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A Dorchester Home with a History - Part 1

This gorgeous 3 storey Victorian house, home to a lovely young family of 4 (and their 2 Siamese cats) is grand and elegant, but also a typical lively family home.











(Photo: Artisan Estate Agents)

The house dates back to the 1860s and was connected with the Edridge Pope brewery, which is now an upmarket restaurant and shopping development in Dorchester, but was at one time the largest industry in Dorchester. This home and its semi-detached twin most likely provided a home for a senior manager at the brewery and his family. 

In more recent years the house had been knocked through with the adjoining house to create a residential care home ('Douglas Jackman House', named after a heroic WW2 Spitfire pilot). 

A local property developer converted the houses back to separate dwellings and kept the wonderful large room layouts and created a simple blank canvas for the buyers. Pale taupe walls, neutral carpets and an expansive modern kitchen. A comment I often heard while working with other trades was that it was great to see the house restored back to a house, rather than converted to flats.

Coral Interiors was invited to design the principal rooms in the house and worked with the homeowners to establish their personal tastes, preferences and requirements. As an interior designer, I did of course coax them a li-ttle beyond their comfort zone!

Put it in Proportion

Victorian villas typically have higher ceilings that modern homes, and this one has 3m/12ft ceilings on the ground and first floors, with lower ceilings on the top floor eaves rooms which would have been servants' quarters and children's nurseries. We wanted to recreate some of the period features so essential to creating a feeling of proportion and balance. Generally I'd recommend a dado rail (which Victorians used to prevent the backs of high wooden chairs from knocking the wall) and or a picture rail, around 3/5ths of the height of the walls to 'lower' the ceiling, visually. 

We were fortunate in that the cornice was mostly still in place, however this was not the case in the master bedroom, so we had a deep curved profile (using lightweight 'Orac' decor products)

Master Bedroom Before

As you can see all the walls were a single pale colour from skirting to ceiling, making the ceiling feel very high. With any smaller a floorspace this could feel uncomfortable. 

(Photo: Artisan Estate Agents)

Master Bedroom After

This bright south facing room with stunning large window could easily take this rich 'Pitch Blue' by Dorset's famous Farrow and Ball. By adding picture rail and painting the section above the same colour as the ceiling we created a crisp contrast that really sets the blue off, and visually lowers the ceiling.

Pitch blue bedroom, coastal interior

Coastal style bedroom














Part 2 - The Open Plan Living Room to follow..



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