Originally hailing from Putney in London, we speak with Kelly, a freelance book publicist, to discover why Knowle has made the perfect home to grow from a family of two to a family of five. We met in the beautiful home she has created with her husband Henry, who runs a London law firm, and their three young children.
“I’m a bit of a romantic, I like the idea of throwing some love into a house to make it a home. It had a really great energy about it, we viewed it and just knew straight away it was the one, it had a lot of potential.” Kelly explains.
Although the couple were initially attracted to the property, the house hasn’t always been the perfect family home it is today. “The property was unloved and had been rented out previously. Everything was magnolia, the kitchen was cheap and run down, it just needed a family to come and give it some love, which we really did! We bought the property knowing it was going to be our home for at least the next ten years or so, so we wanted to do everything properly.”
As everything needed modernising, the renovations were slow and gradual, but it meant Kelly and Henry could grab the opportunity and make the house completely their own. “We started with the groundwork, re-rendered, did all the electrical work, repointed the chimney, completed all the damp proofing, stripped floorboards, re-plastered ceilings, and renovated all the original sash windows at the front of the house. Then we put in a new kitchen and took out the downstairs bathroom to put in the bi-folding doors, and big doors from the study room out to the garden too. We completely re-did the upstairs bathroom by taking out all the walls and incorporating some space from the back bedroom to make a walk-in shower. There is nothing we haven’t touched.”
Kelly’s passion for interior design and pre-loved pieces shines through in every room at Marston Road. “I have quite an eclectic personal style, it may not be to everyone’s taste, but I love vintage pieces that tell a story. I don’t like buying new, pretty much everything is second-hand from Facebook marketplace and eBay. Every time we find a new piece for the home, we hear little snippets of the backstory to the item which really brings the rooms to life.”
There is a real sense of community in the area, made even stronger by the new local community garden at Redcatch Park. “It has become a great social and learning hub. The café has lovely healthy and organic food with fresh produce made on site. There are lots of activities for children, they teach classes for local schools and have various craft, music, and food events throughout the year.”
“A lot of the surrounding families have small kids, we all have side gates in our gardens with access to a shared lane so in the summer months we keep them open so all the kids can play together. There are great pre-schools in the area and plans to open two local secondary schools next year also, it’s the perfect area for young families! The location is super close to town, and we can be on the train to London in 15 minutes, my husband Henry easily commutes to London from here.”
Although heartbroken to make the move, the couple now feel it’s time to upsize for the growing family and are looking onwards around the Long Ashton area.“It is the perfect family home; we have created a lot of memories here. It’s seen my children learning to walk, their first words, and going to school for the first time – it’s seen and supported us becoming a family.”
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