Having grown up in Brighton, I have always dreamt of living in a Victorian end of terrace house. A house with original period features; beautiful tiles in the hallway, a staircase with a beautiful banister, large sash windows to let all the light in, and a grand wooden front door (painted in a gorgeous Farrow & Ball shade, of course) with an ornate doorbell.
A couple of years ago we went to look round a house like this in our village: The Dream House. We have a strange mishmash of houses in the village, and the Victorian terraces are very popular.
The house was perfect – and the pink of dreams! – but sadly needed a lot of work doing to it and would have potentially been a money pit.
I still think about it now. All the work we could have done to it: restoring tiles, replacing the skirting with simple and affordable skirting board, commissioning new stained glass windows to replace the broken ones…
It was the sort of house where Christmases are large, merry and loud. Where summers are spent in the long garden, playing family games of croquet and cricket with Pimms in hand. Where log fires crackle in the fireplace after a day of building snowmen and having snowball fights.
Where children play endless games of hide-and-seek in the original in-built cupboards and wardrobes. And cakes are baked together in the kitchen.
It was a nostalgic wonderland of a house.
And every time I walk past it (because I have to frequently), I sigh dramatically and gaze enviously into the window… and have a small nose; wondering why on earth they’ve replaced the original Downton-esque doorbell.
There’s so much temptation to knock on the door and see what they’ve done inside.
Don’t get me wrong, I love our 1960s house. It might not have the curb appeal of a Victorian terrace, but the huge windows make the house so wonderfully light, and there’s lots of space for the children to cause havoc. It just doesn’t have any original period features… well, unless you count the very green avocado suite we ripped out in the downstairs bathroom. Or the interesting tiles in the family bathroom that are screaming out to be replaced!
What is your favourite architectural era?