their purchase of the property and uncovered a number of areas that would require remedial works.
Such areas for repair including leaks from the roof which had resulted in patches of damp, unsafe lath and plaster ceilings because of water ingress, an unsafe balcony due to weathering of the timbers and rusting of the railings (common in salty sea air), and severe penetrating damp across the basement rooms. All of these areas needed to be remedied before any other renovations could take place.
Once the repair works had been carried out, there were further obstacles along the way; something not uncommon in a renovation of this size. The property itself is laid out over five floors with a lot of stairs to negotiate and not all staircases in the largest or easiest format to follow. This meant the team had to work in shifts to take materials and waste up and down the stairs for safety reasons as items to be carried manually included heavy bath tubs and vanity units. Every item carried through the home was monitored and tracked to ensure nothing went missing or was damaged along the way.
Ongoing supply issues as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic lead to delayed delivery of some of the bathroom fixtures. This did impact the final deadline but the Refresh Renovations team re-prioritised works to ensure that there were several finished and working bathrooms in the home (there were four altogether!) before the family arrived; and as soon as the final fixtures arrived, we installed them and finished everything off.
The client had a very clear vision of what they wanted the interior of the property to look like, and favoured several set hues of blues, greens, greys and whites. They favoured Farrow and Ball paints including Hague Blue, Duck Green and Inchyra Blue.
The alley-style kitchen featured bespoke dark green kitchen cabinets with chunky black worktops, a white basin sink and beige tiles; a stark contrast to the large white window at the end that flooded the room with natural light.
The wet room was decorated in similar contrasting hues with small dark jade tiles and chunky white fixtures and rich wood fittings. Another bathroom had parquet jade tiles with a large porcelain white bath tub and WC. Hoxton gloss porcelain wall tiles were sourced from Mandarin Stone, floor tiles from Topps, sanitaryware (including toilets, baths, shower doors, shower trays and basins) from EasyBathrooms, and taps and shower kits/heads from Crosswater. The teak vanity units installed throughout were from Tika Moon.
Jade again featured throughout the living areas of the home, alongside bright white accents and dark woods and peacock feathers accentuating the greens. Original feature fireplaces throughout were scrubbed, painted and revitalised to fit the interior design as modern fixtures rather than feeling like dated statement pieces.
Bedrooms were kept more neutral to encourage a tranquil feel, with grey walls and rich woods alongside minimal Feng Shui-style interiors to keep a clean and neat aesthetic. Yellow colour pops add personality in the form of bold mustard prints and bright canary light fittings and lamps.
Now, once complete, the home’s design feels cohesive and modern but remains respectful of its heritage and history.
The project ran a few days over the initial deadline due to delivery delays of bathroom fixtures, but this was very much just a last detail of the renovation overall. The budget was completely adhered to with no deviation or added expense required.
Today, the family are so pleased with their holiday home that they use it considerably more regularly than they ever intended to, and despite its expanse, feels very much like a cosy and comfortable home.
Roger Kinsman is Renovation Consultant of , a franchisee of Renovation Franchise UK LtdUK Ltd, doing business in Crawley Brighton.
Tracy Kinsman is Renovation Consultant of , a franchisee of Renovation Franchise UK LtdUK Ltd, doing business in Crawley Brighton.
Costs are accurate at the time of publication. Plan ahead to reduce the impact of industry changes or disruptions. For more information see here.
If you would like to find out how Refresh Renovations can support you with a high quality, efficient home renovation, get in touch today. Your local Refresh Renovations consultant will be happy to meet with you for a free, no obligations consultation.