People say that you just know when a house is the right one for you as soon as you walk in – and that was definitely the case for Louise Potter when she went to view her Victorian four-bedroom property. Moving from Tunbridge Wells in Kent to live with her now husband, Sean, in Liverpool, Louise was instantly drawn to the house’s period features, such as the stained glass doors and windows, along with some of the original fireplaces.
The previous owners had purchased the house from a lady who had lived there since the 1920s and, luckily for Louise and Sean, had gone on to renovate it, which meant all the hard work had been done for them. ‘It wasn’t to my taste but it did mean that we didn’t have to spend our first few years in Liverpool doing DIY on the weekends,’ says Louise. ‘And on the plus side, all the difficult jobs, like replastering, sanding floors and stripping doors, had already been finished.’
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The owners Louise Potter, an interior designer, her husband, Sean, their daughter, Martha, and Elvis the Jack Russell
The property A four-bedroom Victorian terraced house in Liverpool
Project cost £35,000
Changing the layout slightly to suit their family was top of the couple’s wish list, with plans to extend the kitchen and transform their bare yard into a little oasis in the city. Louise turned a spare bedroom into her office, while the living room at the back of the house was changed into a snug, leaving the front room as the main space for entertaining.
By far the biggest challenge for the couple was the kitchen and dining area remodel, which took about three months to complete. ‘We spent years deciding what to do and eventually settled on adding an off-the-shelf conservatory,’ says Louise. ‘We knocked through from the kitchen and dining room, where there was an existing large sash window. Although I designed the space, we hired a builder for the main building work, while Sean carried out all of the plumbing. Extending the kitchen with a standard conservatory rather than something bespoke was very cost effective.’
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Not all went smoothly, however, and an issue with the floor ended up doubling the
cost of the tiling. ‘We’d hoped we would be able to pull up the old quarry tiles and level the floor with the hallway,’ says Louise, ‘but the ground underneath them was very loose. This meant that the conservatory ended up being much lower than I wanted, which really bothered me at the time, but I don’t really notice it so much now.’
With the newly extended space creating extra room in the kitchen, a peninsular was added to house the hob, while open shelves have been used in place of wall cupboards to make the area feel even more open. ‘It’s a lovely light space,’ says Louise, ‘especially in the morning when your first view is through to the outside.’
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A lover of Scandinavian design, Louise admits the pale, minimal interior she craves can be tricky to achieve as she’s drawn to junk shops and vintage treasures. Instead, the house has been given a vintage Scandi vibe, with its original features shown off and some great pieces of furniture that Louise has picked up from antique fairs and been lucky enough to come across from her job in the interiors industry. ‘I love the long bench in the dining area I got on Ebay’ she says. ‘I was looking for something to paint but it turned out to be the perfect colour already.’
A lot of the artworks dotted around the couple’s house are by Louise, who sells prints from her company, CitySpace, in local shops and on Etsy. Elsewhere, you’ll find accessories from shops such as Rose & Grey, Rockett St George, Arket and
John Lewis & Partners – all go-to places for the couple when it comes to homeware.
‘It’s nice to be at the stage now where we’d only change furniture rather than decoration,’ Louise muses. ‘I always plan to be more minimalist, but “stuff” creeps in! We’ve taken our time and only put things in that we love, rather than following a trend. Your house is where you should feel comfortable – you need to let it grow with you.’
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