The guest suite

Updated: Jan 2, 2020

Having given up on our first choice of rooms to renovate, we moved our attentions to a newer part of the house. It doesn’t look newer, but our heritage asset survey revealed that the entire eastern facade of the house is in fact a Victorian mock-Georgian frontage. Right above the old headmaster’s apartment on the second floor of this ‘new’ wing is a run of student dorm rooms. Each had a delightful scratchy nylon panscrubber style carpet, a grim little sink (which illicitly drained into the rainwater downpipes not the sewer), and pretty unloved decor. But sound. At the end of the corridor was a bit of a kitchenette and round the corner a small shower room.

Although it’s a bit a of b*gger to get there, as the old servant’s stairs in the middle of the house have been cut off from the main stairs from the ground floor, meaning you have to walk a long way around, some things about getting this area working would be easier. The water supply could come up from the existing apartment without having to get the whole house supply working, and the heating could branch off the apartment’s new boiler. And we could have a small kitchen to make it a properly self contained guest suite.

Here are some of the before shots

Love the ‘wardrobe’ created in the thick wall cavity by hiding a lethal hanging rail behind two doors.

So we got it painted, tapped into the heating below, checked the electricity supply, and bought some new carpet. Online. Don’t recommend that. It should also be noted that measured surveys are not the ideal thing to measure carpet from. Dotted lines in front of windows represent walls above the window, not below, so it’s easy to forget to measure all the way into the window alcove, ehem.  In a slight change of plan, the corridor 2.10 is not carpeted to match the other rooms….


Most of the rest went smoothly, except for when the lovely vintage baby belling cooker seemed to work, so we built the kitchen around it. Except that no one had actually tested it with more than one ring turned on, whereby it promptly took out all the fuses. It always pays to discover this kind of the thing on the morning you had planned an apartment-warming sunday lunch for 15…

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