Hidden in beautiful medieval Worcester, a Victorian semi was in need of some TLC, a creative vision and a family to make it their own. And with over 10 years renovation experience, this was the perfect project for DIY interior blogger Rachael @renovating.no.66. Here, we talk to Rachael about her tips for choosing new radiators and creating a peaceful and harmonious home on a budget.
Before The Reno
The potential of this charming Victorian property was evident as soon as you stepped through the front door and noticed the original features, from the detailed tiling to the ornate cornicing. It was a hiddem gem about to be transformed into an idyllic family home.
What advice would you give to someone starting a renovation project?
“Budget, budget and budget. Always ensure you work out the cost of everything. The little things, such as screws and skirting board can end up as a hidden extra.”
“If you are having builders, fitters or painters in, always get 3 quotes. Never go for the cheapest, even if your budget is super tight.”
“We are super keen on DIY, our first home what completely renovated for ten thousand pounds. We got friends and family to help, and did nearly everything ourselves.”
Do Your Homework
“Spend time researching alternatives. You might see something in a high end magazine, but there is always an alternative in different price brackets.”
“This is the most time consuming thing for us when doing a house. If you have a tight budget, this is key. Both the pink chair and side tables were secondhand, ebay and facebook marketplace.”
“Having a lovely home does not need to be really expensive if you are willing to do the work yourself and upcycle furniture.”
An Entrance To Be Proud Of
Rachael swapped a standard white convector for a real cast iron radiator from the Milano Tamara range and the new hallway is a beautiful taste of what is to come throughout this charming period home.
“We wanted the older style to blend seamlessly with the original flooring. The antique brass colour runs throughout the house, enhancing the old with the new. The heat output and heat hold on the cast iron is perfect for our hallway and stairs. This is a large busy space, so having an eye catching piece of furniture there really makes this an entrance to be proud of.”
How would you describe your home style?
“I wanted to create a peaceful and harmonious home where we can relax after a busy day. It is also a home where we can have parties with family and friends.”
“I choose natural tones for the walls and floors, with hints of grey and pink throughout our home. I do like to add colour through key pieces of furniture, such as our pink chair in the kitchen or the pink bedside tables.”
“I would say our home is a mixture of country style and scandi. I have taken the things I like the most from each style.”
How did you choose your radiators?
“As we are in a Victorian house, we wanted original style radiators. The white Milano Windsor ones are superb. They hold the heat really well and aren’t as heavy as the cast iron ones.”
“In the hallway, we did choose the stunning Milano Tamara cast iron radiator in antique brass as a real statement piece. It also complements the original Minton tiles beautifully.”
And where to position them?
“When planning where to place the radiators, you first need to consider how the space will work. Which furniture will go where. Always remember to measure out, even taping the floor with masking tape to show how the furniture will fit into the space. Then you can see/work out where is best to organise the plumbing for your new radiators.”
Is there anything you would have done differently looking back at the project?
“Our kitchen floor is light oak, and was untreated, which means you have to sand and varnish it yourself. When I applied the varnish, I only applied two coats, this was because I only had two days before the kitchen units were fitted.”
“Unfortunately, this has meant the flooring has marked in areas due to there not being enough protection, as it is such a high traffic area. We will have to sand the whole floor and re-varnish it, using a different product to ensure it stays light (it has yellowed in the sun) and protect the oak.”
“Sometimes with renovations and building work time gets put back, this can be stressful and you have to make compromises in other areas.”
What do you love most about your home?
“Our home is full of original character. We have added in fireplaces over time, but even the brick work at the front is beautiful. When designing the extension, having it filled with light was so important. Victorian homes are known for their narrow, dark hallways, so having our main living area bright and open was key.”
“When discussing the lighting with the electrician he suggested ‘white light’ for the spots in the ‘old’ part of the kitchen, then ‘warm lights’ for the ‘new’ part. This means we can change the feel of the room depending on the occasion. We also have Hue light bulbs which allows us to control the brightness of each light, this is a real luxury we have just invested in.”
“Having the bifolds into the garden is a huge change for us. This was my dream to have a smooth transition from inside to out. It is fabulous for when we have family and friends over, and so much easier with children.”
Shop Rachael’s Radiators
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Jess has a passion for interior design and wants to inspire people to look at radiators as home decor. She enjoys keeping on top of the latest design and heating trends to ensure the Advice Centre has all the information and inspiration homeowners need to make the best choice for them.