Beth spent the day at Rowan House in Ashby with stylish homeowner Kelly Jones, chatting all things family, interiors and renovations.
We love hearing home stories for our clients and we love helping people move into their dream home.
Corners of this stunning home
Tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m predominantly a mother, who is also self employed and works part time in semi permanent make up. I love to exercise, spending time with my family and enjoying country walks with my dog.
How long have you been at Rowan House?
We purchased the house in November 2014 and moved into the original front part in August 2015.
What changes have you made to your home?
The house was in a very tired state; it looked sad and neglected. The whole front, original part of the house was completely gutted, leaving us with a bare shell, back to brick, no floors or ceilings. The house was gradually pieced back together after some small layout changes, at which point we had to stop work for another 3 years whilst we saved the funds to begin our extension. In July 2018 we over doubled the size of the house, adding 2 further bedrooms, 2 en-suites, a dressing room and large kitchen/diner/seating area.
What’s one of your favourite things about your home?
I adore the charm of the house, a traditional home with a modern twist is my favourite combination. I get to have the original areas with all period features replicated and restored, along with openness and light in the modern extension. We have so much open space at the back which lends itself well to family life; the children scooter and roller skate around the kitchen, and we even play tig! It isn’t taken for granted how fortunate we are, but there is a lot of hard work and sacrifice that’s gone into making our home.
Can you tell us any history about your home ?
The house was built in 1901 and is on the cusp of the Victorian era with lots of Victorian features, however there were some additional Edwardian features added at some point. The house passed hands a couple of times early on before being in the same family from 1915. We purchased from an elderly gentleman who had lived here since the 1960’s, it was handed to him by his wives parents’ who lived here since 1915. It’s been a very well loved family home, which is the reason the vendor preferred to sell it to us over developers who planned to demolish it. The past owner has been back a couple of times and is really pleased with what we’ve done with it.
What is your interior style?
Modern with a traditional twist, I wanted the front to be more traditional whilst complimenting the back of the house in the modern extension. I like to mix antique pieces in with contemporary pieces. I’m a fan of the industrial look, although I wouldn’t want to go overboard. I try to remember that it’s a family home and not a show home, I want it to be a comfortable place for all of the family and to be lived in and enjoyed.
What do you like about the local area?
We’re a young family so having the high street and local amenities on our doorstep is very convenient and can make daily life easier. Ashby is a lovely town which caters to our needs with the selection of locals shops and places to eat, along with plenty of after school activities for the children. The fact that Ashby is historically interesting is also a big draw for me.
Did you face any challenges whilst renovating the house?
Looking back, I think we were perhaps slightly naïve regarding the amount of work the original part of the house would require and it ended up using all of our budget. This meant we had to do the work in two parts, we lived with no back door, no kitchen, the cheapest electric oven we could buy in the hallway, the utility stored all of our food and one reception room had a dining table, fridge and play area. We had one window on the back looking into the garden and no more. Enjoying the little bit of garden we had that wasn’t hardcore and bricks was not easy when access was from the front door and around the side of the house. We lived like this for 3 years in which time we had a 5 year old, a new born baby and a puppy! There seemed no way forward other than wait, the banks wouldn’t release equity because we didn’t have a complete house, however we needed the money to complete the house! This meant saving, restricting lifestyle choices and lots of time as a family spent apart to earn the money required. Eventually in summer 2018 we began our extension which was completed just before Christmas of that year, it was without question the most stressful period of my life. My husband was working away during the whole period, we didn’t see each other for 10 weeks at one point and I was left to manage the build and the workmen alone, along with being a full time mum. Some days you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel! The house has at times been an albatross around my neck but it’s also saved me, we lost a baby half way through pregnancy just after buying the house, so working on the house gave me a reason to get out of bed, I needed to help provide my family with a home. The house is named after our son. I feel very connected to our house, it makes me feel calm and safe, I’m extremely proud of what we’ve achieved and it makes me happy to know it’ll stand for many more years to come.
What are your plans for the future?
The pandemic has halted much of our plans over the last couple of years, by now however we’re experienced in delayed gratification. Our plan is to finally landscape our back garden towards the end of the year and add built in wardrobes to some of the bedrooms. I’m excited to finally jump this last hurdle. We’ve also discussed the idea of doing an additional side extension to add a boot room, office downstairs and upstairs dressing area and en-suite. This would not only make life work better for us as a family but also balance the front of the house out with the extension that extends back. This however all depends on whether it works financially in relation to house value. It isn’t something that will happen just yet!
The gorgeous rooms at Rowan House
Thanks for inviting me into your home Kelly and thanks for telling us your home story.
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