Oliver’s House

Turning a run-down Edwardian house into a character-filled family home was more than just a passing fancy for Hannah Gooch, as it led to her setting up an interior design business of her own.

When Hannah and Richard Gooch moved into their three bedrooms Edwardian home south-east London, finding any original style features seemed like an impossible feat, but Hannah was determined to restore the house to its former glory. The Gooch’s bought the property seven years ago and Hannah still recall what it was like when they first moved in. “Had louvered windows which let in the draught and an old gas boiler” – says Hannah.

– “Was so much paint on the woodwork and plaster work that you couldn’t see the detail, so we stripped it all back to its original state. With a helping hand from Richard’s carpenter dad, the couple set about restoring the property to its former glory, stripping the walls and floors, installing alcove cupboards, placing Victorian fireplaces in each room and replacing all the windows with wooden sash glazing. Gutted the whole house” – says Hannah.

– “Put a working fireplace in the living room so we can enjoy open fires and put architraves on the windows to replicate what would have been there originally.”

With its muted colour scheme and original features, the house is now a far cry from the draughty shell the Gooch s first moved into. But it is Hannah’s eclectic style and passion for hunting down individual pieces that make this house a home for the couple and their two-and-a-half-year-old son Oliver. Hannah says: – “Like to find elements that are unique and accessories that are a little bit different, although I am much more like this now than when we originally furnished the house so if I was doing it all over again it would probably be quite different.”

Originally two rooms, the kitchen diner was the last piece of the puzzle for the Gooch’s, as they knocked two rooms into one and opted for large glass doors that overlook the garden. -“It is my favourite spot in the whole house. We can enjoy the views of the garden whatever the weather and in the summer Oliver can run in and out to his hearts content.”

Hannah and Richard have opted for an off-the-shelf Ikea kitchen which they adapted, so it looks custom-made. “Couldn’t afford a hand-built painted kitchen and did consider gloss but that would have been a nightmare with Oliver’s sticky fingers” – Hannah explains. – “Had one that was the right shape, so we built a frame around it and painted it, so it looked handmade.”

It was this passion for individuality that led Hannah to set up her interior design website – eburyhomeandgarden.com. She says: – “Initially started out as a wedding directory and blog, which is still online at theeburycollection.com. When I was planning our wedding, I didn’t want to conform to what everyone else had, and it was the same with the house.”

Source pieces from countries such as Denmark and India but keen to stock more items that are made in this country and support local businesses. -“I’ve always preferred shopping for interiors rather than clothes and creating the website has enabled me not only to fill the house with things I like, but also to showcase my styling.”

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