Nicola and Nick Pain were not thinking about moving until they first spotted the Victorian manor that would become their home. ‘We weren’t looking for a new house, but as soon as we saw this place, we just had to have it,’ says Nicola.
The property, which is one half of the building, had an outdated kitchen, unsuitable layout and a makeshift lean-to, but Nicola only saw the beautifully proportioned rooms and large sash windows. Fortunately her husband Nick was just as keen and, employed in the building trade, he wasn’t fazed by the work needed to turn the house into a home for the couple and their sons, Billy, 12, and Harry, 11.
The couple’s first attempt to buy the property was unsuccessful — having made an offer, they were outbid by three other potential buyers. However, a year later the house had still not sold, and the owners got in touch with the Pains to accept their original offer.
‘As soon as the sale was completed we got on with planning and calling in quotes for the building work,’ says Nicola.’ Elsewhere, the bathroom was revamped with Victorian-style fittings and a master en suite was added. The two rooms flanking the hall became sitting rooms; one with a TV for the family and the other without. ‘We wanted a quiet space to escape to,’ says Nicola.
When it came to the details, classic style was the obvious choice. The couple fitted a traditional farmhouse kitchen and vintage- style furnishings with a quirky twist. ‘I like fun paintings and multicoloured chandeliers,’ says Nicola, ‘and I have a passion for vibrant hues, especially pink.’ Uplifting shades have been used throughout the house, which positively reverberates with colour. Much of the antique furniture was bought at auction and painted by Nicola. ‘I’ve really enjoyed decorating this place,’ she says. ‘It’s become my hobby.’
The whole family loves their finished home and all unanimously agree they never want to move again. ‘It’s definitely been worth the long wait and the hard work,’ says Nicola.