Our fifth renovation project was our smallest to date. After selling our second renovation project, Thorold Road, we struggled to find a new property to transfer the our mortgage to. Market conditions in Southampton were at a peak, and despite a number of above asking price offers, we failed to find a suitable property in the area. Set to loose the £7000 redemption fee imposed, I expanded the search radius on Rightmove, and a 2 bedroom flat appeared in the Chandlers Ford area. Although, when we phoned to enquire we were told it had sold that morning (typical at the time). There was however a one bedroom property for sale in the same block.
At first, Darren point blank refused to consider a viewing a one bedroom property. He said it would be too small, but I really liked it, so he agreed to come and have a look round. Surprisingly for Darren, Boston Court stole both our hearts at the first viewing. Within an hour of looking around we called the estate agent and made an offer; after a few days and a little negotiation, the flat was ours.
Considering the other renovations we have undertaken, Boston Court was in a fairly good state of repair. It even had a recently fitted kitchen and bathroom. The decoration however, was not to our taste. After exchanging contracts, we had just 5 weeks to renovate the property as we would be leaving the UK to realise our dream of travelling; starting with a road trip around Europe.
After emptying the property of furniture, keeping a few bits that would do us a turn (dining table, table nest and dining room table & chairs) we began with the quickest renovation we have undertaken to date. We striped all wallpaper (my absolute favourite renovation job!) and repainted the flat in our favourite paint colour ‘Antique White’ by B&Q colours which we complimented with brilliant white satin woodwork and new chrome handles.
We kept the flooring originally found in the flat, including the love/hate tartan hall carpet. We did however clean the tired and very dirty carpets with a hired ‘Dr Rug’ machine which provided the most amazing results!
With no gas to the property, we kept the economy 7 heaters (groan) and covered them with some pretty radiator covers (the B&Q Kensington range) and installed a new shower screen and removed the hideous purple carpets (really, why do people use carpets in bathrooms?), laying travertine tiles instead.
Lighting in the flat was a bit of a pain and it appears the original owner had installed customised wall lighting instead of the standard ceiling lights the rest of the flats have. There were no electrics for standard ceiling lights but luckily Ikea provided some pretty light fittings, if not entirely bright enough!
The most extravagant expense in our small budget renovation were made to measure blinds for the bedroom, bathroom and living room windows (a step we would never miss from a renovation project again). We fitted curtains to the kitchen patio doors and using the remnants (the fabric measured 3m), we covered two dining chairs which were left behind by previous owners, creating matching kitchen furniture.
It took just two weeks to complete our 5th renovation. With more time, and a better potential return, we would like to replace the kitchen and bathroom and either lay laminate or tiles throughout the property. We would ideally like a new front door but the restraints on the building mean we may not be able to create our own design as we would like.
For now, Boston Court is the perfect flat for us. For a one bedroom property, we have a reasonable floor space and enough cupboards to store what little belonging we have left after selling everything to go travelling. We have a communal garden which is tended to weekly, meaning we can sit on our patio and look at the gardens without lifting a finger. The flat is easy to manage – cleaning is pretty swift, and with our current lifestyle, the flat it is perfect for renting out on a short term basis.
The only problem is; despite just three rooms in the property we still can never find our keys, phones or wallets. Some things never change. Ask our friend Jack!
LOUNGE BEFORE RENOVATION
LOUNGE AFTER RENOVATION
MASTER BEDROOM BEFORE RENOVATION
BEDROOM AFTER RENOVATION
KITCHEN BEFORE RENOVATION
KITCHEN AFTER RENOVATION
BATHROOM AFTER RENOVATION
Get the look: Bathroom Cabinet: Ikea
My Home Accessory Wish List
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