For years she had dreamed of living in a unique and characterful property, so when the opportunity to purchase a converted chapel in Oxshott, Surrey arose, she snapped it up.
Julie explains, “The property was an absolute find. Surrey was an ideal location as I’m still easily connected to London, and while it was in need of modernisation, I fell in love with the once Baptist Chapel. It was full of unique features and character and had plenty of space for my studio in the garden.”
Originally converted from active chapel use in the 1980s, the property had many features typical of the 80s interior style that Julie set about transforming.
“I absolutely wanted to keep many of the unique features of the property including the high ceilings, beautiful glass windows and original beams and trusses. But the 80s conversion featured lots of dark wood alongside an impractical layout and a very dated stairwell and red brick fireplace. I was also keen to replace the tired carpets with modern wood floors.”
Julie set about the work and created a beautiful, bright and modern upgrade which still maintained the original character, features and high ceilings of the once chapel, whilst modifying spaces and features to open up the rooms and fill them with natural light and a more contemporary feel.
With the home almost complete a night of extremely heavy rain in June 2016 ended in devastation as local ground drains flooded, and most of the local overflow of rainwater streamed into the house.
“The volume of water that entered my home was catastrophic causing widespread damage to the property and foundations. The result was I had to move out for 14 months while my home was completely stripped out and re-built – everything from fixing the foundations to replastering all the walls and replacing the new staircase. 90% of my interior fixtures, fittings and soft furnishings had to be replaced too.”
Most of the repair work undertaken returned the property to how Julie had originally designed and specified it during her original renovation works.
In need of new wood floors, Julie called on local floor fitter Alan Marshall from Carpet Contractors, who has been installing V4 Wood Flooring for over a decade. He visited her with a range of sample floors to choose from.
“I’d been more than happy with wood floors before the flood so I knew these were still what I wanted. Choosing which floor from the samples Alan arrived with was incredibly easy as V4’s Eiger Petit in a rustic golden oak finish immediately stood out to me. I loved the colour, tones and character which offered a very natural warmth and richness. As I was keeping the walls white I felt that anything darker or lighter might have been too stark in contrast.”
Eiger Petit Oak Rustic Golden Stained engineered wood floors have been installed throughout the property, with the exception of the bathrooms and kitchen. The floors flow seamlessly throughout the downstairs open plan living spaces, up to the mezzanine level and into the two bedrooms.
“I finally moved back into my home in August this year and what a relief to be home. I’m absolutely delighted with the wood floors; they are so lovely to live with. I had them installed over underfloor heating so they not only look beautifully warm in tone and texture but also feel lovely and warm to walk on.
I also find them really easy to clean and robust for everyday footfall, including my cat passing through. I would definitely recommend V4 Wood Flooring and everyone who visits always compliments the floors.
“The rest of the finished home reflects a very similar style to the work I completed before the flood, but new furniture has added some splashes of colour alongside the coordinating glass sculptures I created to finish off the space.”
You can see Julie’s glass sculpture work at Julie Light Glass.