Visual merchandiser Ellie Tildesley and her husband Adam, a water quality scientist, bought their new home in the knowledge that it needed a lot of work. The 1940s detached house in a Devonshire village had good bones, but the decor was a time warp of swirly patterned carpets and Artex walls.
The entrance hall was bright and airy but desperately needed bringing into the 21st century. Working on a smaller budget, Ellie and Adam transformed the space by stripping it back, uncovering period features, and giving it fresh coat of paint top-to-bottom. Read on to see how they did it.
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While the house had good bones, most of the rooms – including the hallway – were showing their age. The walls were coated in woodchip and pink Artex, which the couple were concerned might contain asbestos, and the carpet was a loud floral design that carried on up the stairs.
Despite its flaws, Ellie was drawn to the light, airy feel of the space. ‘For most people those features would have made their toes curl, but it got me massively excited,' she says.
The house was rewired and checked for asbestos after the couple completed the sale. Soon after, they began ripping out the carpets around the house and had the walls skimmed, removing the Artex from the hallway in the process.
Getting the staircase up to scratch was a high-effort task, too. 'It took me about a week to strip the stairs with an edge sander,' Ellie says. While there were few period features to be found, the couple did manage to keep the original doors and parquet flooring.
While the makeover itself was cosmetic, the couple also took the opportunity to make some small structural tweaks, including installing a downstairs bathroom to the right of the staircase and taking some space from the upstairs landing for a master en suite.
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The hallway and staircase is completely unrecognisable from the dated, pattern-heavy scheme it had before. Having exposed the original parquet, it's since been treated to make it look as good as new, and is softened by a rug.
Ellie painted the underside of the stairs, as well as the skirting and banister, for a cool monochrome scheme. A glass-fronted cabinet sits next to the door to the new downstairs WC, replacing the heavy wooden cupboard that was there before. On the landing, Ellie has made the most of the bright space by displaying treasured family photos in a grid on the wall.
By skimming the walls, ripping up the carpets, restoring period features and adding a lick of paint, Ellie and Adam have created a cool, calm entrance hall that offers a warm welcome to guests.