Real home: a colourful Edwardian house renovation

By tackling the project herself, Serena Hunt successfully applied her unique style to a once-run-down Edwardian property

contemporary kitchen by real homes

Are you looking for inspiration to take on your own Edwardian house renovation? 

When Serena Hunt first took on her Edwardian property, it hadn’t been touched for more than 50 years, so had no central heating, crumbling walls, leaking ceilings, damp and many other problems inside and out. However, with past experiences of renovating and a clear plan in place of how the house could be transformed, she soon got to work on redesigning its layout to create the perfect home for her family.

Find out how she did it, then browse more of our real home transformations. Read our guide on renovating a house, too, for more guidance.


Taking the property back to a shell has allowed Serena’s design flair to shine. Describing her style as ‘eclectic and kitsch’, she is proud that every piece in her home tells a story, including a kitchen bench that was once used in a slaughterhouse

The owners: Serena Hunt, a stay-at-home mum, lives here with partner Gareth Ballard, a sales director, and their two sons Teddy, nine, and Herbie, four, and their retired racing greyhound, Percy.

The property: A six-bedroom, detached Edwardian property built in 1908, in Steyning.

Total project cost: £94,700.


Freestanding units sourced from a haberdashery shop that closed down provide plenty of kitchen storage, while open shelving is used for display. Pendant light, Ardingly Antiques Fair

The £45,000 remodel was completed without any unexpected problems within six months. 

‘The beauty of taking on an Edwardian house is that it has amazing features and offers so much potential for making a space your own,’ Serena says, ‘Next on the list is to re-render the exterior. People ask me if I would do it again, and I would in a heartbeat.’


Utilising a corner of the kitchen, Serena has created a dining area for the children, plus room for storage. The desk is an old butcher’s table once used in a slaughterhouse, the chairs are Frank Guile design for Paragon sourced on Ebay, and the wall-hung rack is from Ikea


With links to the garden, new patio doors from Rehau are sited where a chimneybreast was once located. Sofa, Habitat, floor lamp, Ardingly Antiques Fair, rug, Ebay


Sideboards and film posters from Ebay sit either side of an original mantle which houses a new woodburning stove from Ebay


New windows from Rehau are framed with woodwork painted in Farrow & Ball’s Railings. Sofa, Ligne Roset, G Plan Blofeld armchair, Gumtree, G Plan coffee table, Oxfam, and carpet used throughout the house is from Crucial Trading



Serena is constantly updating the accessories and adding new vintage and antique finds, including artwork, ornaments and statement lighting


Featuring original Edwardian doors painted in Railings by Farrow & Ball, the hallway is wallpapered in a Cole & Son design from Wallpaper Direct and contrasted with red framed prints by Eelus. The ceiling light was bought on Ebay and the radiator from Wickes. The space is used as both an entranceway and playroom


Walls painted in Railings by Farrow & Ball, which is used throughout  are coordinated with grey carpet from Crucial Trading, a bed from Harveys which has been reupholstered in Alexander Henry fabric sourced on Ebay. Pendant light, antlers, mirror and artwork, all vintage, rug, Achica


A first-floor bedroom is used as a home office complete with a reclaimed Mid-Century desk and vintage chair brought from Serena’s previous home. Filing cabinet, Lewes Flea Market, bench, Ardingly Antiques Fair


By knocking a separate WC and bathroom into one master suite, there’s room for a bath and shower. Bath, Victoria Plum, mirror, Lewes Flea Market

More renovation advice and inspiration:

Beth Murton
Beth first started working on Real Homes as a sub-editor over 15 years ago. Since then she has worked on 4Homes, Grand Designs and as a freelancer, before returning to Real Homes for the third time. She is Acting Editor on the magazine and always has a makeover project of some kind on the go.