Grasping the potential of a spacious Georgian or Victorian house, whatever its condition, is not exactly brain surgery. The basics are all there. A little re-modelling here and there to adapt it for 21st century living, an eye for colour and Farrow & Ball will do the rest. It’s not quite the same when one is faced with a complete and utter slum and a slum that was never intended as a family home to start with.

TEST The exposed sandstone fireplace

The exposed sandstone fireplace

TEST Nadene found the oval 60s teak dining table in a local charity shop and the couple have surrounded it with deep, green leather nightclub swivel chairs from eBay. A French glass-fronted and sided linen cabinet displays Nadene’s eclectic collection of glassware

Nadene found the oval 60s teak dining table in a local charity shop and the couple have surrounded it with deep, green leather nightclub swivel chairs from eBay. A French glass-fronted and sided linen cabinet displays Nadene’s eclectic collection of glassware

TEST The kitchen features Schüller grey units and block beech wood surfaces. Two porthole windows face out onto the twitten and have been cleverly lit with blue LEDs

The kitchen features Schüller grey units and block beech wood surfaces. Two porthole windows face out onto the twitten and have been cleverly lit with blue LEDs

TEST Nadene and Sam stripped the plaster back to reveal the jumble of brick and sandstone of the original wall in the dining room

Nadene and Sam stripped the plaster back to reveal the jumble of brick and sandstone of the original wall in the dining room

TEST Due to a lack of period feel, Nadene and Sam decided to opt for a relaxed vibe on the ground floor including a 70s record player and deco cocktail cabinet

Due to a lack of period feel, Nadene and Sam decided to opt for a relaxed vibe on the ground floor including a 70s record player and deco cocktail cabinet

TEST Nadene painted the Art Deco cocktail cabinet red

Nadene painted the Art Deco cocktail cabinet red

TEST The drawing room ceiling is papered with American tin tile wallpaper from Merci. “We were thinking of using it on the walls around the house but it wouldn’t have been right with all the art,” says Nadene

The drawing room ceiling is papered with American tin tile wallpaper from Merci. “We were thinking of using it on the walls around the house but it wouldn’t have been right with all the art,” says Nadene

TEST In the old fireplace stands a lovely antique Godin stove

In the old fireplace stands a lovely antique Godin stove

TEST On the walls of the drawing room are a superb Alan Rankle landscape and a big Stuart Duff limited edition of a snub-nosed Smith & Wesson

On the walls of the drawing room are a superb Alan Rankle landscape and a big Stuart Duff limited edition of a snub-nosed Smith & Wesson

TEST Sidney the Afghan hound relaxes on the sofa

Sidney the Afghan hound relaxes on the sofa

TEST The loo itself is superb. Nadene had always wanted to paint a room black and decided this was the one

The loo itself is superb. Nadene had always wanted to paint a room black and decided this was the one

TEST Nadene’s ‘Explorers Room’ is right next door to a smaller ‘snug’ sitting room, with walls filled with artworks

Nadene’s ‘Explorers Room’ is right next door to a smaller ‘snug’ sitting room, with walls filled with artworks

TEST Centrepiece of the first landing is a heavy Victorian mirror on an Italian half-console flanked by Victorian corbels

Centrepiece of the first landing is a heavy Victorian mirror on an Italian half-console flanked by Victorian corbels

TEST On the top floor, a spare bedroom is divided into a sitting room with a hideaway bed tucked up in the eaves

On the top floor, a spare bedroom is divided into a sitting room with a hideaway bed tucked up in the eaves

TEST The house is full of beautiful artwork

The house is full of beautiful artwork

TEST A second guest bedroom is home to a vibrant upholstered lily chair by Japanese designer Masanori Umeda

A second guest bedroom is home to a vibrant upholstered lily chair by Japanese designer Masanori Umeda

TEST The double bed and the bunk bed above it were made from the same wood as Nadene and Sam’s own bed

The double bed and the bunk bed above it were made from the same wood as Nadene and Sam’s own bed

TEST Nadene and Sam’s raised bed, accessed by a mini staircase, offers enviable views out to sea

Nadene and Sam’s raised bed, accessed by a mini staircase, offers enviable views out to sea

TEST The ceiling above the bay window has been painted with clouds and sky by Steve Devine and beneath it is a tailor’s dummy in an antique smoking jacket and top hat

The ceiling above the bay window has been painted with clouds and sky by Steve Devine and beneath it is a tailor’s dummy in an antique smoking jacket and top hat

TEST On the wall are mounted two seven-foot high ‘tablets’ of the ten commandments reclaimed from a church near Lydd, an Alan Rankle triptych and an ethereal Kirsten Reynolds light photograph

On the wall are mounted two seven-foot high ‘tablets’ of the ten commandments reclaimed from a church near Lydd, an Alan Rankle triptych and an ethereal Kirsten Reynolds light photograph

TEST To reach the bath, one has to climb to a gallery, with banisters and ceiling painstakingly copper-leafed by Nadene’s friend, artist Steve Devine

To reach the bath, one has to climb to a gallery, with banisters and ceiling painstakingly copper-leafed by Nadene’s friend, artist Steve Devine

TEST The window is, at first sight, stained glass but it is actually made from a collection of vintage glass plate travel photographs. “They had been sitting around in a box forever,” says Nadene, “and I finally found a great home for them.”

The window is, at first sight, stained glass but it is actually made from a collection of vintage glass plate travel photographs

TEST The window is, at first sight, stained glass but is, in fact, made from a collection of vintage glass plate travel photographs

“They had been sitting around in a box forever,” says Nadene, “and I finally found a great home for them.”

TEST The whole bathroom has been modelled around Nadene’s magnificent William Holland copper bath

The whole bathroom has been modelled around Nadene’s magnificent William Holland copper bath

TEST A door in one corner of the lobby leads into a superb wet room, tiled in silver slate, allowing Nadene and Sam to come straight off the beach and through into the shower

A door in one corner of the lobby leads into a superb wet room, tiled in silver slate, allowing Nadene and Sam to come straight off the beach and through into the shower

TEST Wooden panels used to line the shower and portions of the bathroom walls are actually ceramic tiles

Wooden panels used to line the shower and portions of the bathroom walls are actually ceramic tiles

  • words:
  • pictures: David Merewether
  • styling: Lucy Fleming

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