Before we begin.

Our home is a four floor Edwardian end terrace, you get a lot of square footage for your money in old properties; We have a basement, with outside access and windows; the ground floor know as ‘downstairs’; the first floor (upstairs); and an attic floor with two good sized rooms and a staircase. The floor layout on all floors is the same, apart from the kitchen and bathroom which are attached on one side.

For the first two years, as a young family of three, we lived on the middle two floors. When baby number two came along we spread out into the attic and revamped that floor. A kitchen extension was added a few years later.

We have toyed with the idea of using the basement but always decided it would not be worth the expense and upheaval…until now. Its years of a dingy, damp, dumping ground are numbered; twelve months of living through a pandemic have seen us need to utilise our space better. One bathroom is not enough, we need more workspace and places to spread out and relax. Welcome to operation basement reno (OBR).

I have such big plans. Bringing Hardcastleowers (HCT) back to life has been a process, my taste and approach has developed over the years. I now have a very recognisable style. You can fully expect vibrant colours, quirky touches and a few surprises along the way, (but more of that later). Today I am going to share the before shots; its grim, think Silence of the Lambs meets War-torn chic. Are you ready…

Room one.

More of a corridor at the bottom of the stairs, a place to feed the cats, stores seasonal crockery, wellies and all those must have gadgets that seemed such a good idea at the time. To the left of me is the window which was a blue tacked in microwave door for fourteen years.

Room two.

A large room with a low ceiling which sits under the living room at the front of the house. Take note of that awkward brick ledge, I have a very cool plan for there. It’s very damp and has been used as a dumping ground for years, if you ask me if I’ve got something the answer is probably yes and no I’ve no idea who Claire is.

Room three.

Currently used as a utility room. It has beautiful original tiles under the window, I don’t think we’ll be able to save them which is a shame. Above that window is the glass floor in the back garden. This is where the external door is.

There you go.

The current state of the basement is a true and accurate representation of the state of the whole house when we moved in. I think that we managed to create something pretty special out of that but i think this floor will top the lot.

Plans for this week:

  • We are due a visit from the builder, I’m not holding my breath.
  • Get the floor plans drawn up.
  • Take more shit to the tip.
  • Finalise my sketches, plans and mood board for room one so I can share that with you next week.

11 thoughts on “Before we begin.

  1. Wow Joanne, it’s a huge space which I’m sure has had your creative juices flowing. I can imagine it’s going to be incredible once finished and I look forward to seeing what you have planned and your journey to get there.


  2. Well, put it like this, the basement is certainly a challenge! It’s big, though, and has loads of space. Good luck with the builder’s visit – sending you lots of positive vibes, 😊


  3. Ohh very exciting can’t wait to see the end result no doubt be crazy colours and very quirky wish I had your imagination how to use colours and styles x


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