They say there’s nothing like a project to keep you busy, but as an established Graphic Designer, Devonshire local Verity Winslow decided one project wasn’t quite enough! We learn more about her labour of love renovating a Victorian terrace home in Windmill Hill, all whilst completing her PhD and preparing to welcome her first child!
“I’m originally from Devon, but I moved to London for work a few years back, then back to Bradford upon Avon, but the commute to Bristol quickly became pretty unbearable, and so the search for a place to put my stamp on began”, explains Verity.
“I had been introduced to Windmill Hill and Victoria Park by some friends who invited me to join them at The Victoria Pub and I just fell in love with the sense of community and the style of properties. After what felt like months of searching for what I thought I wanted, I found a property on Dunkerry Road that was in need of some TLC but had real potential, and in the fast-paced market we still find ourselves in, I knew I had to act quickly”, adds Verity.
With a previous renovation under her belt and a professional eye for design, Verity wasted no time in making Dunkerry a home to enjoy.
“The whole house needed to be gutted, and I find it much easier to treat each space as a blank canvass. We started with the structural tasks like installing a new roof and sorting out the electrics, and then the full facelift started! Having last been decorated in the 60s, there were some questionable style choices in the house, like the blue bathroom, complete with carpeted bath, so that had to go.
I have designed our previous home and this property myself, and I would say that my background and love for spatial design pushes me into renovations and influences how I approach each project. My partner Richard is an engineer at Rolls Royce and so is interested in the practical side of things, so it really is the perfect partnership”, Verity jokes.
Being her second renovation, Verity knew that she wanted to maintain as much charm as possible at the Victorian terrace.
“I wanted to make sure that we really did the home as much justice as possible and so we spent our weekends trawling reclamation yards finding Victorian features to put back into the property like feature fireplaces and real wood doors to bring back the charm of the original house, minus the blue bathroom!”
But it wasn’t just the interior that needed attention, and so Verity and Richard used lockdown to create their exterior oasis.
“The garden was a major project during the renovation and we really wanted to get as much of the house finished as possible, so the garden was a lockdown job! I came up with the design as I knew we had to make the most of the sunshine that beautifully fills the garden. I had always loved the Mediterranean style with the simple furniture and clean whites and creams. Richard was amazing at making my design a reality, I really learnt what a perfectionist he is whilst redoing the garden! The slated wooden fences were measured within an inch of their life to ensure that every panel fitted perfectly, but the end result was absolutely worth it, and I have to say that it is now one of my favourite spaces at the house. The patio gets the sun all day long, and we ended up actually having to plant some trees just to allow for some shade in the summer months. It’s perfect to enjoy a sunset of an evening, it’s the perfect tranquil spot, and if I could have a glass of wine right now, that is where I would be!”