Angela explains, “The home has an almost Georgian style to its exterior, but it was in fact built about 50 years ago. After the original builder moved out he sold it to a lady in the 1980’s who had remained there until we purchased the house. Untouched since then we knew it was going to be a big project to update the whole house but could see the potential to create a lovely family home.”
“The house was unusual as Old Oxted High Street is built on a hill, so it has two split levels to the home on each side. We were happy to work around this and could also see the potential to extend and create more space for our children as they got older.”
First off they set about updating the kitchen and bathroom as these were virtually unusable spaces. “Everything had a very ‘orange’ feel about it inside. There was orange cladding on the walls and the old pine kitchen had a bright orange glow about it, matching the orange lino. It was a case of ripping everything out and starting again.”
It took the couple about 18 months to get these rooms completed, and after a little break from building work next was some reconfiguration to make better use of the house as a whole. “Where there was a lower level on the house due to the hill most of this was garage space so we decided to convert this into a large bedroom for my daughter. Not forgetting our son, the home also had the scope for a loft conversion so he got a new room too. Both kids’ were getting older and it was nice to give them some space where they could spend time with friends away from the parents.”
Once this was all done the final room left to complete was the living room. “The living room is actually up a half level from the kitchen, sitting above the now converted garage. I had a vision for this space to play to the Georgian nature of the exterior and create a really elegant and grown-up space for us, especially now the kids’ were older. We installed new windows keeping to a Georgian Sash style and added low rise traditional radiators sitting underneath the generous height windows.
“The room had original floor boards which had been painted black. They really showed up dirt and marks and we were finding there was an issue with noise transference down to the new ground floor bedroom my daughter was in so we decided it was time to find new floors that would be in keeping with the style I was creating, and be practical for sound proofing and easy maintenance.
“I didn’t want carpet because of the family dog. We’d had engineered planks before in other properties and I liked this option, however I have always loved parquet style floors and thought they would be really in keeping with the style we were creating in the space. The room didn’t lend itself to a feature like a fireplace so we thought we could make the unusually large windows and floors the key focal point of the room.
“We visited local flooring retailer Oxted Floor Designs who were incredibly helpful. I explained my brief for a parquet style of floor that would be low maintenance, help with sound proofing and give the room an elegant feel. I was worried my dream for parquet floors might be out of our price range but when they showed us the Zigzag engineered oak blocks we were pleasantly surprised that these worked for our budget.”
Angela took some samples home and explored how they looked in the room in different types of light during the day. “We always have a preference for rich and warm colourways so knew some of the lighter choices were not for us. We loved Foundry Steel’s warmth and richness and this stood out both in daylight and artificial light when we tested the samples at home. The rustic character and darker textures reflected the light beautifully and felt really cosy. We decided to go for it, we’d found our perfect floors for our new grown-up living room.”
Oxted Floor Designs completed the installation in a couple of days. They installed a soundproof board and laid a felt underlay over this before starting the Zigzag installation, working meticulously from the centre of the room to create an even pattern that would seamlessly continue into the L-shaped layout of the full space.
Walls were painted Dulux Grape, and an old feature chair was reupholstered in a crushed velvet purple by Oxted Interiors.
“We had most of the furniture already which either worked with the style or was renovated to fit into the final scheme. We are delighted now it is all complete. The floors are fantastic. They feel so lovely to walk on and they never look dirty – they are a breeze to maintain, even with the dog. They finish off the room perfectly and my husband and I love retreating to this room at the end of a long day to relax and watch TV while the kids are busy in their new spaces.”