Whether you are a first-time renovator or a seasoned professional, the House of ENKI takes pride in seeing your work come to life. Rather than just products in boxes, we love to celebrate your successes and interior inspirations. Together, these form our BATHTA Awards.

Today, we spoke to Christina Green of renovating_belmont, who has been restoring her beautiful Edwardian home in the South East of England. Christina is using our range of bespoke antique bronze fittings to transform the family bathroom.

Photo courtesy of renovating_belmont 

Christina's account has been documenting the story of how she has been renovating her beautiful Edwardian home. Her Instagram is filled with a beautiful collection of beautiful plush furnishings, repainted walls, wooden accents, and original features. A treasure trove of modern and antique design and her adorable little puppy, Christina's home boasts character and charm in every room.

Today we caught up with her to learn her story and whether she has any tips for our readers.

Photo courtesy of renovating_belmont 

Tell us a bit about yourself and your Instagram account?

My partner John and I are renovating a 3-bed Edwardian terraced house. My Instagram account came about a couple of months after we bought our house. Initially, we were quite naïve about how much work the house needed.  I’ll happily admit there were full-on tears and panic attacks once we realised the full extent of it!

So, I turned to Instagram for inspiration.

I started by searching renovation hashtags and soon found myself immersed in beautiful houses, gorgeous interior design and lots of people in the same scary boat as us. I started looking at our house differently and realised how lucky we are to have so many well-preserved original features throughout and the potential the house had. I decided instead of being petrified about what we had to do, I would be excited and throw myself into the project.

Photo courtesy of renovating_belmont 

Is this your first home renovation?

Yes, my previous property was an Edwardian two-bed flat, also with gorgeous original features, but thankfully it only required aesthetic work (although I did insist on knocking out the blocked up chimney breast in the living room and installing a beautiful Edwardian fireplace I found on eBay).

What inspires you to tackle big projects?

Once we realised the full extent of the renovation work our house required, my mindset completely changed from panicked to excited, and I decided to embrace the challenge. I had absolutely no experience in this field, so dealing with builders, electricians, plumbers and completely styling our new home to our taste was a first for me. Seeing what other people in the same situation had achieved via Instagram inspired me to believe it was possible and hugely rewarding. Family and friends were encouraging and wise, offering advice and reality checks. I had a blank canvas to work with, and loads of ideas I’d found on Instagram. I began researching like mad, spending loads of time looking for the exact look I knew I wanted, but on a tight budget. I have quite a specific style and decided to take some risks with colours, patterns and materials, which, thankfully, have paid off!

Photo courtesy of renovating_belmont 

How long has this project taken?

We bought the house almost a year ago to the day. We didn’t start renovations until the end of last summer due to the availability of our preferred builders. Once they got cracking though, it all happened really quickly. I remember vividly visiting the house when the entire kitchen had been ripped out and couldn’t believe how quickly that had happened. We are now 9 months down the line and have only two bedrooms left to renovate – they are still a building site and will get done once we can save up again!

Photo courtesy of renovating_belmont 

How does the whole family get involved?

Our families have been very involved, they can’t help themselves! We were lucky enough to have relatives that had been through similar experiences and reassured us that we were doing ok. I would often send links and photos for approval to my mum, who would brutally say “that’s lovely” or “definitely not” (I didn’t always listen, we have very different styles!). I would constantly get advice which ultimately helped me make very good decisions, for example, my aunt warned me to use a dark grout on the kitchen wall tiles as hers had blackened with cooking stains over the years – so glad I followed this advice!

How long do you think it will take? What’s left on the To Dos?

I am hoping we will be able to renovate the remaining two bedrooms by the end of this year, if finances allow! They should only take 4-6 weeks to complete, although as we know things can always go wrong and take longer. This will mean the entire renovation process will have taken us around 18 months. Not too bad! The garden is also a wild jungle but that’s a whole other project!

Photo courtesy of renovating_belmont 

What do you want to achieve from this?

A house that we love and want to be in for many years to come. I love the feeling of wanting to go home because you feel cosy, safe and warm there. This does mean I’m a bit more antisocial when it comes to going out as I’d rather be in my lovely home! I compensate by inviting friends over all the time and tempting them with takeaways, dinner parties and cuddles with our puppy. I also want to look around and feel proud of how much we have achieved, how much we’ve learnt and how far we’ve come from where we started – two frightened novices with an overwhelming and financially challenging project ahead of them. We also have a lot more grey hairs than we did a year ago!

Would you do it all again?

Interesting question… Throughout the messiest times of the renovation, I firmly said NEVER AGAIN. However… If I had the time and resources to throw myself fully into another renovation, I would potentially consider it. But mostly never again!

Photo courtesy of renovating_belmont 

What’s your favourite room in the house? Why?

This changes constantly. Sometimes it’s the kitchen, other times it’s the dining room (which is definitely an Instagram favourite), other times I am in awe of how stylish our bathroom is! I would say for the most part it’s the kitchen – the transformation was quite epic in this room. Then again, I just love a Saturday morning chilling in the living room with a cup of coffee and my puppy snuggled on my lap!

Who inspires you as a designer? Do you have any top recommendations?

I would say I have been inspired by real people on Instagram rather than professional designers, I find their achievements real and encouraging. Some of my favourite accounts are @thehousepotnoodlesbuilt and renovating_a_nightmare, dreamy houses and interiors mixed with the realities of a house renovation.

Photo courtesy of renovating_belmont 

Who inspired your bathroom?

I was mostly inspired by a specific photo I found on Topps Tiles Instagram page of traditional black and white marble floor tiles in a diamond pattern combined with their rich peacock coloured metro wall tiles. I used this as the basis of my design, changing it to include only a half wall of tiles so that the top half would be painted white to keep the room bright. I knew I wanted to rip out the old water tank and install a shower cubicle in its place and I knew I wanted traditional features such as a freestanding bath and traditional yet stylish bronze hardware for the taps, shower head etc.

What made you choose the House of ENKI? How would you describe it to a friend?

I came across House of ENKI when researching traditional bronze hardware for the kitchen and bathroom. I also noticed some fellow renovators on Instagram had used their products. I was thrilled when I found House of ENKI had the exact style of taps, shower heads and shower temperature controllers that I wanted at a very affordable price. I saved the links to all the products I wanted and couldn’t wait to order them. Once they arrived I was even happier, they looked so beautiful and people couldn’t believe how inexpensive they were when I told them. I think they perfectly suit the style and colour scheme of my bathroom and I have had so many compliments.

Photo courtesy of renovating_belmont 

What advice would you give people taking on a renovation project?

Take your time, do your research and don’t panic. It’s easy to think about how long and scary the renovation road is, but the main thing to remember is that it WILL get done. Even it takes a long time, even if there are bumps and frustrations along the way (there definitely will be) the outcome will be so worth it. You learn so much, have developed key life skills and have something at the end that YOU created to be proud of. Keep that end goal in mind. And use Instagram for inspiration!

When you're working, what is your overall mantra?

Do your best. That is all you can do. Everyone is different and has different abilities, resources and constraints. Stay true to yourself and it will work out in the end.

Photo courtesy of renovating_belmont 

 

See the amazing transformation here and follow Christina on Instagram @renovating_belmont

Photos courtesy of renovating_belmont 

For more of our amazing antique bronze products browse our store or from the short links below.

Have you a bathroom or kitchen success story you'd like to share with us? Celebrate your interior style with the BATHTA Awards by leaving a comment below or on our social using the tags #houseofenki #bathtaawards