Steal your heart
You can instantly see how the external colours match the tiles in the porch, and the brick wall looks as good as the day it was built. There was little doubt, as the owner entered the property for the first time 6 years ago, that this house needed work, but he wasn’t fazed by the challenge ahead of him as he was swept away by the wealth of original features. “I’ve always loved period features, and I appreciate the quality of materials used, such as the doors, the herringbone oak, pitch pine floors and the depth of skirting boards, never mind the open fireplaces.”
We have no doubt that you’ll fall in love with the original timber sash windows with their stained glass, the original coving on the ceiling, the picture rails, fireplaces… the list could go on. What’s incredible is that the owner didn’t just keep each feature, he painstakingly restored every inch, such as that brick wall. The bricks used are original – the same ones that the property was built with. They were looking tired, so he took the wall apart, individually cleaned each brick, and the wall was rebuilt.
It is this passion that you’ll see as you tour round this incredible home with its big bay windows, drenching the rooms with light. The owner’s favourite room is the kitchen diner, as it opens seamlessly onto the garden. This was an extension which the owner worked with an architect to design, he was conscious that it had to be right and work with the aesthetics of the property.
The kitchen extends onto the terrace at the same level, as it’s south-facing you get the sun in the garden until early evening. The garden has been landscaped with Indian sandstone, and railway sleepers provide raised beds for plants, which add a wealth of colour. The garage is more than just a useful space, it will provide you with so much storage as the owner has added a mezzanine level installed for this purpose – what a handy space for any family.
Stain glass beauty
Let’s go back inside, through the kitchen and into what is now the utility. This used to be the original kitchen but, as you will see, it was too small for a family home. But before you enter, take note of the door, you’ll notice that it’s made out of pitch pine with beautiful stained glass. “The door is different to the others in the property and when the sun comes round it floods in and illuminates through the windows and brightens that whole area of the house. The door windows match those in the new utility area.”
Anyone for homemade bread?
From here we enter room that would have been the dining room, which is now used as an office. The glorious fireplace also has an original bread oven, and what you can’t see in the photograph of this lovely room is that there is a built-in Welsh dresser behind the door – again, original, and a wonderful piece of furniture which will enhance however you decide to use this room.
When you take on a period property you have some responsibility, should you choose to take it; you become the custodian, preserving its heritage for future generations. For the owner, he took this incredibly seriously. You may have noticed the doors, but what you won’t know is that these had been painted again and again over the years. Again wishing to restore this home to the highest standards, all the doors were dipped, stripped and varnished. The painstaking work that’s gone into their restoration has resulted in these stunning doors that welcome you into each room. One request from the owner: “please, don’t paint them!”
Take your pick
Upstairs you will find four large bedrooms, the owner has had double beds in all of them, but you may choose to use them differently. The middle bedroom is blessed with the original built-in storage cupboards and gas tap. Gas tap? Because this house was built in the 1930s it would have been lit by lamps and the original tap remains, and is such a magnificent feature to keep as it honours the heritage of this property.
The owner believed this would be his forever home and, as such, every detail has been done to a millimetre perfect. Now completed, after thousands of hours of blood, sweat and tears, things have changed and he has to part with this stunning home. So what will he miss? “The location, it’s a lovely area close to Roath Park and extremely useful should you wish to go to Cardiff. The avenue is a dead end and therefore only residents pass through, it’s very peaceful and quiet and has been a great place for the kids to be able to play outside safely. I will miss the space, and just being able to simply enjoy it now it’s all done. It has been great having an open fire, especially in the winter, and who can’t resist those windows with their beautiful stained glass design? Especially the one you find halfway up the stairs.
It’s a wonderful family home and I hope someone can enjoy it and fall in love with the place as I did.”