An Inspired Makeover in the Heart of Windsor

This charming Victorian terrace was reimagined and transformed by the property owner and co-founder of Resident House, Sarah Harris. Sarah's background in graphic and interior design brings knowledge of colour, form, and texture to Resident House, who have a passion for restoring heritage homes. She considers every detail to ensure a space where function is paramount, and finishes enhance everyday living.

We chatted with Sarah to learn more about this beautiful renovation and her career journey.

What original features did you retain with the renovation?

We fully renovated the original house and extended to the rear with courtyards/light wells separating the old and the new.

In terms of the period features, we either restored or replaced them like-for-like. Some of the details included the facade with unique Victorian mouldings and detailing, cast iron front fence, original fireplaces and marble mantles, hallway arch, ceiling roses, cornice and architraves.

Our renderer who specialises in heritage restoration spent months repairing the damaged facade, painstakingly repairing every individual piece and creating moulds on site for anything that was beyond repair or missing.

We thought the original marble mantles were possibly beyond repair but again, after finding a speciality stonemason, we were able to have them fully restored and reinstalled. They are one of our favourite features of the home and particularly the black St Anne’s mantle is quite rare as we’ve been told the marble hasn’t been quarried for 80 years.

What were the biggest challenges in this project?

In terms of design, planning and the build it was a fairly straight forward project for us, but no project is ever short of stress and challenges. Restoring period homes is so much more work than a new build. You are constantly problem solving and facing different challenges on-site day in, day out. From a design perspective you have to be flexible and think on your feet as things arise.

We had our son mid 2019 so that was a big stress to get the house finished before he arrived!

What inspired the aesthetic for this project?

We’re inspired by a European aesthetic that is underpinned by a timeless design style. Chevron French Oak parquetry and steel windows are complemented by period details and a rich colour palette in this project.

Can you share with us your top three tips for anyone embarking on a major renovation?

1. Always factor in plenty of time for design and planning

2. Have a contingency in your budget

3. If you don’t have the skills yourself, make sure you engage the right people from design through to trades. Engaging people, you trust and who share your vision is so important.

Can you tell us about your career journey?

What pushed you to open Resident House? I started Resident House about 4 years ago, purely as a blog and Instagram page to share the process of our renovations. My husband Ben is a carpenter by trade and has been a helicopter pilot for the last 18 years and I was a graphic designer for 12 years, so our renovation projects were something we did in addition to our full-time jobs! I always knew I would pursue interior design in more of a full-time capacity, but it was all about timing and especially after becoming a Mum, your time is so precious, so it just made sense to focus on something that I’m 100% passionate about.

We’re not your usual interior design studio as our own projects are a big part of what we do and we’re very grounded in property development and the construction side of things too. We’ve just sold our latest project #houseonupton so are excited to get started on the next one!

To see more of this beautiful home, view our Autumn Lookbook here

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