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We gave our period home back its history

Charlotte and Oliver Haines have carefully crafted their Georgian conversion into all its original glory


When Charlotte and husband Oliver first viewed their Georgian apartment, they discovered all of its original features had either been stripped out or damaged in the name of conversion many years before. ‘Our apartment is on the first floor of a Grade II listed house, built in about 1771, and originally it would have formed the drawing room at the front and the morning room at the back of a four-storey house,’ explains Charlotte. ‘The morning room was so called because it was lit by the morning sun. When we came to see the apartment, plasterboard had been used to divide it into a hallway, living room, bedroom, bathroom and a kitchen with a walled-off area hiding a big airing cupboard and water tank. As a result some of the old cornicing was missing or chopped in half where a stud wall had been put up.’ But that wasn’t all, the apartment itself was in a poor state of repair. ‘The bathroom was a dream of pink acrylic, we had threadbare and stained carpeting throughout, the kitchen was tired and the living room had an ugly tall pine mantelpiece housing a gas fire with a boiler behind it. Large gas pipes were on show and that 1970s favourite, woodchip wallpaper, was everywhere, adorned with surface wiring. However, we loved the big bay window at the back which took up most of one wall of the bedroom.’

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About Your Home Magazine

Spring is in the air, so it’s the perfect time to drag your home out of the winter doldrums and freshen it up with a coat of paint and a few bright new accessories. And, in this issue, we’ve got lots of affordable ideas for giving your home a quick facelift. On page 37 we take a look at this season’s hot new trends on the high street – from cool coastal vibes to edgy ethnic touches, fresh florals to touchy-feely textures, I know you’ll find a look you love. When it comes to the smallest room in the house (yes that’s right, the downstairs loo), it’s often a bit forgotten and unloved in the décor stakes, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Just turn to page 48 to see how small really can be beautiful! If your kitchen is in need of a revamp but you don’t want to change the units, then consider replacing the flooring. Take a look at our purse-friendly ideas on page 54 to see what a big difference it can make – without the hassle of ripping out your cabinets! Now the weather is getting a bit better, it’s time to start knocking your garden into shape so you can sit out and enjoy it over the months ahead. This month in our gardening section we take a look at some of the most popular garden styles – cottage, Japanese, formal and prairie – and show how easy it is to achieve them in your own garden (p.114). Last but not least, in our food pages this issue we’ve got some utterly scrummy pie recipes that I know you’re going to love (p.100). Trust me, the cheesy fish pie is to die for!