‘The moment we stepped through the front door, we got a warm, fuzzy feeling and felt like we were home,’ says Mel Prescott-Davies of the moment she and partner Chris Green found their three-bedroom terraced house on the outskirts of Stoke-on-Trent.
‘We wanted a Victorian house with three good-sized double bedrooms. It had to have an original bay and sash windows, and a recessed doorway with a Minton-tiled step leading up to it,’ she explains. ‘Inside, it also had to have a Minton-tiled hallway, original fireplaces throughout, and preferably a hand-built kitchen with a Belfast sink.’
With such an extensive list, Mel and Chris had many disappointing viewings, but, after a year, the pair managed to find a property online that ticked every box. Luckily, the 1900s terraced house was in good condition structurally, needing only minor repairs.
- Rebuilt and repointed the chimney stack
- Cleaned and sealed the dining room floor
- Repainted the property
- Reinstated and revitalised period features
‘We feel like the custodians of the property, so we think it is important that we do our bit for it,’ says Mel
The Victorian red-brick property has three bedrooms.
Mel and Chris carefully cleaned the original Minton tiled hallway using HG tile cleaner with a protective coating in a satin finish, recommended by Period Features in nearby Leek. To complement the flooring, the couple then painted the walls in neutral colours. ‘The hallway was red at the bottom and bronze on the dado rail, with tobacco yellow above,’ recalls Mel, ‘but we decided to paint over in a cream because we thought there was no point in having a feature wall when the floor is so spectacular.’
When Chris and Mel moved in, the dining room floor was covered in lino, but Mel peeled it back to reveal an original quarry tiled floor. The settle was made bespoke by The Canadian Pine Company and doubles as a useful storage chest for the family’s winter boots and coats.
The dresser was inherited as part of a bespoke fitted wooden kitchen and makes the perfect place for Mel to display her collection of Emma Bridgewater ceramics, made just down the road in The Potteries.
As well as a wealth of original features, the couple were lucky to inherit a bespoke kitchen with fitted, solid pine units that complemented the style of property. ‘We had intended to have a kitchen built exactly like this one, which would have cost us thousands, so to find it already here was amazing.’ says Mel.
‘It’s my favourite place in the house. It’s a nice big room, which was important to me as I love baking.’ A stained-glass panel given to Mel for free from a salvage yard adds a decorative touch to the kitchen window. Mel handmade the curtain under the sink using one of her favourite vintage Cath Kidston fabrics, Posy. ‘I’d saved it up for years waiting for the right house to use it in’ she says.
Mel and Chris enjoy tea in the dining room.
An upcycled printing tray is used to display treasured keepsakes and souvenirs that Chris brought back for Mel from his travels.
Mel and Chris wanted a cosy, calm living room, that would also reflect their personalities. The sofa is from Next and on the wall is Chris’ regimental photograph. Above this is an artwork of Chris’ cap badge by Derek Blois. The clock is from an antiques shop. ‘We liked it due to its military connection,’ says Mel, ‘as it was awarded to a Sergeant in the 1900s’.
An old walnut veneer bureau found on Freecycle fits perfectly in the living room. The rocking chair once belonged to Chris’ grandmother and the cushion is from B&Q. The curtains are made from Laura Ashley’s Awning Stripe fabric in Raspberry/Lichen.
Pickle, the family cat.
Tongue-and-groove panelling gives the bathroom a vintage feel. Colourful accessories, retro signs and enamelware complete the look.
Megan’s bedroom has a feminine feel. The artwork is a framed swatch of Cath Kidston’s Patchwork Digital wallpaper.
Get the look
Mix vintage buys and country-style pieces to re-create Mel and Chris’ characterful look
- Cushion: Cotton sham cushion, £40, Aspace
- Desk: The Morton writing desk, H108xW102xD61cm, £899, Around the House Furniture
- Plaque: Decorative metal plaque, H54xW26cm, £35, Sweetpea & Willow.
- Flowers: Petite Turner silk arrangement, H19cm, £29, Bloom
- Jug: Ceramic jug, H18cm, £10.95, Coastal Home
- Chair: Bramley chair, H100xW52xD52cm, £400 for a pair, Laura Ashley
- Fabric: Roses print blooms fabric, £62 per m, Kate Forman
- Tea cup: Aramata Hybrid bone china teacup, £40, Out There Interiors
- Tiles: Westminster ceramic tile, from £199.60 per m2, Original Style