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What it’s really like renovating a period home

Self-renovating an Edwardian home is tricky enough. But with a newborn and another baby on the way, creative couple Sophia and Cookie had a huge task on their hands. Luckily (with only a few tears) they managed to create a comfortable and vibrant family space. Read on for the pair’s tips on doing up an older place. 

@sophiarcook

@sophiarcook

1. Consider changing the layout of the house. Traditional kitchens are often small and basic, whereas dining rooms are big and lavish. For our home, we wanted the opposite, so we swapped the rooms over and knocked down the wall in between to create a statement kitchen and a low-key family dining room

2. Do the boring stuff before you do the fun stuff. When you’re renovating a period home, it’s important to get the basics right first, like heating and electricity. Even though it might take time and cost more, it’s worth moving or hiding the wiring and pipes, so that the final result is as stylish and practical as possible. 

3. Restore or repair parts of the original building. Most period houses have been updated over and over again, so they’re a mishmash of styles. We loved the nostalgia of an Edwardian home, so decided to restore some of its original elements like the fireplaces, windows and stained glass panels. 

4. Think about the feel of the room, before the look. The first thing we did was decide on the vibe we wanted to create. After that, the look just fell into place. For our dining room, we wanted a warm, relaxing and fun atmosphere, so we chose bright colours, wooden elements and earthy, natural lighting.

5. Tie things together with colour. Our house has details from lots of different time periods, so we used colour to make it feel unified. Each room has a unique dominant hue, like the greens and yellows in our kitchen and dining room that run throughout the decor, accessories and dinnerware.

@sophiarcook

@sophiarcook

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