Through the keyhole of an Evesham property filled with light
PUBLISHED: 14:55 23 February 2018 | UPDATED: 14:58 23 February 2018
The clever use of mirrors and choice of paint colours helped Carina Goddard make the most of a home flooded with natural light
Carina and Derek Goddard made quite a change when they moved from a rambling 16th century cottage in the country to a 1932 semi-detached house in Evesham with a 170-foot long garden.
“It’s because this is the sunniest house we’ve ever seen with big windows even in the hall,” says Carina, a former actress who starred in the 1970s TV programme Crossroads as Alison Cotteril.
“Natural light is very important to me as it makes designing the internal lighting really easy. It’s also a very compact house and although the rooms here are smaller it’s easier to get around.”
The couple - with their two dogs and cat - moved into the four bedroom, three-storey house in September 2015 and three weeks later had much of the flooring changed. “We laid engineered oak in every room downstairs except for the kitchen,” says Carina. “This is because the old floorboards were laid haphazardly, in some rooms going north to south, in others east to west and, as we didn’t want carpeting, we had to bring them into line.”
They also had laminated flooring laid in a first floor bedroom which Derek had chosen for his hairdressing studio and office.
Luckily the flooring company took only two days to do the work as during that time the couple had to enter the house via the garage and to literally jump from the lobby onto the stairs to go to bed.
“At the same time we removed the dated fireplace in the Dining Room. The room is rather narrow so we didn’t want anything protruding. We extended the wooden flooring and the skirting board into the cavity and added downlighters.”
Their next project was the rather dark kitchen, which was single-storey with an apex ceiling built on by previous owners. “The cupboards were painted in magnolia and there were rather ugly uPVC French doors leading into the garden,” says Carina. First they had two Velux windows put into the roof and then Carina took her carpenter Pete Vale along to B & Q where they chose some lengths of skirting board.
“I designed a double-mounted architrave to go round the French doors as I wanted it to look like a picture frame or a casement. Pete made it and I painted it in Wimborne White by Farrow & Ball. It’s a really graceful and inexpensive way to change an ugly feature.”
They used the same Wimborne White to repaint the kitchen cabinets. “But first we took the doors off the two wall cupboards, then installed LED lighting inside and replaced the wooden shelving with glass. I store my glassware in one of them and it looks very nice with the lights shining down through the glass shelving.”
Carina then painted the kickboards in a darker colour – Mole’s Breath by F&B – as this gives the floor cabinets a floating effect and painted the wooden edge of the worktops in the same colour. She also changed the small porcelain knobs for bigger wooden ones which she also painted in Mole’s Breath then had under lighting fitted under the wall cupboards. Finally Carina painted the kitchen walls in Mizzle by F&B and says, “You can greatly improve the look of a kitchen by just a few simple measures. In fact that applies to any room. Take the hall – it looked better as soon as I repainted the stair rail in Mole’s Breath and changed the pendant lights for downlighting. The ceiling just wasn’t high enough for dangling fittings. Also, when choosing LED bulbs, don’t pick the first grade as the effect will be too harsh. Use one giving a soft warmth.”
Another challenge of living in much smaller rooms has been met by Carina’s use of mirrors.
“I have used a fabulous glazier called Roman Glass in Evesham to cut great swathes of mirroring,” she says. “In the dining room we have filled in the existing arched coving with a massive piece of mirror, but first our carpenter had to make a template in wood for Roman Glass to copy in glass. We have also used some fabulous big old portrait frames to enclose various mirrors and it’s an excellent way of bringing light into the house.”
In the breakfast room the couple replaced a big and cumbersome log burner with a smaller gas-fuelled log burner and on the top floor the couple have completely refurbished the shower room and added an infrared sauna.
Then Carina repainted every room in the house using either Farrow & Ball paints or Little Greene which she thinks has superior coverage. “I can paint a room in a day,” she says. “Don’t be afraid of paint – it can make a huge improvement to a room and if you’ve made a mistake then just repaint again. I’ve been known to repaint a room three times over a weekend – actually in the same colour, but trying to get the right shade – third time was lucky.”
Carina has also improved much of her furniture with the same artistic touches – unsurprisingly as she comes from a strongly artistic background. Her father is artist Paul Wyeth RP RBA and her sister is artist Rolla Wyeth.
“For instance, Annie Sloan now has a video on her website showing how to paint fabrics using her chalk paints then finish them with a wax sealant to prevent dye transfer. You can now change your fabric seating without needing to reupholster it,” she says.
For furnishings Carina recommends Rechercher in Cheltenham for its brilliant accessories, The Range - “because if you choose carefully you can buy inexpensive items that look worth a great deal more” - OKA for their indoor sconces and cushions and Pooky for their lighting.
When they first arrived the back garden was unrecognizable and they had to remove five trees as well as much long grass and brambles.
“But there was a lovely little summerhouse at the end of the garden which was obviously of good quality but by then was falling apart and full of rubbish. I cleared it all out, had a new wooden floor laid and repainted the inside blue to contrast with the white exterior. It catches the last sun of the day and now Derek and I love sitting there at the end of the day, relaxing over a glass of wine.”
Annie Sloan, 01865 713089, www.anniesloan.com
Arden Flooring of Alcester 01789 766286, www.ardencarpetsandflooring.co.uk
Derek Goddard hairdressing 01386 424852 e:Derek.firstname.lastname@example.org
Farrow & Ball, 01202 876141, www.farrow-ball.com
Ikea 020 3645 0000, www.ikea.com
John Lewis 0345 604 9049, www.johnlewis.com
Lee Longlands 0845 373 0220, www.leelonglands.co.uk
Little Greene 0845 880 5855, www.littlegreene.com
Oka 0844 815 7380, okadirect.com
Pooky, 0207 351 3003, www.pooky.com
Recherchez, 01242 515509
R V Astley, www.rvastley.co.uk
The Range, www.therange.co.uk