As soon as they were in, Lize and Eoghan McCarron set about restoring the Grade II-listed Victorian villa. Built in 1864 by prolific English architect and garden designer Decimus Burton, the house had been split up with the basement being rented out as a self contained flat.
The first major job was replacing the 1970s kitchen in the basement with freestanding ‘country cottage’ units, and swapping the coal-fuelled Aga range cooker for a gas model. They also replaced a suite in the downstairs bathroom with a Morocco-inspired wet room finished in marble-look limestone. The Victorian wooden flooring throughout the house was sanded and refinished.
With the house returned to its original layout as one dwelling and the remaining Victorian features uncovered, Lize and Eoghan turned their attention to the final fixtures, fittings, decorating and furniture. Lize suspects she inherited her magpie instinct from her parents – ‘I just love the joy of finding things unexpectedly. I really miss that now the house is finished – or full at least,’ says Lize.
Owners: Lize McCarron and husband Eoghan live here with son Elian, 15, daughter Kitty, 12, dogs Pookie and Wilson, and cat Twinkle
Property: A six-bedroom Grade II-listed villa designed by architect Decimus Burton in 1864, in St Leonards-on-Sea
Essential: repairs The property had been split into a basement flat with a house above, so was returned to a family home, with period features reinstated
Layout: The basement houses a large kitchen-diner, conservatory, living room, bathroom and laundry room. A dining room, office, conservatory and second living room are on the ground floor, while all the bedrooms are on the upper two floors
The couple replaced 1970s brown floral carpet on the stairs with a slate grey design and painted the stairwell in Wimbourne White by Farrow & Ball
The Victorian Villa
Words and styling: Katie Treggiden