‘We're dotty for MONOCHROME!'
Style at Home|September 2021
Their Victorian dream needed plenty of work, but room by room, Laura and her husband Mitchell have brought this period property back to life
LAURA EWART

COME ON IN!

ABOUT ME I’m Laura Tamcken, 36, a banking associate. I live with my husband Mitchell, 28, who works in e-commerce, plus our two cats, Hiro and Ron.

OUR HOME A three-bed Victorian terrace in Shoeburyness, Essex. We moved here in September 2017.

WHEN WE MOVED IN The house had been left empty for nine months and had an overgrown garden, nicotine-stained walls and damp that needed sorting straight away.

AND NOW We have fully replaced the mouldy bathroom, fitted a brand-new kitchen, replastered, painted and decorated all the rooms. Next stop – the garden.

STYLE TIP Shop your home! We created our own individual style with hand-painted walls by using paint we already had in our home.

Our previous home was a lovely new build in the countryside but our commutes were more than two hours each,’ says Laura. ‘It made sense to move closer to work, we just needed to find the right house. We had viewed around five properties when I saw this come up online – it was just down the road from Mitch’s work and is a stone’s throw from the beach. The only photo was of the front of the house but I loved it. As soon as we walked in, we knew it was the one for us. Both of our parents came to view it and thought we were crazy to take on such a huge project!

First things first

The first room to be gutted was the living room. I had dreams of opening up false walls and finding original fireplaces or dreamy tiles… instead we found concrete and a lot of bodge jobs. We went for a monochrome scheme and our blue velvet chair from the Sofology sale added a little bit of vibrancy.

Next, we ripped out the bathroom and continued with the monochrome palette. We did get professionals in to finish the job, but I had a stroke of luck and found an absolute steal on Facebook Marketplace – a bath and taps for only £50. We also started work in the kitchen, which was old, tiny and to be frank, a bit dingy. We knocked down walls to create a longer and brighter galley kitchen, with plenty of light flooding in. Our Ikea kitchen was exactly what we were looking for and I fell in love with the faux marble worktops. We decided to go for open shelving instead of upper units as it makes the space feel bigger, and saved us money. It’s also a great excuse to buy new accessories and houseplants!

Finding our way

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