• Laura


Updated: Aug 10, 2018

This evening I thought I would share with you my labour of love - The Caretakers Lodge!

We bought our lovely home in February 2016, and have spent the last 18 months slowly moving room through room, restoring some of its former glory.

After a living in new build houses for all my adult life, when it came to buying this home, I was desperate for something with a bit more "character" something with a bit of history, a bit of a story…. Full of quirks and features that I found distinctly lacking in my previous (but lovely!) homes.

After months of looking, and many disappointing viewings, we found "The Caretaker's Lodge" whilst slightly over budget, and in need of a massive over haul to bring it in keeping to our style and taste, I fell in love.  Originally built in the early 1900's as part of the workhouses in Sheffield, it later became the caretakers lodge for the grammar school once the workhouses closed and the former offices became a school, it was then sold off as a private home when the school closed in the early 60's.

As I've always been a massive fan of all things interior, the Caretakers Lodge presented a new and exciting challenge - stripping out the modern to restore all the beautiful, hidden Victorian charm.  The previous owners had spent a lot of time (although not a lot of money - which we will come on to another time!) masking over some of the beautiful features of the old house and making it look super modern.  Think spotlights in every room, stark white walls and beige carpet, shiny black kitchen units and lots of glass.  The space in the house does allow for a modern aesthetic but it just seemed such a shame to me that a house with such history and charm shouldn't show it off.

So since moving in last February we have tackled what we can head on.  It is taking time, oh so much time, and at one point it felt like we made pretty much no progress for a couple of months… this could be due to getting married 2 months after we moved in…. And then I started a new job 2 weeks after that and spent a lot of time in America and travelling for the first few months, so it was all a little hectic!  But finding out I was expecting gave us a fresh kick up the behind to get everything as finished as possible by June this year.

Here is a little look at all the before pictures, as you can see it was all very "beige" and bland.  For those following my Instagram page, you will already know it looks very different!

Kitchen (before) -

We started straight away and made a fair bit of progress downstairs before Christmas last year, with flooring being the main area of focus (and budget!) the kitchen, dining room, and living room are all pretty much finished.  Rather than replace the kitchen, we decided to make the most of what was already in there and strip down the existing units before repainting them.  The cellar has been re-carpeted and the gym re-floored but other than that, the basement floor is untouched so I really want to get that painted and looking less like a junk room.  The utility area also leaves a lot to be desired, I really need to have a think about what I am going to do in there.

Lounge (before) -

Dining room (before) -

We managed to get the small attic conversion on the top floor redecorated so I could move my home office up there.  Then the main double bedroom was finished in September, with a new reclaimed wooden floor and colour palette of grey, black and white.  Can you call it a colour palette when there is no colour?! 

Attic office (before) -

Master bedroom (before) -

2017 has been all about the upstairs!  In March we ripped out the fitted units in the spare room (which will eventually be the master bedroom due to the mezzanine floor) and the existing trapdoor stairs to begin work in there.  We've boarded the ceiling where the trapdoor was, had new fitted units put in, re-painted and carpeted both floors, and had a custom build staircase put in up to the mezzanine.  The walk in wardrobe area is complete but the top floor still needs finishing, as does the attached en suite bathroom.

Dressing room (before) -

Mezzanine (before) -

Mezzanine en-suite (before) -

We've also turned that back bedroom into the nursery, as well as ripped out the main bathroom (which was simply awful!) to replace it with something a lot more in keeping with the style of the house.  It's only a small room, but it’s absolutely full of character and possibly one of my favourite rooms in the house!

Nursery (before) -

We've still got a fair bit of painting to do in the hallway/ stairs/ landing which is the last really big job still to be started.  We've pushed pause for the last few months whilst I was heavily pregnant, and since Frank has been born, but I'm hoping we can now crack on and get it finished before Christmas hits us.  And don't even get me STARTED on the garden…

I'll be sharing the room by room progress, so keep your eyes open  for more!

Laura x