Mrs Godfrey invites Oakwood estates into her home to show the transformation and inspires us with her house decor tips.
How did your transformation come about ? My husband stumbled across a two bedroom detached what one can describe as a 'Chocolate box picture' Victorian cottage in Buckinghamshire and sent the details over to me, he actually fell in love with the cottage first and the day I walked through the door I just knew I wanted to transform the sad and tired property back into a beautiful home.
How did you begin your journey? The story of the cottage intrigued me, the owners had passed away . Having rented the Victorian cottage for thirty years it had been originally built and left in trust to the son of a wealthy Buckinghamshire family who had gone missing at war. Eventually he was found and sadly remained in hospital until his last days. The couple that had rented the cottage then had the opportunity to purchase it and became the owners for the last twenty years of their lives. ( Making the Victorian property their home for a total of fifty years!)
What happened next? We finally bought the run down Victorian cottage and I had started with mood boards , keeping magazine cuttings of furnishings and ideas which really helped me to envision my next steps.
The cottage had been left in a poor state and I tried to keep as many original features as possible, working round coving, original fireplaces and curved doorways.
Sadly the job of refurbishing went a lot deeper than we first anticipated taking back layer upon layer of wallpaper to discover wet plaster and dates on the walls as far back as December 1978 .
The avocado green kitchen matched the avocado green door and bathroom. The bathroom even had a carpet !
Our team of builders took three months to complete the project stripping the cottage back to its brick walls uncovering cracks to be filled and wet patches to be fixed.
I remember on the third week walking into the cottage and it literally was back to brick with rubble everywhere !
The builders uncovered an original Victorian fireplace flap in a bricked up chimney that I had cleaned and painted eventually framed and set above our fireplace.
Tell us more about your colour themes and inspiration? The cottage has thick walls and small rooms so I chose whites and pale greys throughout with a light wool carpet and stone tiles for the kitchen and bathroom.
We opened up the kitchen doubling the size and I must say this is now my favourite room . I found out from neighbours that the couple who had previously made this cottage their home had kept peacocks in the garden so I had peacock print on canvas covering my white wooden kitchen chairs.
Walk us through the rest of the cottage The dining room- I had recovered a hand carved Thai dining room table and chairs in a black stain so I created the dining room around the table and chairs as a feature. Introducing pale grey walls, uncovering original wooden floor boards and adding a large black wooden chest and Singer sewing machine.
The Lounge- I wanted to create a cosy soft and comfortable room to relax in. I introduced a warm chenille corner sofa ( we love to socialise and a corner sofa enabled us more seating ) and throws . Not many people notice but I have a slight touch of lavender in each room throughout the house as a theme tying in with the lavender I planted in rows outside the front of the cottage. ( This is Mr Godfrey's favourite room !) Walking up the deep Victorian staircase I took the steps back to original wood, stained them white and had a cream wool runner leading up the stairs.
The bedrooms- Originally I believe this cottage boasted three bedrooms but I think that the third bedroom had been turned into a bathroom at a later date when it became fashionable to have toilets inside the house!
The two remaining bedrooms are pale grey with white wooden skirting boards and pale wool carpets, I had either sides of the chimney breasts boxed in and created wardrobes and storage areas.
Furniture in the dressing / spare room is a white dressing table and matching bed.
The main bedroom is pale grey , white painted wooden frames and skirting boards with pale green and purple touches such as cushions and a storage box covered in beautifully coloured birds and flowers.
The bathroom- I tiled throughout creating a wet room and luckily enough due to the size we added a roll top clawed bath . The bathroom is white with pale grey stone textured tiles a total colour transformation from the dated flower wallpaper, carpet and avocado toilet , sink and bath.
You have mentioned your favourite room, which is your favourite feature? I adore the finish of our Victorian cottage , if I really had to say my favourite feature it would be the white plantation shutters . My father kindly fitted them to measure as the windows are so odd in shape as you can imagine !
Finally, if anything what would you change? Our garden! I love to garden but it definitely is an ongoing project , I filled the front garden with lavender and the back garden with rose bushes . We originally inherited four sheds with the garden ! We removed three of them , restored one and replaced a second staining them with a lovely medium grey.