We realised (with regret) that we haven’t actually shown you the house! (a silly mistake, to be sure) So here it is, and a little about it.
no. 19, Jack and Betty's House
The house we bought is in a small, industrial Black Country town – it’s exactly what we were looking for – a Victorian terrace – a house with a bit of history to it. We’d looked at a few things that were a bit similar a little further afield, but with little success (you can read a bit about it in our ‘how to decide on location‘ guide). Ours was only listed on the estate agent’s website, rather than on anything like Rightmove so it had taken a little while to us to find – we went to see it with some trepidation – why was it so cheap? What was wrong with it?
We instantly fell in love, though – the house really stands out in the street; it’s the only house that’s been painted bright red, for one. The black masonry and the detailing in it is lovely (if a little worn). It looks teeny-tiny from the outside, but as the estate agent said (repeatedly), “it’s like a little TARDIS inside”. It’s a little bigger than some of the other houses that we’d viewed of a similar age, and a lot bigger than any of the newer houses that we’d seen.
after we'd taken up the floor, before we'd painted
the living room, just as we started to paint
The front door leads right into the living room, it was all very plain inside – the walls were a sort of pale mauvey colour (which Betty tried to photograph, it just looked like brown) and the living room leads right into a really good-sized kitchen. Going even further back there’s a small, but fully-equipped bathroom, and on again from that is a terrible, little pebble-dashed extension (the less said about that the better, it’s a bit of a sore subject at the minute). Upstairs, there’s a good-sized landing with two main bedrooms, and a little ‘bedroom’ (read:cupboard) about the size of the room Betty grew up in. Literally big enough to fit in a bed, and a wardrobe, it’s the room that the boiler is kept in. Then upstairs again is a loft conversion – we think this was probably used as a kid’s room, there’s a little, (quite dangerously situated) alcove that was being used as a wardrobe.
On the way out I think we’d pretty much decided, we asked the agent about an odd square in the middle of the living room floor. “It probably leads to drainage, or pipework”. But on further inspection, it was a cellar!
the cellar door
There are real stairs that would have led to the cellar, but they’ve been blocked off. We suspect that because of the loft conversion, the stairs up to the first floor had to be moved around, blocking off the stairway that leads beneath the house. As it is, there’s a rickety little wooden set of steps, and the real brick stairs will be reduced to keeping wine on (if we really brought wine, and could be bothered to go that far to fetch it).
The house has already thrown up some challenges, and we’re sure there are plenty more to come. Nothing’s really finished yet so we don’t want to show you too much! We’ll let you have a peek soon!
Love from Jack and Betty xx