Christina Sparkle

Before & After House Tour

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I wanted to document the before and after of our house in Leicester. The first house to be owned be owned by Andy and I. These are the estate agent’s photos of some of my favourite rooms in the house.

When we first found the house and bought it I had never imagined living in such a neutral space, I was expecting to have a house painted all kinds of bright colours and funky finishes. However, we were very lucky to find this house that had been completely renovated after the cold water tank had fell through the house from the roof. The old man that lived there then went to live in a care home, and we bought the house for a good price because the family were keen to sell in order to pay the care home costs.

Because the house had been so well decorated it did seem an awful shame to strip it and start again so I started looking for inspiration of homes that had neutral walls, but were bright and colourful in their furniture and accessories. Instead of going crazy with wall decor we instead focused on key details to add colour to the house including adding a feature wall to the living/dining room, and stripping and painting the bathroom (the crazy floral wallpaper was not to our taste, at all).

46Looking back I wish we had done a lot more, we certainly had a lot of plans, but we did what we could afford. We spent all our money on buying the house, then a year later got married and so it was only after the second year that we could start spending any money on it.

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The majority of the work we did to the house was to the outside. As it was on a cut through between two streets the front door to the house is actually on the side. When we bought it the front door opened out onto a slabbed area, and a small gate led straight onto the cut through. This meant the back garden had a high fence and to get into the back garden from the front you went through another tall gate.

We completely changed this arrangement, adding a tall fence and gate between the front door and the cut through, and knocking down the tall fence at the back. This meant that the front door now opened up into the large back garden and provided increased security all around. This all happened at the same time as the council adding a gate onto the cut-through which was closed at night, a similar arrangement to other cut-throughs on parallel streets that were already in place. The council actually gave us the large gate at the front and painted it orange, which isn’t to our taste and was on the re-paint list.

We also replaced the front fence entirely (the photo was taken in between us painting the panels), and replaced both external doors which unfortunately you can’t see in the pics but did do a lot to transform the house. All of the work to the outside we believe was a good investment, everything we did made the house more secure, and more attractive (the exception in the attractiveness category being that orange gate) so we hope to have added value.

As Andy took on a new job recently we had to leave the house behind and rent a new house in Bedford. This means we have let out the Leicester house until we feel ready to sell it. It was certainly very hard handing over our house to someone else!

Please note: these photos were not in any way “styled”, the rooms were only just tidy, but they do document what our house looked like when we bought it, and what it looked like when we left.

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