Pin It
Sign in / Join

From Student Digs to Des Res

An interior designer with a vision has restored a student house in York to a beautiful six-bedroomed des res with its own unique look. Carole Whitby, who runs her own interior design business, bought the grade II listed house in a prime position in the city centre when she was in search of a major project to undertake. Although it came with a garage and large garden, the house had been turned into five-bedroomed accommodation for local students, with four small kitchens to make light of all those tins of beans and instant noodles.

Waiting to be uncovered

Carole took one look at the converted, tired old house and recognised that underneath all the layers of gloss paint and plaster there were plenty of fantastic original features just waiting to be uncovered. Wanting to increase the living space further, Carole started her project by creating a fantastic basement conversion, turning once dark and damp rooms into an open-plan kitchen and living space with an additional bedroom and bathroom. She then added new doors and windows, which had to take into account the original period building style and conform to the city council’s regulations.

It is important to remember, if you are planning on installing new windows and doors in Dublin (such as those available at keane windows) or elsewhere, that you may need to comply with local planning regulations.

According to Historic England, you should always seek advice on replacing windows if your home is listed or in a conservation area.

Rooms restored

Upstairs, Carole oversaw a team of tradesmen and women who took down walls and restored the rooms back to the size they were originally. Special features in this marvellous, expanded living space now include a luxury bathroom gleaming with marble and a huge mirror, self-designed and specially-made kitchen cabinets, durable elm flooring and vintage French furniture.

Many of the home’s original features were painstakingly restored by craftsmen. These include fantastic fireplaces, ceiling roses and fancy plasterwork, plus the magnificent original staircase.

In total, the building and restoration work took around six months to complete, but was worth every second, according to Carole, who took great pleasure decorating and furnishing her new home. She took great care to decorate using paints and colours which complemented the home’s period character.