Brambridge House: A Habitable Home

Brambridge House:  A Habitable Home

Two months after getting the keys, I excited to announce that Brambridge House is now a habitable home!

If you read my last blog post, A Photographic Tour of our Dream Home, you’ll know that we’ve recently bought yet another epic renovation project.  It’s an old 18th Century manor house that was converted into apartments in the 1950’s, which sadly over the years has fallen into a state of disrepair.

Over the past few weeks Darren (mostly) and I have been working super hard.  We’ve turned a derelict space into a clean, comfortable and habitable home.  Brambridge House is a long term project, and we expect to be renovating this apartment for years to come.  But, for now, we have a beautiful place to call home.

Here are some photo’s of our current progress.  You’ll find more snaps on our instagram page.

Our Habitable Home

Bathroom Progress

One of the first projects to make Brambridge House a habitable home was to make a useable bathroom.  Our budget didn’t stretch to fit to be able to do a proper job this time round, so the bathroom has had a £500 makeover.

Losing the garish floral wallpaper and false ceiling has uncovered some beautiful original features, including artwork on the walls which we believe were painted some 200 years ago.  We also have some lovely pillars and beautiful ceiling coving.

We painted the old bath with an enamel paint, and have fitted a cheap shower and screen so we have somewhere clean to wash.  The tiles are a budget style from Topps Tiles, and the cheap vinyl does a pretty good job at livening the space up.

Although the toilet was grim, Darren never intended to replace it so I had to make do with a replacement toilet seat until the unit leaked.  It was replaced by a second hand toilet that came from Facebook which also wasn’t much cop, so I finally got myself a clean new toilet!  Luckily we could use the old servant toilet in the basement whilst ours was out of action.   We made the shelves using the old kitchen floorboards.

Going all European, our washing machine is also in the bathroom.  It doesn’t fit in the kitchen, but in any case, who wants to listen to the whirling of the machine whilst eating dinner?  It’s in a much better place in the bathroom.

Bedroom Progress

We chose the most habitable room for our bedroom.  A good clean, quick lick of paint and cheap carpet was all that was needed for somewhere for us to lay our weary heads.   We still have no electricity or lighting in the room and so are running our lamps off an extension lead, but its plenty suitable for us.

Eventually the wall currently decorated with floral wallpaper will be gone.  It will more than double the size of our master bedroom to a good 8m x 6m.  My furniture shopping bill is going to be huge.  So to are my duvets!

I still cant get over waking up and looking out to the incredible grounds of Brambridge House. It’s a magical place which we are so lucky to have bought.

Brambrige House Garden and Avenue of Trees

Lounge Progress

It’s amazing what a good clean can do.  We’ve wiped off all the mould from the walls and had the (horrid) magnolia coloured paint matched, filling in the areas that are a bit tatty until we can work out how the hell we are going to restore the incredible ceiling which is the highlight of both this room and the entire apartment.

We were also incredibly lucky to make friends with the lady who lives above, who has allowed us not only to share her internet whilst we were awaiting ours to be installed but to also lift her floors to reinstate the lighting in this and the other rooms.

Add a borrowed sofa and we have a very comfortable spot for lounging out of an evening.

Kitchen Progress

The kitchen has undergone the most impressive renovation.  It is without doubt the best room makeover that we have ever undertaken.  It is also my absolute favourite remodel ever!

Although not quite finished, I’ld say we’re 95% complete.  We still need to tile and install a few cupboard doors and the extractor fan, but hopefully it will be done by the end of August.

Getting Darren to embrace the dark colour scheme was a little challenge that I successfully navigated with a little patience.  I had decided I wanted a blue kitchen as soon as we found the apartment.  It was planned and sat in my online basket for months waiting for the completion of the sale.  I’m delighted with our Hicks Blue kitchen so far and cannot wait for the finishing touches.

Read more:  Navy Kitchen Inspiration

When we originally brought this apartment the plans listed this room as a possible bathroom. The previous owner couldn’t envisage this room as a kitchen – he thought it was too small.  However, after getting rid of a couple of walls we’ve made a space that is plenty big enough for a kitchen and dining area.  There is also ample room for a wine rack large enough even to keep Darren and I fully hydrated.

At the moment we’re on the hunt for a pretty glass dining table approx 80cm wide – if anyone knows where we can find one please let us know!

Progress in the rest of the Apartment

The rest of the apartment has benefited from lots of cleaning, wallpaper stripping and a few coats of paint to temporarily tidy the place up.  We can now trot around barefoot and sit down without getting covered in dust and can finally relax and enjoy this special place.

We’ve uncovered more original paintings, wired up  lighting and electricity in the rest of the rooms and fixed the holes and leaks in the ceilings.

In the future, our apartment will need hours and hours of time spent on it.  We have big plans which include walls coming down and glass panels going up.  We intend to really bring out the final remaining original features which still exist.  Due to the grade II* listing that Brambridge House has our next projects will need to go via the conservation team, but we’re quietly confident that our ideas will get the go ahead.  However until that time, you’ll find us either in the kitchen or in the garden depending on the weather.

Although I don’t think the garden will be too shabby in the rain, either!

Resting at Brambridge House


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