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‘We spent £8,000 on our hallway to make it a room of its own’

Garden
A small team of gardeners spent six weeks transforming Louise's home from a 'mud bath' into a landscaped garden in time for her brother's wedding - John Lawrence

When Louise and Jesse Boyce viewed their future family home in 2020 the modernisation of the Edwardian property, which had been stripped of its period features, instantly put them off.

But a quick Google search revealed its potential.

An old listing of the property revealed what it had looked like when its Edwardian features were still intact.

On seeing its former beauty, the Boyces fell in love with the four-bed detached house and decided to reinstate its original charm and character.

“We were looking for a project but not one that turned out to be quite this big,” says Louise, 43, author and model.

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The couple bought the house for £975,000 and have since completed a whole house renovation with the addition of a double height extension.

Louise and Jesse Boyce
Louise and Jesse Boyce completed a whole house renovation after buying the property for £975,000 - John Lawrence

They’ve restored the Edwardian features to the original part of the house but in the extension have introduced a modern style.

Telegraph Money asked expert Francesca Harris, owner of Francesca Harris Design, to give her view on Louise and Jesse’s high-end home makeover.

The starkest contrast between the home they bought and the home they have is in the hallway.

The couple have removed all traces of the old plain tiles and the former glass and dark wood staircase – which had been moved by the previous owners from its original spot opposite the front door to the back of the hallway.

Now when you enter the house you are met with a fresh colour palette of whites and light greys, tiles with hints of pink, yellow and green from London Mosaic and an elegant wooden staircase with a contrasting black bannister.

Louise, who enjoys posting about her renovation on her Instagram account @homeofboyce, says: “The staircase was really dangerous.

“It was made of thin slabs of glass that wobbled. The kids tried to play with them when we first moved in so we covered them up as best we could because the edges were so sharp.”

Replacing the staircase posed the couple’s architect and builders quite the challenge.

“It was such a big renovation job,” says Louise, mother to Basil, 11, Sonny, 8 and Inca, 4.

“The stairs were actually illegal because they didn’t have the correct head height and were so deep. Our builders had to put the new stairs in very carefully. It caused quite a conundrum.”

The black trim and panelling bring elegance and Edwardian charm to the fresh colour palette of the mosaic tiles
The black trim and panelling bring elegance and Edwardian charm to the fresh colour palette of the mosaic tiles - John Lawrence

By repositioning the original staircase, the previous owners lost a bedroom – a mistake Louise and Jesse, 45, have reversed since adding their double extension.

And the couple still had a lot of room to create a statement hallway.

“When we viewed the property, I could see the potential,” says Louise. “The hallway is so long and wide, it’s like another room itself. And now we have a staircase that looks like it’s always been here.”

To give it a traditional Edwardian feel Louise has fitted a carpet runner with a black trim and had the panelling installed all the way up to the ceiling.

Breaking with tradition, the couple have chosen a statement pink 70s-style chandelier to add a splash of colour against the grey walls at the top of the stairwell.

The couple created a statement hallway where the difference between the original home and the renovation is starkest
The couple created a statement hallway where the difference between the original home and the renovation is starkest - John Lawrence

Coving, ceiling roses, cornicing, corbels and a dado rail have been reintroduced to the room to bring back its original charm.

“We painted the bottom of the walls dark grey because kids touch walls all the time and we wanted to try and keep it from looking grubby as much as possible,” Louise says.

The front door, made in Hungary by Charles Joinery, has a clear stained glass window. “Again, it’s an Edwardian look but with a modern twist.”

Francesca loves Louise’s decision to use black in the room.

“The new swooping staircase with its beautiful curved handrail painted in a bold black colour really pops against the rest of the space,” she says.

“It’s common to be hesitant to use black in your home as some people feel it to be overwhelming but this is a great example of how just little touches of black instantly elevate a space.

“The varying use of colour in the traditional floor makes such a modern statement whilst complimenting the age of the property.

“It was also very clever to keep the stained glass at the front of the property clear and not coloured to make sure that nothing competes with it.”

Francesca’s advice for homeowners who are keen to replicate the look in their own home but are wary about adding colours to the floor is to stick with black and white and then add colour in through a runner, or accessories in the space.

Panelling, adds Francesca, might be on trend at the moment but the reasoning behind adding it here is deeper than simply following the latest home makeover fashion.

“Being an Edwardian property there is no doubt that there would have been some sort of panelling in this space when it was built.

“By adding it back in in a modern way and complimenting it with ceiling roses and other traditional decorations you could be mistaken for thinking it had always been there.”

At the end of the couple’s hallway is a spacious and minimalist white and green kitchen.

The hobs on the island let Louise entertain and film videos without turning her back
The hobs on the island let Louise entertain and film videos without turning her back - John Lawrence

An important design point for Louise and graphic designer Jesse was for the layout to be balanced.

“What we love about the kitchen is that you can’t see any of the appliances and everything is symmetrical. But behind the island are two hobs and in one of the white cupboards is the fridges,” says Louise.

The kitchen, from Thomas Ford, has marble-effect counter tops and is hand painted in Card Room Green which can be repainted when the couple choose to change their colour palette.

To keep the clean minimalist look Louise had a Bora hob installed in the island, doing away with the need to have a traditional cooker hood.

The location of the hob means that when they’re entertaining they can face their friends instead of having their backs turned.

Louise does a lot of filming in the kitchen cooking different dishes to post on her social media platforms so the position of the island means she can face the camera.

Louise and Jesse Boyce
Louise and Jesse Boyce have returned the original charm and character to their Edwardian home - John Lawrence

Jesse does a lot of designs for the house while Louise looks after the interior styling and is always looking for new pieces to add to the rooms.

“My husband helped to make the house, I’m making the home,” she says.

When designing a kitchen, says Francesca, it is a good idea to start with a focal point on a back wall and build the design out from there.

The Boyces, she explains, have followed that through to make the back wall totally symmetrical.

“Whenever designing a kitchen, either go completely symmetrical or go obviously asymmetrical – don’t try and find a middle ground as it will just make the space look a little confused.”

Having a small breakfast bar area on one end of the island makes it feel more like a piece of furniture, she adds.

Francesca rates the kitchen makeover highly, describing it as a classic modern design that compliments the rest of the property.

“Being in the newer part of the house it has a modern functionality that is perfectly in sync with the rest of Louise’s home.”

The garden is still being renovated, a swimming pool will be added
The garden is still being renovated, a swimming pool will be added - John Lawrence

The far side of the kitchen opens out onto Louise’s garden – which is almost finished.

A swimming pool at the back of the garden has yet to be touched.

The pressure was on the couple to turn what Louise describes as a “mud bath” into a landscaped garden in time for her brother’s wedding; a feat a small team of gardeners managed in six weeks.

A stepping stone pathway of tiles from RAC Ceramics cuts through the flower beds from the tiled patio outside the extension to the decked suntrap halfway down the garden.

Louise loves to relax on the corner sofa.

“It’s my favourite spot because it looks onto the house, I can watch the children playing on the grass and enjoy the flowers. When the sun is out it’s really beautiful.”