It's an unusual house (with some strange occupants – us) but makes a nice little case study to demonstrate some of the work which we could do for you particularly with fitted furniture that you won't be able to find anywhere else.
The house is in a terrace and was once the local dairy. There is a cobblestone passageway running from the front to the back garden along which allegedly the cows used to pass to the milking sheds at the back. No longer having much use for the bovine tunnel, it became part of the house and a large oak door now presides over the entrance. As you'll see from the picture below, this has created an oversized entrance hall/porch complete with commercial sized gas meter that was very difficult to know what to do with. The space just became a junk room for shoes, coats, kid's toys, bikes and unopened mail and looked like you were stepping into some sort of recycling centre. Added to this the whole “room” sloped at about 1 in 30 along it's uneven but characterful length.
What we needed were some cupboards!!
Fortunately, I have some experience in “bespoke storage solutions” but time and money were at a premium so I approached the job with this in mind.
I had accumulated some reclaimed timber over the years, the remains of an church pew, some platform benches beyond repair and some old school desk tops. It's very satisfying to re-use old timber as it gives it a whole new purpose and has great eco-credentials.
When used appropriately it also retains the sense of age and character befitting the setting we had in mind for it.
Firstly, I wanted to create a replica “settle”, which is a traditional piece of Welsh vernacular furniture similar to a parlour seat. This included ample storage for the shoes and boots! We painted this in F&B “downpipe” eggshell and appropriately adorned it with a traditional Welsh blanket.
I built a bespoke unit designed to hide the gas meter and pipework which to all intents and purposes looks like a small sideboard, utilising and old school desk for the top and including two drawers for all the unopened mail, keys and dog leads.
Next to tackle the coats, I designed a full height storage unit with incorporated bench seat and hooks for coats and hats, baskets for bags and a cupboard for my scruffy workshop attire that “needs to be concealed”.
Finally, to hide the toys and accumulated junk and running out of money we incorporated a simple shelf unit with made-to-measure baskets.
So now everything seems to have its place including the umbrellas in a reclaimed milk churn. We just need to settle the dispute about my bike....