Decorating / furninshing a victorian terrace

(5 Posts)
freelancegirl Wed 17-Oct-12 10:38:40

Having lived in city flats for years we are about to move into a Victorian terraced house and am looking for decoration - paint, carpet, furnishing - ideas and inspiration. It has a separate living room and kitchen, three bedrooms on the first floor and unfortunately a smallish bathroom and a large converted dormer on the top with a nice bathroom. DH has already bagged this as his study! But I'll let him get away with that as he takes on the majority of house work /cooking. The small bedroom is for our three month old boy's nursery, the second bedroom a guest room.

DH is saying white walls all round but I am thinking a bit of subtle colour might be good too. He also loves white plantation blinds but I've heard they can cause issues with damp and potentially damage sash windows. I like the idea of a stripey stair carpet and some nice lamps around the place. Should we have both bathrooms the same, similar or completely different? Downstairs has wooden floors, upstairs will need new carpet. Does a nice large rug work over wood floors in a living room with a baby?

So many decisions and such little time due to a non napping, very hungry baby.

I realise this is a very wide topic but if anyone wants to join me with any ideas - where is good for inspiration, what works well in a Victorian terrace and general opinions welcome!

minipie Wed 17-Oct-12 12:58:59

I have a Victorian terrace and my best source of inspiration has been Rightmove! Basically looking at similar houses near me and what the owners have done with them.

Some thoughts on what you've mentioned above:

- Do you mean plantation shutters, or venetian blinds? I'm a fan of plantation shutters, and I've never heard of them causing damp or damage to sash windows, as long as they are fitted properly. The downside is you often can't open them fully very easily (eg on bay windows) so you have to be prepared for them to be permanently there iyswim.

- I think a large rug over wooden floors is ideal for a baby, means you can get a new one if the rug gets ruined grin. Crucial Trading do rugs made to your chosen size which are made of wool carpet with an edging. So you could get ones that cover most of the floor. Or Ikea for cheap rugs which can be replaced once DS is older.

- Stripy stair runner sounds lovely. It is v fashionable right now which means it might look dated in a few years' time. But I like it anyway and it will hide the dirt better than plain carpet.

- I agree with a bit of subtle colour rather than white everywhere. White can look quite cold and clinical, plus I think white houses need to be tidier to look ok! However I would choose white or something very pale for the hall and stairs as they can often be quite dark in Victorian terraces.

- Bathrooms it's completely up to you! You will want to make one child friendly though, so that means a bath and non slip flooring (and possibly not tiles as they are cold/hard). Think about which bathroom will get used by you and DH/bathing DC/guests.

- Furnishing: there are two approaches really, one is to go to Ikea or John Lewis or somewhere else with a big range and just buy loads of stuff in one go. That is easier and gets the house furnished quickly, but you are limited to what they offer. The other option is to live with a half furnished house while you slowly choose the perfect sofa, lamp, etc. We are taking the second option but it does mean our house has looked rather empty and studenty in the meantime!

Other ideas:

- Is there any way you can put a skylight above the staircase (if there isn't one already) as this makes the most enormous difference to the light in the hall.

- Do you have any original cornicing/picture rails etc? A colour on the walls (even a pale colour) will make these features stand out more.

- Go round and consider the electrics. You may want extra plug sockets. Also you might want to put in dimmer switches or lamp sockets. Or extra TV points/sky/cable etc. Do this before you decorate.

- Also worth going round and doing a snagging list of anything that needs fixing/altering, again before you decorate.

- I'd put a good sofa bed into DH's study/loft room, since that's where the other bathroom is, so it makes sense to have it usable as a guest room. Also it's nice to have guests on a separate floor.

femmeaufoyer Wed 17-Oct-12 16:02:05

We have a Vicorian house and we've chosen to go with the age of the house and used lots of William Morris wallpaper, fabrics and paints. It's not to everybody's taste but I think it's nice to go with the age of the property. You can always use a bit of pattern against white/plain backgrounds. We've furnished with a mix of antiques and modern (John Lewis, Laura Ashley etc...)

AllPastYears Wed 17-Oct-12 16:21:06

Sorry OP's DH but I think white walls are boring, boring, boring! That's all. smile

freelancegirl Wed 17-Oct-12 18:15:49

Aww thanks for the replies everyone, especially the fab post from minipie. Some great advice there. Yes I have always loved stripy stair carpet and plantation shutters but have had thoughts too about them maybe being dated now they are so popular. That and metro tiles for the bathrooms which I have also always thought I would have. Great idea for inspiration via Right Move! I find the magazines are a bit unrealistic/out of my budget/skillset. We already have a good sofa bed for the loft room sorted - we are moving two flats into one house so have a strange hotch potch of furnishings. The child proofing tips are very handy being that that part is all new to us. A good opportunity to child-proof from the off too!

Both DH and I are huge William Morris fans Femme so completely agree. Your house sounds lovely!

Yes I know what you mean about the white walls too Pastyears. Oh - just realises that looks like I am insulting your ears smile

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