Singing the blues in our Canterbury dwelling | Jo Leevers


This slim townhouse is on just one of the winding streets near to Canterbury cathedral, all double-yellow strains, fudge retailers and shuffling travellers. From the outdoors it mirrors its upright Georgian neighbours, with bowed home windows and a fanlight over the doorway. But within, Kelly Simmons and William Durrant have specified it a vibrant wake-up simply call.

A punchy, uplifting shade of blue sets the tone from the entrance living home, partnered by vivid artworks and the odd curious creature. A Seletti monkey lamp dangles from the cornicing and a parade of plastic jungle animals, essentially the property of their toddler son, Freddie, are lined up across the mantelpiece. “We moved below from Gillingham in Kent and really like the historic environment, but for our interiors fashion, we’re not all set for antimacassars and carriage clocks just nonetheless,” suggests Kelly, who operates as a health and fitness company manager.

The small garden with high blue walls, and a toddler in a car being pushed by Will on the grass Permanently blue: even the yard partitions maintain the theme. Photograph: Rachael Smith Pictures Ltd

The a few-bed room property, spread above 3 floors, dates back to at minimum 1790 and is Grade II outlined, so the exterior was by no means heading to adjust. The inside of, having said that, had currently been messed about with by a succession of landlords. “It experienced been rented out to students since the 70s, with the compact rooms divided into bedsits for most rental income,” states William. “Rooms had a partitioned lavatory or shower cubicle in the corner, making a nuts community of pipes jogging through the household, lots of which have been leaking.”

There was a huge bulge on the bedroom ceiling. We gave it a gentle poke and drinking water gushed out

Then there was the issue of the roof. They understood it was in lousy form, but learned just how undesirable on the day they picked up the keys. “We walked into the top rated bedroom and noticed a significant bulge on the ceiling,” remembers Kelly. “We gave it a light poke – as you do – and drinking water gushed down. It had been slowly but surely dripping in via the roof and layers of lining paper were all that experienced held it in position. We realised then that this was going to be a full-scale renovation.”

The roof was shored up and retiled. “At one particular point, you could stand in the kitchen and gaze up at the stars,” states Kelly. The first home windows and floorboards have been restored or changed. The shower cubicles were ditched and a spouse and children bathroom was created at the back again of the household.

A made double bed with cushions over the pillows and a blue headboard Generating record: a single of three bedrooms in the home which dates back again to at the very least 1790. Photograph: Rachael Smith Pictures Ltd

On the ground ground, they eradicated two inside doorways, so that the entrance residing space, which you enter from the street, flows into the kitchen area. The home was panelled, as a homage to its historic roots, and then provided various coats of that punchy shade of blue. “It took much more coats than it suggests on the can, that’s for confident – 4, possibly even 5. We did it in the evenings soon after placing Freddie to bed. Wine assisted,” states William. Artworks from a area gallery insert to the influence.

Kelly gave me a welding torch for Valentine’s day. And they say romance is dead

The kitchen is a gentler shade of blue, with flooring designed from slabs of Silestone quartz, which is far more usually applied as a worktop surface. William designed the kitchen (he operates ) and Kelly sourced the vintage jap European bar stools on eBay. William also made their bedframe and the family’s marble eating table. “Kelly gave me a welding torch for Valentine’s working day, so I made a metallic base and mounted an offcut of marble on best. And they say romance is dead…” he jokes.

As elsewhere in this couple’s household, a resourceful solution has compensated off. “We adore being in a household that has a history, but the design inside of now feels a lot additional like a reflection of us,” claims Kelly.